Before I go into detail, a warning.
Have you ever played the game “Telephone?” Players form a line, and the first player comes up with a message and whispers it into the ear of the second person in the line. The second player repeats the message to the third player, and so on. When the last player is reached, they announce the message they heard to the entire group. The first person then compares the original message with the final version. Although the objective is to pass around the message without it becoming garbled along the way, part of the enjoyment is that, regardless, this usually ends up happening. Errors typically accumulate in the retellings, so the statement announced by the last player differs significantly from that of the first player, usually with amusing or humorous effect.
In this time where we are so interconnected through technology and social media, we are literally playing Telephone every day, and when what is being whispered is about health and disease, the resulting distorted messages can be dangerous. With that in mind, I would like to dispel some of the rumors and memes going around in relation to this virus. Below I’ve listed a bunch of them. Rather than going into great detail and making this post even longer than it already is, suffice it to say that all of the following have proven false:
- Gargling with salt water can flush out the virus.
- Ozone therapy cures coronavirus.
- The coronavirus will go away in the summer when it’s warm.
- Holding your breath can prevent you from getting it.
- The coronavirus lives in the throat. Drink lots of water so the virus is pushed into the stomach where the acid will kill it.
- Sucking in hot air in a sauna or with a blow dryer can kill the virus.
- Vitamins will give you immunity from the virus.
- The virus only affects old people.
- The thermal scanners at the airport will catch everyone with the coronavirus.
- You can get COVID-19 from your pet or give it to them.
- The virus came from people drinking bat soup.
- The virus is spreading quickly through gas pumps.
- Taking the anti-malarial medication Chloroquine can keep you from getting it.
- Drinking a bleach solution will cure the virus.
- If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds without discomfort, you’re fine.
- Wearing gloves can decrease your risk of catching the coronavirus.
Those are just a few, and there are and will be many more. In my opinion, spreading false information about a pandemic is akin to yelling, “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Before you pass along some meme that allegedly started with a noted pathologist or a doctor in Italy, fact check it. Simply Google the meme and put, “Is it true that…” at the beginning. Or check the Snopes website, https://www.snopes.com/collections/coronavirus-collection-memes/. Stomping out false information helps to stop the virus.
In my next article in the series, I will go into the individual recommendations in detail. In the meantime if you wish to contact me please leave a message below or contact me over here. To book an online consultation click below.
Adapted a from group file compiled by Jason Luban. Thank you!