Here are some myths about the coronavirus that are simply not true

coronavirus myths hoaxes
Photo via DENAN Production/Flickr (CC BY ND 2.0)

As the number of coronavirus cases has climbed during the two months of the COVID-19 pandemic, so have the number of conspiracy theories. Here are some of the most widespread coronavirus myths and hoaxes about the coronavirus.

  • Do not use bleach to disinfect your body: Despite the ruminations from some high-profile politicians, bleach and other disinfectants should not be used as protection against the virus. The substances can be poisonous when ingested, and they should only be used to clean household surfaces. 
  • 5G mobile networks are not spreading coronavirus: Conspiracy theorists have always run wild with 5G mobile networks, and this newest myth is no more true than the last. The coronavirus is spreading in regions that do not have 5G capability, and it’s not possible to spread the virus through radio waves or mobile networks. 
  • Hot weather isn’t going to save you: It seems unlikely that the upcoming summer in the Northern Hemisphere will have much of an effect on the virus. People contact the coronavirus in all types of climates and weather conditions, including in warm and sunny regions. You should not expose yourself to excessive amounts of sun in hopes of warding off the virus. 
  • Drinking a ton of booze won’t protect you: You can catch the coronavirus whether you’re drunk or sober. Alcohol will not clear out your system or kill the virus. Instead, excessive amounts of alcohol can be dangerous. 
  • Taking a hot bath won’t prevent you from catching the disease: A hot bath might help you relax during coronavirus lockdowns, but it won’t do anything to prevent you from contracting the virus. Some thought that by increasing their body’s internal temperature, they could kill off the virus. However, internal body temperature will stay about the same even in hot bathwater. 
  • Garlic will not repel the coronavirus: Although garlic does have a lot of great health benefits, like boosting the immune system, the vegetable has not been proven to fight off the coronavirus. That’s another coronavirus myth.
  • That cure or vaccine you found online has not been proved to work: Health experts have not yet found a cure or vaccine to the coronavirus. Website ads claiming to have the secret cure are hoaxes. The FBI is currently investigating about 3,600 coronavirus scams, many of which are for fake cures and vaccines. 
  • IRS-stimulus-payment scams: After the federal government announced that the IRS would send stimulus checks to help people manage the economic burden of the coronavirus, fake IRS websites began popping up. If you’re on websites that have coronavirus information, it’s important to look into who is behind the website, double-check the domain name, and avoid sending money in cash, wire transfer, or gift card. 
  • The flu vaccine won’t give you the coronavirus: Although some have said that you’re likely to contract COVID-19 if you’ve had a flu shot in the past 10 years, it’s not true. As noted by AFP, influenza viruses and coronaviruses have no relation to each other. Or as Dr. John Sanders, the chief of infectious diseases at Wake Forest Baptist Health, said, “I’m happy to say this is unsubstantiated rubbish.”
  • Wearing a face mask during the pandemic will not weaken your immune system: Medical professionals have been wearing masks at work since the Black Plague in the 17th century, and they effectively contain any respiratory droplets that the healthcare workers exhale. Which is how the virus can spread.

Sources: Department of Justice, World Health Organization, USA Today

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