Much of the world is on-edge over the wildfire spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19. Because of this, many people have taken to social media and the internet to seek out ways to protect themselves or rid their bodies of the virus.
Unfortunately, like the people who sought to price gouge those in need, there are bad actors out there spreading fake news that could either be putting you at more risk, harming you, or giving you a false sense of security by telling you that you are protected.
Here are 5+ debunked health myths about the coronavirus COVID-19.
Myth #1 – A face mask will protect you from contracting COVID-19.
When news first broke that the virus was starting to spread and could reach the United States and Europe, many people quickly went out and purchased surgical face masks thinking that it would protect them from contracting the new virus.
This is partly due to the SARS outbreak of 2004 when that specific virus was able to survive in the air and circulate through vents.
COVID-19 is only spread by aerosol droplets, like a sneeze or cough. These droplets fall quickly due to their weight and only hang in the air for a limited amount of time – up to 3 hours.
Masks are most useful and appropriate for people who are either already infected with COVID-19 or are showing symptoms as they help prevent the spread of the disease.
Myth #2 – Dousing your body in alcohol or bleach will protect you
People are hoarding and stockpiling cleaning supplies at an unprecedented rate, but using them against the instructions can not only prove hazardous for your health – but it does nothing to protect you from COVID-19.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), using a harsh chemical like bleach or rubbing alcohol on your skin can damage your mucous membranes and does not protect you from the virus.
Bleach and alcohol can be used to sanitize hard surfaces or objects (like your doorknobs and countertops) but should not be used directly on the skin.
Myth #3 – COVID-19 does not survive in warm weather or hot/humid climates
The World Health Organization has issued guidance on both hot/humid climates and cold/snowy climates and how those pertain to COVID-19.
The evidence shows that the Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, can be transmitted in all areas regardless of climate. There is no reason to believe that either hot or cold temperatures/weather will protect anyone from the virus.
Myth #4 – The hot air from a hairdryer will not kill the virus
A man calling himself “Dr. Dan Lee Dimke” has spread a wild and very false rumor on the internet stating that you can kill the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 by breathing in the hot air from a handheld hairdryer.
This is absolutely false and can only harm your nasal and oral passages if you try this.
Additionally, the hot air from a hand dryer in a bathroom will not kill the virus.
Myth #5 – Rinsing your nose with saline will prevent a COVID-19 infection
The COVID-19 virus is a hearty virus that does not just hang out in your nasal passageways. Like the #4 myth, trying to expel it before you have contracted it is impossible.
Once the virus has entered your nasal passage or oral passage, you are almost certain to contract it.
“There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus.
There is some limited evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.”
Watch the video below from the WHO about how to truly protect yourself in this very uncertain time.