Health and fitness is awash with information and misinformation at the best of times. It is going to a whole new level now, so let’s look at Coronavirus facts and myths.
We have known for a very long time that the world wide web, particularly since the proliferation of social media has become a double-edged sword. One blade cuts straight to the heart of valuable information, truth and expertise.
The other edge slices and dices the truth. It chops up and dismembers the facts on its way to reaching and being shared by millions. When this is tabloid-style rumour about a celebrity, it is wrong and facile but largely trivial.
When it is about the health of the nation and the planet – then it has the capacity to be devastating.
So let’s have a look at some of the misinformation that is pinging around the web. Some of it might be well-intentioned yet wrong, but plenty of it is deliberately ignorant of proven facts, conspiracy based and the worst kind of myth-pedaling.
It’s no exaggeration to say this information and the originators of it will kill people.
Coronavirus Facts and Myths
A. Homemade hand sanitiser gel.
These products are in global shortage and it is being promoted that you can make your own. You really can’t. Recipes that people are promoting are bad for the skin, based on surface cleaners.
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has stated that it does not believe a truly effective hand sanitser can be made from home with domestic products. Professor Sally Bloomfield pointed out the even vodka is only around 40% proof while proper sanitisers have an alcohol content of 60-70%.
Just wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with a good soap every couple of hours.
B. Mineral Cures
Blogger and YouTuber Jordan Sather has been denouncing and trouncing ‘big pharma’ whilst flagging up “miracle mineral supplement” MMS that will “wipe out” coronavirus. Not only that it will, according to Sather, destroy cancer. He clearly knows things the greatest medical minds and scientists do not. Or maybe he doesn’t…
Even before the Coronavirus outbreak the US FDA and other bodies around the world issued warnings about the health dangers of drinking MMS which contains a bleaching agent.
The FDA has stated it is “Not aware of any research showing that these products are safe or effective for treating any illness”.
C. Malarial Drugs
American President Donald Trump has been promoting the use of anti-malarial treatments – against the advice of his own senior medical advisors and the international medical community. Presumably this, as always, is to look good and powerful to his supporter base who swallow everything he says and does anyway – so my not a medicine?
Well they shouldn’t, because not only does it not work in this context, it comes with very real dangerous side-effects. In fact, within two days of Trump’s solo support for the medication, a man died as a direct result of taking in.
D. Drinkable Silver
Colloidal silver is tiny particles of the metal suspended in liquid. This gained traction when it was promoted on TV Evangelist Jim Bakker’s show. That fact alone though cast massive doubt on its veracity. But the Evangelical community in the USA is huge and easily led.
A guest on Bakker’s show stated that colloidal silver kills coronavirus in 12 hours.
Medical Freedom Facebook Groups promptly got behind it too – these are groups that are suspicious of mainstream medicine and quick to a conspiracy theory.
Fans claim it can be used for multiple treatments and boosts the immune system. The fact is, it is occasionally used on bandages to act as a mild antiseptic, but it is not safe to consume.
Health authorities have stade that there is nothing to show that it is effective for any health condition. It is also belives that oral consumption of it can lead to: kidney failure, seizures and argyria – a condition that turns your skin blue.
While this is always a good idea anyway for general health. The message that drinking water every 15 minutes will ‘flush’ the virus particles
Many Facebook accounts have been sharing information apparently from a supposed Japanese doctor who has been promoting this course of action.
Professor Trudie Lang from the University of Oxford stated, “There is no biological mechanism that supports the idea you can just wash a respiratory virus down into your stomach and kill it”.
Not in the case of Covi-19. If so, why would it be gaining traction in Africa, Australia and other very hot territories?
Drinking hot water, taking hot baths, or heating devices like hairdryers is pointless. So too is avoiding cold foods like ice cream.
Professor Bloomfield commented, “Heating your body or exposing it to the sun to make it inhospitable to the virus, is completely ineffective”.
He added, “Once the virus is in your body, there’s no way of killing it, your body just has to fight it off”.
It might work for vampires (although let’s face it, has this ever really been put to the test?!) but talk of it being a guard against Covid-19 is erroneous. The WHO (World Health Organisation) has said, “There’s no evidence that eating garlic can protect people from the new coronavirus”.
Garlic is a healthy food, as are vegetables and fruit and we should consume them anyway. But there is nothing to show they provide a specific barrier to Covid-19.
- Original source material BBC online