- You can tell when someone is infected
This is incorrect. Most of the cases of coronavirus are asymptomatic i.e. they do not show the symptoms of the disease. As a result, it is very difficult to tell whether someone is infected or not. Furthermore, one in five people do not even develop a cough.
- Taking a hot bath or going out in the sun can cure the illness
This is not true. The World Health Organization (WHO) has specifically debunked this myth as well. “Exposing yourself to the sun or temperatures higher than 25 degree Celsius does not prevent or cure COVID-19.”
- Antibiotics can be used against Coronavirus
Antibiotics cannot work against the novel coronavirus. This is because antibiotics work against bacteria, and not viruses. As the name suggests, Coronavirus is a virus. Therefore, antibiotics are useless against it.
- Thermal scanners are effective ways to detect if someone is infected
Thermal scanners cannot detect if someone is infected with COVID-19. The WHO says that “Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature). They cannot detect people who are infected with COVID-19. There are many causes of fever.”
- The virus was created by someone deliberately
This is among the many conspiracy theories circulating around social media and other blogs. Some blame a lab in China while others blame the US military. However, there is evidence to date that suggests this to be true. All available evidence suggests the virus mutated and jumped into humans naturally. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “Viruses can change over time. Occasionally, a disease outbreak happens when a virus that is common in an animal such as a pig, bat or bird undergoes changes and passes to humans. This is likely how the new coronavirus came to be.”
- You can never recover from coronavirus
This is also not true as most people who are infected end up with only mild symptoms. Furthermore, a vast majority of the people also recover from the illness. This is another one of those dangerous myths that create panic.
- Injecting or rubbing bleach, disinfectants, or alcohol can cure you
This is also false. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “These products are highly toxic and should never be swallowed or injected into the body.” Furthermore, it advises to “Never attempt to self-treat or prevent COVID-19 by rubbing or bathing with bleach, disinfectants or rubbing alcohol anywhere on your body. Effective hand sanitizers do have alcohol, but they are formulated to be safe for use on hands.”
- Drugs that cure the infection are already available
There is currently no known vaccine or drug available that can cure or prevent the infection. “There is no vaccine for the new coronavirus right now. Scientists have already begun working on one, but developing a vaccine that is safe and effective in human beings will take many months,” the Johns Hopkins Medicine states.
- Consuming alcohol can help you in recovery
This is completely false. According to WHO, “The harmful use of alcohol increases your risk of health problems.”
- Consuming garlic or pepper can cure you
The belief that garlic can cure you is common in many Asian countries such as India and Pakistan. However, according to the Agha Khan University, “Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.” Similarly, the WHO states that Hot peppers in your food, though very tasty, cannot prevent or cure COVID-19”.
- Houseflies and mosquitos can transmit the virus
The WHO answered this question by stating that “To date, there is no evidence or information to suggest that the COVID-19 virus transmitted through houseflies. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs sneezes or speaks. To date there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes.”
- Drinking methanol or ethanol can prevent on cure
Many people are of the belief that consuming methanol, bleach or ethanol can help in prevention and cure. However, this is completely false. The WHO says that “Methanol, ethanol, and bleach are poisons. Drinking them can lead to disability and death. Methanol, ethanol, and bleach are sometimes used in cleaning products to kill the virus on surfaces – however you should never drink them. They will not kill the virus in your body and they will harm your internal organs.”
- 5G networks are spreading the disease
5G networks have nothing to do with COVID-19. This is because viruses do not travel via radio waves. As the WHO explains, “Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks.”
- Hot and humid areas are safe from the virus
Hot and humid areas are not safe from the virus. This is because many of the countries now experiencing a rise in the number of infections have a hot and humid climate. In short, this belief is another myth.
- Rinsing nose with saline water can prevent infection
The WHO answered this question by stating that “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.”
- Only older people get infected
This is not true. While older people are more likely to develop serious health complications because of pre-existing health problems, this does not mean that younger people cannot be infected.
- Hydroxychloroquine can cure the infection
This belief is more common in the United States. This is because US President Donald Trump has promoted it as a cure. The WHO sternly warned against this by stating that “While several drug trials are ongoing, there is currently no proof that hydroxychloroquine or any other drug can cure or prevent COVID-19. The misuse of hydroxychloroquine can cause serious side effects and illness and even lead to death.”
- Bill Gates is using the virus to introduce chips into our bodies
This is among the most famous conspiracy theories doing rounds on the internet. That Bill Gates is using the virus to develop a vaccine that can then be used to introduce microchips inside our bodies. However, there is no available evidence that this is true. Besides, most people carry mobile phones that carry detailed information about their lives.
- Coronavirus is a biological weapon
There is no evidence that the virus was designed by anyone. Since the virus mutated and jumped to humans naturally, no one had the intention of using it as a biological weapon. In short, this is completely false.
- The virus was invented to keep people away from religion
There is no available evidence that the virus was specifically designed by anyone for any purpose. Furthermore, all areas of our daily lives have been affected by the pandemic and religious worship is one example of that. The sooner we recover from this, the sooner we can continue to offer congregational prayers or visit holy sites.