Myths, Facts, and How to Safely Avoid Contracting The Coronavirus

Writer: Raghed Hamza
Editor: Ahmed Ashry

​It is safe to say that, in all of human history, possibly nothing has ever connected all humans on earth and brought them together. That statement is duly changing owing to COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus. Of course, we owe this connection to social media for spreading news around the world in an instant; however, there are some shortcomings to social media. It allows anyone, with a press of a button, to disperse any kind of news he or she wishes, regardless of authenticity. Consequently , several facts have emerged regarding the new Coronavirus, and many of them go against what trusted world organisations, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), say. Here are three myths regarding the virus.

1-Keeping your mouth and throat moist by constantly drinking water prevents you from contracting the virus because it will get washed down your esophagus and into your stomach, where acids will duly kill the virus.
This is a myth. While drinking more water during sickness is encouraged, according to Associated Press, there is no biological evidence that supports the fact the acids in your stomach can completely destroy viruses. Moreover, it is very possible that the virus will not reach your stomach and go elsewhere.

2-The coronavirus will die off in late spring-summer due to higher temperatures.

This is a myth. Although some viruses do spread faster in colder temperatures, a virus cannot completely die off due to a change in temperature. Higher temperatures could slow down the spread of the of the new virus, but, in fact, scientists are still unsure whether that applies to the coronavirus.

3- Vaccines designed for pneumonia and the flu protect against the coronavirus.

This is a myth. Vaccines are a weakened version of the virus, injected into the human body to help your white blood cells develop virus-fighting capabilities more quickly. Our white blood cells distinguish one virus from another by tracking the antigen (basically the fingerprint of a virus) on its surface. As a result, the flu and pneumonia have a different antigens from the coronavirus; thus, their vaccines are effectively useless.

What you can do to protect yourself and others as per WHO guidelines:

1- Wash your hands using soap and water thoroughly and frequently, and if soap and water are not available, resort to an
alcohol-based scrub.

2- Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

3- When in public spaces, avoid touching of eyes, nose, or mouth.

4- Wear a mask ONLY if you are dealing with a person with suspected coronavirus symptoms.

5- Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing, and if a tissue is unavailable, resort to doing so into your elbow. Wash hands right afterwards .