COVID-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus, is a new virus that’s been getting a lot of media coverage recently. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) formally categorized it as a pandemic.
In America and around the world, people have to work from home, some businesses have had to close their doors, and many people are uncertain about the future.
If you’re one of those people, you can try to keep yourself prepared for any future changes by educating yourself on some of the myths and facts surrounding the virus:
Myth: It’s Not Safe to Go Outside
Fact: In general, it’s safe to go outside if you’re on your own. The virus that causes COVID-19 isn’t able to stay airborne for very long. It only becomes airborne if it gets aerosolized, which typically only happens through coughing and sneezing.
That means if you need to take a walk around your block or you want to go to a nearby park, you can probably do so safely. However, in the interest of social distancing, just try to stay at least six feet away from anyone else you see.
Myth: You Should Wear a Mask If You’re Healthy
Fact: Masks don’t typically help you to avoid contracting COVID-19. Some medical professionals may wear specially-made masks that catch around 95% of airborne pathogens, but that’s not the same as the masks you’ll find on supermarket shelves.
A mask can help you to stop any aerosolizing germs if you cough or sneeze. In other words, a mask can reduce the wearer’s chance of infecting others. You should only wear a mask if you’re sick or you’re in contact with high-risk populations like elderly and immuno-suppressed individuals.
Myth: You Can Only Get Sick If You’ve Been to an Affected Area
Fact: Community spread is a very real thing in the United States now. Although previously it was mostly a concern for people who had recently been to a highly affected area, like China or Italy, it’s now considered to be part of the wider spread of illnesses in the United States.
You’re only at high risk if you’re in contact with someone who has COVID-19 or carries COVID-19, although it’s still difficult to say who all those individuals are at this point. That means you should treat every person as a potential carrier.
Myth: You Should Go to the Doctor If You Feel Sick
Fact: Right now, doctors and hospitals are fairly overwhelmed. It’s best to let them use their time, energy and resources helping people who have dangerous symptoms that could constitute a serious threat to their health.
If you have symptoms more akin to a mild or moderate cold and you’re not in a high-risk group, you should probably just stay home and monitor yourself. Anyone who’s worried can just call their doctor to ask about symptoms.
Myth: You’ll Know If You Have COVID-19
Fact: It’s possible that around 20% of all people who carry the virus responsible for COVID-19 have absolutely no symptoms. That doesn’t include people with mild symptoms, who might attribute symptoms to allergies or the common cold.
Unless you’re tested for it, there’s no real way to “know” if you have COVID-19. In the meantime, you should treat social distancing seriously and stay home even if you feel fine. You never know who you might pass the virus onto if you don’t.
Myth: There’s a Cure for COVID-19 On the American Market
Fact: As of right now, there’s no approved antiviral cure for COVID-19 on the American market. Neither is there a vaccine. Some other countries have either developed cures or started work on cures, but they’re not publicly available in the United States.
If you’re going to purchase products that purport to “cure” or “help with” COVID-19 symptoms, you should try to make sure you’re not being scammed by checking those companies out with PeopleFinders. When you use PeopleFinders, you can more easily check for frauds and scams of any type.
For example, do you know who’s actually selling these products? Using the phone number available on the website, you can perform a reverse phone lookup to try and verify that the people behind that phone number are the people they actually claim to be.
It’s easy to panic and worry about your future as the COVID-19 crisis continues. However, while there are a lot of questions and a lot of worries to deal with, you should also think carefully before spreading misinformation. If you want to combat scams and fraud, use PeopleFinders.
The PeopleFinders blog is also available with information to help your family stay safe during this difficult time. This is the second in a series of articles about the coronavirus.
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