Wednesday, August 4, 2021
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People needs to understand the difference between myths, facts and forwards – Coronavirus

The moment news reports about the Coronavirus epidemic came floating in, the social media got hyper active not only that but the text messages, emails, WhatsApp posts about imaginary testing and prevention techniques so much so that the local remedies of using cow urine to cow dung was in circulation. You’ve probably seen them yourself: surefire ways to determine if you have the disease or simple tricks to avoid getting it. And while some of the advice is easy to spot as false and disregard, other suggestions sound plausible. It can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. There are many imaginary stories and advices from all sides that is doing dangerous spread across people. But no one is talking about the myths spread across. Coronavirus folklores that are being conceded around are not in human interest, as a civilised society member, you need to be very cautious about such meaningless forwards.

Next time, if you receive such forwards, you just have to delete it without reading. While we’re hoping that Coronavirus tests become more available, as of now, they’re not, because India does not have such infrastructure and facilities largely available. And even once they are more widespread, according to health ministry that probably won’t mean everyone who wants to get tested will make that call. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, “Clinicians should use their judgement to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms companionable with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested. If you think you may have been exposed to or infected with COVID-19, the CDC advises calling your healthcare provider for advice.

The second most important thing, the import and export form various countries just on halt assuming that the consignment may carry virus along with it but in reality, the chances of contracting Coronavirus from courier are very slim although it’s hypothetically possible but it’s virtually impossible for the virus to survive when it’s in transit. You may want to avoid ordering non-essential items through the mail right now, but that’s more to lighten the burden you’re placing on people like delivery drivers not because the packages themselves could be carrying the virus. Meanwhile, if the virus is that dangerous, imagine those who travelled to India from Corona affected countries, the travellers are quarantined but not their luggage or belongings. Those things are handed over to the family members immediately after their admission to hospitals. Even when you return from a foreign tour, the traveller (passenger) undergoes the health scan but not his belongings or luggage. If they can’t be infected, how can your courier or mail be? Both travelling from same zone to similar destinations. Precaution is better remedy but propaganda is threat.

Many people are circulating advisory that the consumption of turmeric and milk is another remedy to kill the virus, some say chanting particular mantras can prevent Coronavirus in the era where religious places are quarantined, how can something prevent you from virus if you do not adopt to prevention methods. As chanting cannot help, even bathing in sun also is not a preventive measure. Heat can kill the disease, but that fact is often misconstrued because only extreme heat which is beyond your tolerance may help but heat in your everyday normal life won’t kill Coronavirus. So, there is no point in sitting in broad day sunlight and soak yourself, you might get dehydrated or pigmented. Both the symptoms are not healthy for human lives.

Hospitals and medical facilities use that kind of heat in the hundreds of degrees Fahrenheit to clean their medical instruments to disinfect and kill viruses. Or sterilise their equipment but things like taking a hot shower or bath, sipping hot tea or just being in warm weather won’t kill COVID-19. Another misconception is that Coronavirus will stall out when it’s warmer out, this is the case with the regular flu which thrives in cold, dry conditions such as winter weather and tends to die out when it’s hot and muggy. But it’s too early to tell if that will be the case for Coronavirus as well. What’s more, since the disease is spreading in hotter climates including Singapore and Australia, there’s reason to believe warmer weather won’t be enough to stop it in its tracks.

Now let’s look at the usage of face masks, we assume that they offer some protection but aren’t recommended for healthy people. Face masks are generally used to prevent the spread of airborne viruses which COVID-19 is not airborne. Coronavirus spreads from person-to-person via respiratory droplets that are produced when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC. Surgical masks can be useful in theory but not those random masks getting sold across. If someone has to sneeze, and there was a drip, it could protect your face from that droplet. But Coronavirus may enter through other areas like your eyes especially if you touch your face. They may act as a reminder to avoid doing that, though. Still, the benefits aren’t so big that wearing a face mask is recommended. In fact, if you’re healthy, the CDC wants you to steer clear of them. They say to only wear one if a healthcare professional recommends it or if you’re a health worker. Sick people should don face masks, though. They can contain those respiratory droplets that could go on to infect others. Beyond this, drinking water won’t stop you from getting sick. Don’t believe that drinking water continuously will prevent you from Coronavirus. Rather, it will bloat your tummy by leaving you uneasy. While staying hydrated can keep your body healthy, drinking water beyond required limits may get you in trouble.

Any age, any colour and anybody can get COVID-19 — and they can definitely spread it around. Kids can also get Coronavirus and they may even be the biggest source of spread because they’re all over the place and they tend to be handy. No drugs or dopes or liquors can kill Coronavirus, at the same time eating non-vegetarian food can’t get you the virus infections. Maybe it’s not a huge surprise that people wanted to believe this one. After all, we’re all cooped up inside. We’re looking for something to take our minds off the stress of social distancing. If you’re worried about your cat or dog spreading Coronavirus, you can rest easy, currently, there is no evidence that pets such as dogs and cats have infected humans. At such a crucial time, one needs to be protective and alert but not extreme with illusionary forwards. We as a society need to be calm and not panic. Unless and until you don’t stop spreading gossips spread by others, no one can treat your mental illness, Corona is a far thing.

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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