COVID-19 has caused the whole world to panic, simply because as humans, we're often scared of the unknown. Without proper information we become gullible, and what's making it worse is the incredibly hyperactive social media with its chockfull of pranksters spreading fake news.
Misinformation has become a massive problem IN this digital-reliant generation. As millions of people fall victim to the current health crisis, misleading posts are only making things worse. This so-called pseudo-infodemic has produced some hilarious posts, but this hilarity comes with danger as it could physically harm the most gullible.
In a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, it's been found that among those whose source of COVID-19 information is social media, more than 57% reported that they have seen posts that "seemed completely made up." Some misinformation is just borderline incredible, but that's where the whole problem starts -- a lot of people believe them. Let's bust some myths, shall we?
Firstly, it's wrong to believe that the coronavirus cannot thrive in high humidity and hot temperatures. While it's true that viruses typically have ideal conditions in which they multiply and spread faster, this does not mean that those living in hot countries are immune to the disease.
Take the Philippines for example, a country frequented by Westerners due to its hot climate. As of Wednesday, COVID-19 cases have jumped to 636 with a death toll of 38. FYI, it's summer in the country right now.
Another misconception concerns flu and pneumonia vaccines, which some people believe are cures for the coronavirus disease. The truth is, scientists haven't found an effective way to prevent COVID-19 yet, sadly. However, they are working their hardest and it's possible we'll have a vaccine available about a year from now.
It's imperative, however, to take flu shots. Anti-vaxxers, sit down.
Social media has also amassed posts indicating that drinking hot water can flush down the virus from the throat. Folks, there's no truth to this. While keeping yourself hydrated has health benefits, drinking hot water to combat the virus doesn't do anything. You'll end up burning the tissues in your throat though, for sure.
Perhaps the saddest thing about COVID-19 misinformation is that people are turning their backs and withdrawing their hands from anything made or coming from China. That's just ridiculous. While it's true that viruses can survive on surfaces, a package coming from China, even when contaminated, will not kill you when it arrives at your house. The virus could not have survived the long trip from wherever it came. However, hand hygiene has always been a good practice, so yes, do wash your hands all the time. Goodness knows where they've been.
So everybody, always fact-check, and only trust health organizations and reliable news outlets when it comes to coronavirus information.