The myths and facts surrounding COVID-19


(WIAT) — This story is part of the CBS 42 special report Coronavirus: The Facts.

It’s been almost three months since the coronavirus outbreak started in Wuhan, China, and the global spread of the disease comes with a growing number of myths and questions about COVID-19.

MYTH: A facemask is all you need to protect yourself from COVID-19.

It turns out that those disposable facemasks will do very little in keeping you safe from the coronavirus. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, it’s actually not recommended to wear a surgical mask unless you have a respiratory illness. The masks typically don’t fit tight enough to protect your nose and mouth, and it leaves your eyes exposed. If you do have a respiratory illness, the masks can help decrease your chances of passing the disease to someone else.

MYTH: Swallowing or gargling bleach will protect you from COVID-19.

In the same post from Johns Hopkins Medicine, it says that swallowing or gargling bleach will not protect you from the coronavirus. They also said that taking acetic acid or steroids or using essential oils, saltwater, ethanol, or other substances are ineffective in preventing the disease. The group even goes as far as to say as some of these practices can be dangerous to those who try.

MYTH: Your Amazon package is contaminated with COVID-19.

If you’re like me and orders everything from Amazon, this should come as a relief to you. In a post on their website, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that it is not likely the virus will stick on any surface that has been “moved, traveled, and exposed to different conditions.”

MYTH: You can get COVID-19 from mosquito bites.

The WHO also says in their post that you cannot get the coronavirus from mosquito bites. Because it is a respiratory illness, COVID-19 is mainly spread through coughing or sneezing. If you come into contact with someone who sneezes or coughs near or on you, then these next two facts can help protect you from the virus.

FACT: Washing your hands regularly can help protect you from COVID-19

All hope is not lost. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are some very simple tasks you can do to keep you and those around you healthy:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after sneezing, coughing, or getting your hands dirty, and before eating or preparing food (you can find a list of songs to sing to make washing your hands more enjoyable here).
  • Avoid touching your face if your hands aren’t clean.
  • If you’re sick, then stay home.
  • When you have to sneeze or cough, do so in a tissue and then throw the tissue away.

These steps should already be a part of your daily routine, but if you haven’t been practicing these tips then now’s the time to do so.

FACT: You can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by knowing the symptoms and seeking medical attention if you develop them.

Since there is no cure for the coronavirus, it’s important to know the symptoms so you can get the right medical attention. The CDC advises anyone who has experienced a fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath to go to a doctor’s office as soon as they can. Before going to the hospital, make sure to call ahead to let them know if you’ve been in contact with a COVID-19 patient or have traveled anywhere that has a spread of COVID-19.

Hopefully, these myths and facts about the coronavirus will help keep you safe and healthy. Here’s another bonus fact for you all: drinking Corona’s will NOT give you coronavirus. I’ve taken the time to conduct the research myself just so you don’t have to. Feel free to thank me on Twitter: @NickErebia.


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