The media coverage of the coronavirus has made everyone extra careful in efforts to avoid contracting the disease. However, with the sensationalization of the virus, a lot of misinformation has spread on how to protect yourself. In trying to protect ourselves from the virus, we may be letting our fear take over our duty to actually understand the disease. Avoiding these common misconceptions can actually help you stay healthier.
1. Antibacterial sanitizer
It’s possible that your local Walmart has run out of antibacterial sanitizer. Even the sanitizers, wipes, and soaps on Amazon have run out of stock. Unfortunately for the poor soul who bought these in bulk, antibacterial sanitizer won’t work against the coronavirus because it’s a virus, not a bacteria. This is kind of like when doctors prescribe antibiotics to someone who’s sick from a virus. It’s better to wash your hands with soap for 30 seconds, or get alcohol-based hand sanitizer, which are more likely to kill the virus.
2. Wearing masks
People are buying surgical masks in bulk to protect themselves from the virus. Suppliers are profiting from the public health fear by selling these masks for exorbitant prices. These masks don’t actually prevent you from getting the virus, as they are designed for the person who has a respiratory illness to wear it to prevent it from spreading. Healthy people wearing masks does not do much for protection.
3. Young people can’t get the virus.
Most of the people who have died from the coronavirus are the elderly or people who had preexisting conditions. Young people are less likely to die from the virus, but this does not mean it does not affect us. For young people, the symptoms can be a lot milder to the point where you might not even know you have it, and just think you have a common cold. If you experience symptoms like coughing and fever, wear a protective mask just in case, because you don’t want to spread it to people who are more vulnerable.
Pandemics are scary and it’s easy to get caught up in our fear and protective efforts. But we can’t let paranoia get in the way of researching the virus ourselves. Remember to look at the sources you see online about the virus and learn about the virus to protect yourself and stay healthy.