12 Coronavirus Myths You Should Stop Believing (And Spreading)

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease, or COVID-19, is now a pandemic. But even more dangerous is the alarming widespread of disinformation and fake news on social media.

Coronavirus Myths Are Misleading People

While social media can serve people with important updates about the disease, it has also spread wrong information that is magnifying the already surging panic.

It’s time to get down to the facts. We list down the false Coronavirus myths circulating on the web that we all should verify and learn more about.

MYTH No. 1: Coronavirus is the deadliest virus in history.

True, COVID-19 can be fatal. There are three reasons given for this claim: the high rate of transmission, the high number of patients in some countries, and the strange nature of the strain.

But although the newness of the strain slows the discovery of vaccines or drugs, COVID-19 is not the most dangerous virus in all of history. Statistics say that it is generally a mild viral infection with a fatality rate of 2% and the critical condition ranges between 18% and 20%. There’s also a high percentage of recovery, which is at 90%.

Compared to other virus diseases, it is Ebola and HIV that are significantly more deadly.

MYTH No. 2: COVID only affects older people.

COVID-19 can infect all people, young and old. However, its adverse effect is more visible to those with low immune systems and pre-existing health conditions like diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. This explains why older people seem to be more vulnerable and prone to the virus.

MYTH No. 3: Coronavirus was created on purpose.

A conspiracy theory came out claiming the virus is created on a high-security lab in China intended to be used as a biological weapon. There is too much literature with this claim, especially with the resurfacing of Dean Koontz’s 1981 novel Eye of Darkness that seemingly predicted the spread of aviral disease called Wuhan-400.

The virus is known to have jumped from animals to humans, and certainly not on purpose to wipe out people. In fact, a source from the Australian Associated Press has debunked the Eye of Darkness Dean Koontz relation to Wuhan-400 “prediction.” 

The book’s first edition was published in 1981, during the Cold War. The virus was called “Gorki-400,” as it alluded to a Russian virus outbreak. However, The Eyes of Darkness was re-released in 1989, right at the end of the Cold War, so the publishers changed the name of the virus to a more apt “Wuhan-400,” as Wuhan, China, is also home to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. 

The articles further states, “The fact-checking website Snopes described the mention of ‘Wuhan-400’ in Koontz’s book as ‘nothing more than a coincidence.’ Apocalyptic viruses are often used in fiction writing such as Stephen King’s book The Stand.”

The article explains: “The post’s first excerpt that mentions an outbreak of a pneumonia-like illness in 2020 comes from a book by the late self-proclaimed psychic Sylvia Browne, End Of Days: Predictions and Prophecies About The End of the World.” 

Sylvia Browne was convicted of fraud in 1992.  

(Read: Know More About The 2019 Novel Coronavirus: Symptoms, Prevention, And Hospitalization Costs)

MYTH No. 4: Taking a hot bath or spraying alcohol throughout the body kills the coronavirus.

The normal body temperature ranges from 36.5°C to 37°C and stays at that despite how high or low the temperature of the shower or the environment is. There is no scientific study that backs up the idea that you can prevent catching the virus by taking a hot bath.The idea can also be harmful as extremely hot water can cause skin burns.

Also, spraying alcohol or chlorine throughout your body will not eliminate the virus you caught. While it’s true that the substance is used to disinfect surfaces, it must be done and applied properly. It may enter your eyes, mouth, or nose that may cause more harm than good.

MYTH No. 5: Thermal scanners can detect Coronavirus.

Thermal scanners are used to check a person’s temperature. So, it’s an effective tool whether a person has developed a fever, one of the indicators of viral infection. However, since fever is a common symptom of various diseases, it doesn’t mean that the sickness is coronavirus-related.

In fact, symptoms might not show even if you are positive. Usually, it takes between two and 10 days to appear.

That is why it’s best to have yourselves tested. UP scientists have already developed a testing kit to be distributed all over the country.

MYTH No. 6: Wearing a mask will totally protect you from the virus.

People have been wearing all available masks to shield them from the spreading virus, but the most effective ways to shield yourself are: avoiding close contact with people, especially those with initial symptoms (fever, coughing, colds), and consistently washing hands with soap.

People are starting to hoard masks, which results in a more dangerous situation. These masks are needed by sick people who are COVID-positive to avoid spreading the virus and by medical workers who are very vulnerable to the transmission.

MYTH No. 7: The virus won’t survive in areas with hot and humid climates.

A lot of Filipinos try to see a different perspective about the humidity of the climate, believing that COVID-19 will either slow its growth or, hopefully, die in the heat of the oncoming summer. However, this is not true.

In temperate areas, likewise, they believe that the virus won’t survive cold or snow. The truth is COVID-19 can be transmitted even in areas of extreme weather or climate.

It’s all about boosting the immune system, being healthy, maintaining cleanliness with the body and environment.

MYTH No. 8: The virus can be carried by goods from China.

This myth may have arisen because the virus originated in Wuhan, China, but there’s no evidence that it spreads this way. The virus is not passed on via imported products from China or any COVID-stricken country as it can’t survive long without a host or outside a human body.

MYTH No. 9: The virus can be passed on via mosquito bites.

There’s no evidence that proves the transmission of coronavirus through mosquito bites. The only accepted way of passing it on, as of this writing, is through droplets from the cough, sneeze, saliva of an infected person.

(Read: Self Quarantine Necessities, Preparations To Help Fight COVID-19)

MYTH No. 10: Pets can transmit COVID-19.

A dog in Hong Kong tested positive with the virus, but experts believe that the result needs further studies. It is not final that the dogs can transmit the virus to humans.

MYTH No. 11: Recovered COVID patients can still infect other people.

A person diagnosed with nCoV, who had completed the quarantine and been declared virus-free, cannot infect other people. A patient won’t be discharged if he/she poses risks to others. However, there are countries where ex-patients become positive again—a case that is still being studied.

MYTH No. 12: Antibiotics can treat coronavirus.

Antibiotics are not effective against coronavirus disease as a treatment or as preventive drugs. Antibiotics only work against bacteria. There is no specific medicine formulated that controls or eliminates COVID-19, so other myths like eating garlic serve no shielding effect from the virus.

Vaccines against pneumonia do not protect you from the virus, but vaccines targeting respiratory ailments are highly recommended for your health. Your immune system is your defense against the disease that boosting it by taking multivitamins is important. Get enough rest, proper diet, and a healthy lifestyle.

Once and for all

There is a right to be scared: COVID-19 has been officially declared a global epidemic by WHO in a short period. However, we should not give in to what we see on our newsfeed without verifiable sources to avoid misinformation and panic.