The COVID-19 pandemic has created a seemingly endless list of tips to follow to stay safe, but there are just as many mistruths and myths about coronavirus out there. Washing one’s hands and limiting contact with as many people as possible (AKA social distancing) are still the best ways to both stay healthy and not spread the virus. But a stubborn amount of misinformation is spreading just as vast as COVID-19 itself.
To help you stay educated, the World Health Organization (WHO) and numerous other reputable medical institutions, such as Johns Hopkins Medicine, are debunking the myths surrounding COVID-19. Here are the seven biggest ones you need to stop believing.
There is no vaccine for the coronavirus currently available. According to the experts at Johns Hopkins: “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.”
COVID-19 is mainly spread through liquid droplets. So while it’s technically possible that a product ordered from China could house a virus-infected bit of liquid, the odds of that happening are almost impossible. According to Johns Hopkins, “Scientists note that most viruses like this one do not stay alive for very long on surfaces, so it is not likely you would get COVID-19 from a package that was in transit for days or weeks.” So good news: There’s no need to change your online shopping habits!
Surgical masks are helpful for those who may be compromised or exposed to COVID-19. However, masks don’t limit the contraction of coronavirus. “Since the virus is transmitted as droplets, it is currently not recommended to need to use standard face masks or surgical face masks, or N95 masks,” Taylor Graber, MD, a resident anesthesiologist at the University of California San Diego Medical School previously told Best Life. “Good hand hygiene and washing is sufficient.”
In fact, the surge of surgical mask purchases has created a dangerous shortage for medical professionals who critically need them. So unless you are a doctor, you have COVID-19, or you have a compromised immune system, please don’t waste very valuable surgical masks!