In a survey mentioned by Scientific American, four in five Americans said that the media’s largest problem was the online spread of misinformation. Our pandemic age has particularly proved a hive of unfounded myths – including those listed below – relating to the coronavirus responsible for the disease COVID-19.
“If you don’t have a cough or fever, you don’t have the virus”
If only detecting COVID-19 was this simple! The symptoms of the virus are much more varied than just coughs and fevers, with other symptoms less common than these including nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
“If you don’t have any symptoms, you don’t have the virus”
Most COVID-infected people will only start showing symptoms roughly five days after infection, while symptoms can even take as long as 15 days to emerge in some instances.
“Coronavirus is just like the flu”
The facts rule this one out. According to figures shared by King’s College London, coronavirus has a hospitalisation rate of 19% compared to just 2% for the flu, while the length of hospitalisation for coronavirus is roughly ten days longer.
“You’re not at risk if you’re young and have no health problems”
While your risk would indeed be lower in this case, that risk certainly wouldn’t be nonexistent. You would remain highly vulnerable – and you should also keep in mind that you could have health problems of which you aren’t aware.
“Thermal scanners can detect COVID-19”
While these scanners can effectively detect people who have a fever, one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, this tech remains incapable of detecting people who have COVID-19 itself, the World Health Organisation warns.
“Cold weather can kill the virus”
There is no evidence that it can do this – or kill any disease, for that matter. That’s why, even in cold weather, only getting a test – such as a COVID-19 test from MyHealthChecked – can settle the question of whether or not you have COVID-19.
“5G mobile networks spread COVID-19”
This is impossible for the simple reason that viruses are incapable of travelling on mobile networks’ radio waves. Besides, COVID-19 has spread in many countries lacking 5G cellular infrastructure.
“The coronavirus was engineered in a Chinese laboratory”
Though US President Donald Trump has made this claim, he did not provide any evidence supporting it. Meanwhile, US intelligence agencies have denied that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was developed as a biological weapon.
“Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is riskier than the disease itself”
Though vaccines for various conditions yearly save millions of lives, some claims persist that people should hold off taking a COVID-19 vaccine. One conspiracy theory says that Bill Gates intends, through vaccines, to place microchips in people – but it’s a theory unsupported by evidence.
“Vaccines against pneumonia can protect against the coronavirus, too”
The coronavirus is too different to pneumonia to be kept at bay by the same vaccines. If you want to keep yourself safe from COVID-19, you should keep in mind that it needs its own vaccine – so it’s a relief that the first COVID-19 vaccines have started arriving.