The world first went into a state of panic when we were initially hit by Covid-19 last year. This pandemic, the biggest we’ve seen in the last two centuries, has left us worried, confused, and grieving at the loss of loved ones. Induced with fear, we have been unable to wrap our heads around the ongoing situation. It is very easy to look for alternative opinions, sometimes even deny facts, or search hard for answers to explain how this dilemma has taken so much away from our daily lives.
Until medical professionals were able to pinpoint how Covid could be curbed, there was a lot of misinformation brewing in different pockets across the globe. When we’re looking for information to come to rational conclusions in our heads, it’s quite natural for us to question the many parallel developments, or even try to find solutions, especially since we didn’t have answers. Governments and organizations across the world have had to repeatedly make attempts to evade the spread of misinformation, but failed in many ways because connectivity through the internet has only made it easier for any information to spread – good or bad. Through mediums like the popular instant messaging application WhatsApp, we’ve got opinions on how Covid spreads and how it can be prevented. Lacking scientific backing in most cases, you and I definitely know people who’ve fallen for these kinds of messages.
Here are some of the most common myths about the spread and prevention of Covid-19, debunked!
1. Covid does not spread through mosquito bites
Diseases like malaria and dengue have caused major disruption across the world. Since the spread of Covid has been so rapid, many people would assume it is similar to the spread of such diseases, and can only come down to it being the mosquito’s fault! Well, no. Scientifically speaking, there is no research or data or evidence to prove this is spread by mosquitoes. Covid19 is a respiratory virus that mainly spreads via droplet transmission. According to WHO, this could when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or if there’s discharge through their nose.
2. 5G Radiation doesn’t cause Covid-19
While conspiracy theorists find it easy to blame the advancement of 5G technology the world over, there is no evidence to say that it is responsible for the spread of Covid. 5G uses radio frequency (RF) or radio waves to receive and transmit information. What’s even more important to note is countries that have not initiated 5G technology are also facing the severe brunt of the virus. So it would be impractical to say this was the reason.
3. Rinsing nose with saline doesn’t prevent Covid-19
There have been rumors that cleansing our respiratory tract, nose, or body can completely prevent the virus from having an effect on us, another untrue supposition. While there is more evidence to suggest nasal saline rinses could help one recover slightly quicker from a common cold, it does not qualify as a foolproof method to prevent Covid. Nor does eating excessive amounts of garlic or turmeric, while the former may have antimicrobial properties, and the latter is an immunity booster. No amount of unnecessary antibiotics can help either, since they work on bacteria and not viruses.
4. Covid-19 doesn’t spread through water
Again to be clear, Covid spreads through droplet transmission from an infected person. This could mean when an infected person touches a surface, or droplets from their sneeze or cough come in close contact with someone else. The only reason swimming pools have been restricted is because this can allow for crowds or close contact between too many people at a time, not because the virus is water-borne.
5. Consuming alcohol or smoking doesn’t prevent Covid-19
Alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking can only put your health at further risk. There is no evidence to prove either of these can prevent Covid, but in fact, could make you more susceptible to falling ill because of immunity problems. Cigarette smoking also weakens your lungs, so it could only add complications, but definitely not prevent the virus.
While many countries have managed to curb the spread of Covid-19 and slowly transitioned into vaccinations, India succumbed to its second wave, which devastatingly hit a new single-day record of 4,08,323 cases on 30th April 2021. Epidemiologists suggest there may be an even higher record to hit mid-May, and while precautionary measures are being attempted, the massive population has overwhelmed, and shaken healthcare systems to the core.
It is important to always look for information in the right places. Making sure this information is verified makes it easier for us to curb the spread of this virus. We pray for all our family and friends in India, wishing them the best, and only safety from this virus.
Information gathered from the World Health Organization (WHO) website.