Dispelling COVID-19 Myths and Rumors

Posted on Apr 23, 2020 in Scroll Images, Wellness & Integrative Health

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, so do the fears associated with contracting it. We are all looking for ways to stay safe in these uncertain times, which is why now more than ever, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to listen to medical experts.

“There are a lot of things that are still unknown about this coronavirus. What is known at this time is that COVID-19 illnesses have ranged from mild (with no reported symptoms in some cases) to severe, including illness resulting in death,” says Alexander Lam, M.D., director of emergency services at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) in San Francisco, part of Sutter’s not-for-profit integrated network of care.

“We do not have a vaccine and certain things about the virus (i.e. asymptomatic carriers, transmissible before symptoms develop, surviving on different surfaces) make the virus particularly adept at passing from person to person,” says Dr. Lam.

Here are some of the seemingly innocent myths that have recently taken root in the rumor mill. Please be aware that they are all untrue.

  • Drinking lots of water will kill COVID-19.
    • Stay hydrated, of course, but hydration alone offers no protection against viruses.
  • Taking antibiotics will kill COVID-19.
    • This is an important distinction that confuses many people: antibiotics kill bacteria and are not effective against viruses. COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is a virus.
  • A daily vitamin C supplement, essential oils, colloidal silver soap, sesame oil, garlic, and/or fish tank cleaner will all protect you from the virus.
    • None of these has shown to be effective against COVID-19.
  • Vacationing in a warm climate helps avoid infection.
    • COVID-19 can live and thrive in both cold and warm climates, as witnessed by the many locations across the globe experiencing a breakout.
  • Holding one’s breath for 10 seconds without coughing will prove you don’t have COVID-19.
    • This inaccurate statement was initially attributed to a hospital tweet (!). There is no medical evidence that this is true.
  • Consuming alcohol will kill the coronavirus.
    • Drinking alcohol excessively in any situation is never a good idea. Overconsumption also weakens the immune system.

“The greatest weapons we have at this time for keeping people safe are social distancing, hand washing, not touching your face, and following recommendations to stay at home.”

Now is the time to educate yourself on COVID-19. Here are several online resources for accurate information.

California Department of Public Health (CDPH)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

World Health Organization (WHO)

“We understand how difficult a time this is for everyone but hang in there. The choices you make today will affect our ability to care for the community in the future. Together we will beat coronavirus,” exclaims Dr. Lam.

If you are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, a good place to start is by scheduling a video visit via Sutter’s My Health Online or calling 1-866-978-8837.

Posted by on Apr 23, 2020 in Scroll Images, Wellness & Integrative Health | Comments Off on Dispelling COVID-19 Myths and Rumors