Debunking Myths You Probably Should Never Have Believed

Student giving the thumbs up and holding bleach

A student incorrectly demonstrates enthusiasm for the idea of ingesting bleach / Photographer: Arla Sutton

Myth: the virus only affects older people.

Although the fatality rate is higher for older people, it can affect anyone. According to the World Health Organization, death is most common in those with respiratory problems, and a majority of people with these problems are older, so that is probably how this myth got started. People of all ages can be infected, so it is important to take steps to protect yourself and others from the virus.

Myth: consuming or injecting disinfectants could help fight COVID-19.

This is extremely dangerous, as many disinfectants such as methanol and bleach are poisons. Medical News Today stated that, “Applying alcohol or chlorine to the body can cause harm, especially if it enters the eyes or mouth.” Injecting or consuming disinfectants can lead to serious injury or death. They can be helpful with cleaning and it is encouraged to keep surfaces sanitary but one should never consume or inject them. If you do accidentally consume any sort of disinfectant, contact your local poison control center or call 911 immediately.

Myth: social distancing does not have much impact.

As stated by the CDC, COVID-19 spreads quickly through people in close contact. Even if you do not have symptoms of the virus it does not mean you are not a carrier, so it is extremely important you take measures to protect yourself and your community. You can be infected with COVID-19 for 14 days and not show any symptoms but still infect others. Social distancing limits the likelihood of infecting others and being infected. Even if you do not believe you are at risk of developing serious or fatal symptoms, it does not mean it is impossible. It is important to remember that your seemingly small actions can have big consequences for others.

Myth: eating garlic, adding pepper to your meals, or drinking alcohol can prevent or cure the virus.
The World Health Organization has confirmed that there is no scientific proof that adding pepper to your food does anything more than making it taste good. Although eating garlic does have other health benefits, it has also not been proven to cure or prevent COVID-19. On the WHO’s website it is also stated that alcohol should always be consumed in moderation, and drinking excessively can cause a variety of health problems. It should never be substituted for other safety precautions.