Ever since the beginning of the pandemic there has been a barrage of misinformation out there on social media, which gets circulated among people, who forward to it their friends and colleagues without actually verifying the information.
This has become a huge problem in contributing to the fear that we see in people when it comes to this virus. Every day there is some new information about the rules, restrictions , prevention, cures, and whatnot.
This is why I decided to dedicate this entire post about debunking some of the popular myths out there which I have seen circulating around among the masses.
Let’s get started
MYTH: Does Drinking hot water strengthen your immunity?
The answer to that is NO. Stop drinking hot water as if it’s going to create wonders once you drink it. If you like drinking warm water, by all means, drink it.
But keep in mind, it does little to nothing when it comes to building a strong immune system.
Hot water is much better suited when you are sick, for example, when you have discomfort in your throat, fever, runny nose, cough.
Your body needs to increase the temperature on the inside in order to fight off any bacteria or virus which may have infected you, and when it increases its temperature that causes fever.
Hence drinking hot water is recommended to aid the body to fight off the infection when you are sick. There is no evidence that drinking hot water can prevent you from catching the virus
MYTH: Does drinking Immune booster drinks every day prevent you from getting sick?
Is drinking immune boosting drinks a bad thing? No, Is the expectation of it too much? Absolutely!
I am not saying immune-boosting drinks or supplements are not beneficial. but you have to understand what it does once you consume it and how your body breaks down those ingredients.
You cannot strengthen your immune system by simply drinking a drink filled with herbs or spices drink every day. Our body doesn’t work that way.
If it was so easy to prevent getting sick, We wouldn’t be undergoing a Global Pandemic right now.
Let’s say, for example, our immune system is one Big Pie. Hence Drinking health drinks or taking immune-boosting supplements is just one small piece of the whole thing.
It is absolutely essential that you compliment it with Exercise, the right amount of sleep, and taking care of your Mental health.
When you do all these things the right way eventually you fortify your overall health.
MYTH: Are the COVID positive reports all a big scam?
The answer to this question is No, could some of the positive reports have been faked for profit by certain organizations? Yes, it’s possible, There are good and bad people everywhere, There are people who look at a crisis as their moment to strike and take advantage of it.
However, if you understand the nature of this virus, its a respiratory disease, hence its spread through aerosol droplets which is released from the nasal – pharynx. It does not take much for it to spread onto others especially if you live together with your family in a constricted space like an apartment.
Hence it is not that hard for a person who was in contact with someone else who had the virus first to get a positive result in his/her swab analysis.
So yes, some people do take advantage but it would be absurd if the whole world is faking their positive numbers and creating a crisis out of nothing. The hospitals wouldn’t be getting overwhelmed as it did in many countries if the numbers were being faked.
FACT: No matter the amount of precaution, you CAN still get sick.
Now, What do I mean with this?, I don’t intend to scare anyone, What I mean is, if and when if you do contract the virus, there is no need to get down on yourself, analyzing where you made mistakes or what food or which vitamins or how many more special herb and spices drink or hot water you should have drunk.
Don’t worry about any of that. You can be the fittest person on the planet, yet if you come in contact with a person carrying the virus, it’s highly likely that you will get infected as well. Even if you are wearing a mask, and keeping your distance, there will be those moments where you don’t know what you touched or who you came in contact with.
Contracting the virus is not the end of the story, What’s more important is how you recover from it. That’s where your hot water and immune boosters play a better role as compared to the prevention of the disease.
Let’s get one thing straight, Many people who contract the disease recover from it pretty quickly, they get mild symptoms at most, some even don’t get any at all, or they don’t notice it because it’s not strong enough to cause any interference in their daily life.
By having said that there are also a number of people who can have an extremely unpleasant and long journey to recover.
We are witnessing a lot of people dying all over the world and it is scary to see the number of people succumbing to the virus. But you see most of those people had an underlying disease such as diabetes or hypertension, Obesity, or some other kind of metabolic disease.
It doesn’t mean that a young and healthy person should be careless, Keep in mind, even if you wont get extremely sick, you can still inadvertently infect someone else, who may be someone’s grandfather or a person suffering from a chronic illness with a weak immune system.
And for a person like that, this can potentially be life threatening, hence we must be mindful and emphatic towards fellow humans and do our best with wearing a mask and keeping our distance as much as possible while in a crowded setting.
That means their immune system is already so comprised because of their condition that when the body is invaded by a pathogen like COVID. it puts the immune system under immense pressure which makes it harder for the body to fight off the damage created by the infection.
FACT: Drinking alcohol doesn’t prevent nor cure you of the virus
Alcohol consumption is correlated with metabolic diseases like diabetes. In fact, it can make your condition worse if it is not consumed in a moderated manner.
FACT: Stop believing everything you read on social media
In my opinion, the so-called “Whatsapp University” is causing a great deal of anxiety among people. You see when you share something without verifying the authenticity of the information, it can spread like wildfire which it does.
Let’s say you share something in a Whatsapp group which you are part of. All the active members will read it, Many will share it on the other groups they are included in. Because well, Why not right?
My point is if you want to share medical advice about something, which you don’t know a great deal about, Don’t do it.
Whenever you read a forwarded message, verify it, before hitting the share button. Although I fail to understand the obsession with forwarding messages in every group. I mean what’s the point?
When you get a forwarded message regarding medical advice, COVID related, information, Ask that person, what qualifies him/her to recommend home remedies, treatment, a cure to beat COVID. Most likely it’s just another unverified forwarded message.
Each person has a responsibility, whether you can be part of the problem by spreading misinformation by adding fuel to the fire, or you can stop the chain with you.
Fact: You must not Self Medicate if you are sick
Especially in the context of this virus, if you notice any symptoms like fever or cough, do not rely on anecdotal evidence, and take a fever medicine based on a recommendation from someone who is not a medical professional.
When the body is invaded by a pathogen like COVID, it increases its temperature to fight off the virus, If you keep taking that fever medicine to bring your temperature down, the fever may go down as long as the medicine is still in the bloodstream. But it most likely will come back once the medicine wears off.
Now, I am not talking about paracetamol or crocin, i am talking about those drugs which have heavy side effects, which weakens the body making the person completely lethargic.
So always consult with your doctor first before taking any medicines, because you don’t know how that drug may react to this particular virus. it might end up making the symptoms worse.
3 steps to avoid misinformation
1) Pick two or three reliable sources to get your updates about the virus, like the WHO, CDC, or the ones set up by your government.
These are reliable sources because its run by professionals and experts on viruses and diseases, who do their thorough research and trials before putting it out for the public.
2) Avoid reading articles sent to you on Social media and WhatsApp groups about the virus “But What if they are really important?!!”
Doesn’t matter. If you follow step number 1. you are getting all you the information you need. Ask yourself, When was the last time you regretted not reading an article you received from your WhatsApp groups? it’s mostly the opposite.
3) Limit talking about the virus itself with the family members to not get overwhelmed. Why?, When you indulge yourself in a discussion about the current crisis with others.
the person you are talking to most likely will share an update about the number of “cases” found in his/her vicinity, incidents of someone’s inflated hospital bills, or the number of deaths.
This will further create a sense of uncertainty, and you would be tempted to share that information with some other relative and on it goes.
If someone is keen on discussing it, let them know you would rather talk about something else.