Panic-Inducing Things You’re Hearing About Coronavirus (That Are Total B.S.)
The coronavirus isn't even as old as the milk in some people's fridges, and already it's among the top three sources of everyday panic on the internet. And predictably, the whole subject was immediately infested with half-truths, disinformation, and 110% bullshit lies. We can't have nice things, and we can't have terrible things either. The result is that the media and government have had to spend time disavowing myths that should never have gotten started in the first place. Like how ...
It Doesn't Have Anything To Do With The Beer
Shortly after word of the coronavirus hit the news via imagery right out of a zombie outbreak movie (biohazard suits, quarantines in China), everyone went to Google to find out if they were going to die. Those people, having heard something that sounded like "corona virus" thought, "What, like the beer?" Thus Google Trends immediately showed people searching for "beer virus" and "corona beer virus" as knowledge of the disease spread.
Whether people thought Corona was the cause or the cure is anyone's guess, but I suppose it doesn't matter.
Drinking Bleach Does Not Treat The Virus
Bleach is awesome for helping you clean shit spackle off the toilet and getting your whites the whitest. Never in the history of ever has bleach been a thing you should put inside your body. Yet a curiously popular load of horseshit has been touting something called the Miracle Mineral Solution as a treatment for coronavirus.
Dinguses on Twitter and YouTube have been claiming that downing a shot of the solution will kill the virus dead, while neglecting to mention that it's bleach, and will cause things like liver failure if you drink it. Yes, you can use bleach solutions to potentially kill some strains of viruses off surfaces, but those surfaces don't include anything in or around your orifices. Don't drink bleach, kids.
Related: 6 Common Myths About Healthy Eating You Probably Believe
Neither Will A Whole Pile Of Equally Stupid "Cures"
On February 4, 2020, the World Health Organization had to tweet that there is no evidence that garlic has protected anyone from the coronavirus. After much rigorous scientific investigation, it has been determined that the virus is not Count Dracula. While garlic certainly has its health benefits (it can help lower your blood pressure, for instance), it does not, nor has it ever, cured or prevented a disease. Because it's garlic.
We've all heard about how taking this or that herb might help treat some condition, but would you seriously put your actual life in the hands of mulberries if someone told you they could heal gunshot wounds? Any herbal remedy for a condition at best will help alleviate some symptoms, and probably only after extensive use over weeks or months. Popping a loaf of garlic toast under the broiler and hoping it protects you is probably just going to ensure that your corpse smells like an Olive Garden.
Meanwhile, a leader of a political party in India (Swami Chakrapani Maharaj of Hindu Mahasabha) suggests that you can protect yourself from coronavirus by rubbing cow shit on yourself. Almost as bad, the Indian government has recommended homeopathic treatments (that is, magic elixirs that contain no active ingredient), and advised citizens to do things like plant a drop of sesame oil in each nostril as a preventative. The best thing I can say about any of those is that they're mostly harmless compared to the bleach thing. But they also give a completely false sense of security to anyone who may actually encounter the virus.
Don't Get Your News From A Video Game
If you've never heard of the game Plague Inc., the point is to create and spread a pathogen with the goal of destroying the world. It sees a spike in popularity every single time an epidemic breaks out in the real world. People will simulate it in the game, then go online talking about how this predicts some dire result for humanity. On January 24, 2020, the game company's website went down as a surge of new players came online to try to simulate the new virus. (The same thing happened when Ebola was making headlines a few years prior.)
The game's makers, Ndemic, have actually had to release a statement letting everyone know that you shouldn't be using the game to learn about or understand the coronavirus, because that's just not how reality works. Nobody queues up Super Mario Bros. when they have a plumbing problem, so it's probably best not to get your disease management information from a game that was created to help you murder 7 billion fictional people with a pretend disease.
Don't Bother With Dog Masks
As far as we currently know, the coronavirus was first spread at an outdoor market in Wuhan, China. There were fish and other animals present, but that doesn't necessarily mean animals are the source of the disease, any more than the market itself may have been. Despite that, some people have gotten it into their heads that animals are going to get us all killed, so maybe the best thing to do is slap a face mask on Rover and hope he's not patient zero at the dog park.
Companies that make respiratory masks for dogs not only exist, but are now selling out their inventory thanks to the coronavirus. The masks are hot items in both China and the U.S., even though dogs don't seem to be able to contract this virus. When you take into account the fact that surgical masks won't do anything to prevent you from catching this, it makes this even sillier.
Related: 5 BS Health Myths People Still Believe (Thanks To One Guy)
Moistening Your Throat Won't Save You
When it comes to medical advice, if you can't trust stand-up comedian Sinbad, then who can you trust? Looks like no one, because I saw Sinbad sharing this bullshit on Twitter.
It claims to be a warning from the "ministry of health." Which one? No time to tell you, or even spellcheck the memo! You need to drink water urgently so that your throat gets moist, because that's the bane of coronavirus. A moist throat. Also avoid spicy or fried foods, because reasons! Snopes was kind enough to point out all the ways this warning is as useful as a duffel bag full of possums.
Oh, and if you want some legit instructions on what to do about the coronavirus, the CDC has this advice:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay home if you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Yeah, it turns out the right answers are usually the most boring ones.
For more, check out 3 Ways The Modern Work Place Is Designed To Make You Sick:
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