Rob Hoey
Sharing my thoughts one post at a time

Twelve COVID-19 myths debunked

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It’s no surprise that with the COVID-19 virus [also correctly referred to as the Wuhan Coronavirus) that myths and rumors were created by charlatans and sadists to either give people a sense of false security or give people the willies, respectively. I hope some of these myths and claims can be dispelled and you can go on with your daily lives safely and coronavirus-free.

Myth 1. Blowing a hairdryer up your nose will kill the virus that lives there for several days before heading on into the deeper recesses of your body.

Of course, that’s false. Using hot air up your nose will only cause your nostrils to get hot and give you a false sense of safety. A virus thrives on warmth and humidity so theoretically, if you go out in the sun with your nostrils to the sky, you’d have a better chance of killing anything that’s up in there. Seriously, it doesn’t work for COVID-19.

Myth 2. Drinking hot liquids every 15 minutes will kill the virus.

Life should be that easy. Drinking hot liquids has not been found to destroy anything other than the lining in your throat if the liquids are very hot. It isn’t a smart thing to do and I believe [anecdotally] this myth came from India.

Myth 3. Saltwater gargles will kill the virus.

Not true. While they are apparently useful in assuaging the effects of the common cold, there is no evidence to support such a myth.

Myth 4. Food supplements and/or vitamins will make the virus go away.

Not true, but on the other hand, there are certain foods to avoid such as: bats, rats, cats, insects, and French poodles named Phydeaux. It is believed the virus may have originated from the ingestion of bats [seriously], but eating certain foods has not been shown to be effective in protecting oneself from the virus or preventing its spread in the human body. Eat well, get plenty of sleep to boost your immune system, but don’t kid yourself into believing this myth.

Myth 5. It’s a Chinese bio-weapon made specifically to destroy the American way of life.

There is no evidence to support this claim. All evidence points to the notion that the COVID-19 virus is similar in structure to other viruses, such as the Hong Kong flu, the Spanish flu, and other SARS-type influenza viruses. But if one day we discover that this myth is true, then I stand corrected.

Myth 6. Young children are immune from the Wuhan Coronavirus.

Again, we and they should be so lucky. The thing is, kids have a stronger immune system than older people have, particularly those over the age of 70. On the other hand, older children tend to exhibit a higher risk behavior and are more prone to putting themselves in riskier situations which can infect them, and then infect their older family members. In addition, kids have also been seen to have serious medical symptoms too, so parents should teach them to take precautions.

Myth 7. Face masks can protect you from the Wuhan Coronavirus.

Bzzt! Nope. Standard masks are not able to block out the teeny tiny viral particles, and besides, the virus can also enter your naive body through your eyes. However, “N95 respirators” used in healthcare facilities are designed to do the job. Good luck getting your hands on one of those babies. But if you’re infected or have a cold, wearing a standard mask can prevent your junk from becoming their junk. Masks are also useful for those infected to wear, which can help prevent the spread of the virus.

Myth 8. You’re less likely to get the Wuhan Coronavirus than the flu.

First of all, the flu also sucks and has historically killed many millions of people. We don’t think of influenza as dangerous, however, to those with compromised immune systems, it can be deadly and affects all age groups.

But let’s consider the Wuhan  Coronavirus in terms of it’s infectiousness or what is known as the RO (pronounced “R nought”), which predicts the number of people who can acquire the disease from one infected individual. The influenza RO is 1.3 while the Wuhan Coronavirus RO is 2.2. That means with the latter, one person can give the virus to 2.2 people on average, while the former with the flu, only 1.3 people on average might contract it from them. So yes, COVID-19 is “catchy.”

Myth 9. The Wuhan Coronavirus is a death sentence.

The media would have us believe, you need to start saying your prayers before it’s too late. This is a myth and a dangerous one at that. Thus far, of all cases, 81% are mild, 13.8% are severe but not deadly, and 4.7% are critical. These numbers come from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, so take that with a grain of salt [but don’t gargle-see Myth 3], but there is probably some truth to those numbers based on what we’re seeing here.

Myth 10. Pets can spread the disease.

As far as we know, this is only true if your pet is a bat, a rat, or an exotic animal and you eat them.

Myth 11. It’s unsafe to receive packages from China.

This myth sounds like it was created by Alexandria Obviously-Comatose. It isn’t true. Viruses can only live on cardboard for about 3 days and thus far there isn’t evidence one can contract the virus from inanimate objects. In order to thrive, a virus needs warmth, humidity and darkness. Putting things out in sunlight kills them off. People who work with TB patients know that and will often leave their footwear out in sunlight to kill the TB germs. But a package from China takes time to arrive and if it isn’t ticking, don’t be too concerned. As with all packages, get rid of the cardboard and wash your hands.

If you’re in close proximity to patients with coronavirus, you should remove outer clothing at your entrance door and bag it for the wash, if you have that luxury to change frequently. If not, sunlight is the best disinfectant, as they say.

Myth 12. You can get Chinese Virus from Chinese restaurants.

Don’t be silly. You can get fried rice and dumplings from Chinese restaurants, and lots of other yummy food, but you’re as likely to get the virus at a Chinese restaurant as you are at an Iranian, Japanese, Italian of American restaurant. The idea is to get take-out, not to sit in the restaurant among potential carriers of the virus. Whoever started this myth is Sum Dum Fool.

So there you have it; the dozen myths I’ve discovered.

What can you do to combat the Wuhan Coronavirus?

Wash your hands vigorously with running water and regular soap that makes suds for at least 20 seconds, making sure you get under your nails. Do this every 30 minutes if you can, and avoid shaking hands or touching your face or anyone else’s face.

Remove outer clothing when you come home from work and take a shower, then change into your puffy pants, or whatever else you want to change into.

Use elbows or sleeve-covered hands when turning on/off lights, etc.

Keep a social distance from others of at least 6 feet [1.829 meters, if you’re Canadian]. Do “air-kisses” with your significant other if you or they work in healthcare. Don’t rule out “virtual sex” for now, until this thing blows over.

Use a mild bleach solution on all doors and cabinet handles, knobs and electronic remotes–not too much water–you only want to destroy the virus, not the remotes. Just a slightly damp cloth will do. You should also wipe down things that are touched normally such as bannisters, with the mild bleach solution.

If you wash your dishes by hand and have a double-sink, fill one sink with water and add ONLY ONE capful of bleach–that’s all it takes to kill germs. Wash dishes normally, rinse off the soap, and put the cleaned dish in the bleach water for about a minute, remove and allow it to air dry on the rack.

If you have a dishwasher, congratulations.

If you’re a young man living alone, change your habit of washing your bed sheets on a yearly basis and go for weekly.

If you can think of anything else, and I’m sure you can, send me a comment in the comment section somewhere on this blog.

Remember, we will get through this thing together apart. Stay safe and take smart precautions.

About the Author
A retired New York City psychotherapist having practiced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, because it actually works. Relocated to Ottawa to be close to our daughter, son-in-law and our grandchildren. I blog about U.S. politics, terrorism, satire and the culture wars. Currently working on my third novel, a suspense spy thriller in the same order as Brad Thor but with more humor. My personal blog is Brain Flushings at: robhoey127.blogspot.com
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