Myth: Coronavirus is the most dangerous virus on the planet
False, false, false. According to Len Horovitz, MD, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, more than 80 percent of those infected with the virus will recover without problems. “Not every COVID-19 patient has to go to the hospital either,” Dr. Horovitz says. “Many recover on their own at home.”
However, most people go to the hospital because they show symptoms like shortness of breath or severe dehydration. “Most people will get better at home on their own, but you can be in for a long course of illness that lasts several weeks.”
Myth: This is a virus that only affects the elderly
Peter Gulick, a professor of medicine at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in East Lansing, Michigan wants to put an end to this myth once and for all, as it couldn’t be more false.
Coronavirus can infect and kill people of all ages. “Older people over age 65 are at higher risk of getting severely ill and dying, but we are all at risk of getting the disease regardless of age,” says Gulick.
Myth: Coronavirus originated from drinking “bat soup”
According to Terry Adirim, MD, a professor of pediatrics and senior associate dean for clinical affairs at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, there’s no evidence to demonstrate the information, that’s why this one is a myth as well.
Nonetheless, coronavirus can be found in bats but Dr. Adirim states that it would be impossible to be passed from bats to humans, not without something that links this jump.
Additionally, as the National Institutes of Health has discovered, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV (the two other related viruses) also came from bats.
In 2003 there was the SARS-CoV virus that caused the SARS outbreak which spread from civets (a small, lean, mostly nocturnal mammal) to people, followed by the MERS-CoV virus that caused the MERS outbreak back in 2012, which spread from infected camels to humans.
Myth: Wearing a face mask protects you entirely from COVID-19
Dr. Horovitz considers this a tricky one. Usually, a mask’s purpose is to protect others, more than it is to protect yourself from the virus. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be wearing one.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges people to always cover their face and nose with a face covering when social distancing measures are impossible to maintain.
Additionally, the CDC also explained that the N95 medical-grade respirator masks, which indeed protect against viruses, should be reserved for healthcare providers who need it more than you do, as they’re putting their health and their lives at risk every day.
“If you are near someone who sneezes, a face covering will reduce some exposure to droplets. It’s not an N95. It is better than nothing,” says Dr. Horovitz.