The myths and realities surrounding COVID-19

Rachel Fleagle, Staff Writer

Countless information has been released about the coronavirus. Wondering what to believe? Check out five popular myths and the facts that disprove them.

Myth 1: Only people with symptoms are contagious.

Fact: If someone is a carrier, they are contagious before – if ever – developing symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some people remain asymptomatic, spreading the virus even though they do not show signs. Harvard Medical School found that the virus is often spread several days before symptoms emerge.

Myth 2: Pets and other animals can spread COVID-19.

Fact: The United States Food and Drug Administration says pets are not likely to transmit the coronavirus. This stance includes someone touching the animals’ fur or hair. While the CDC explains that animals can catch the virus from people, they are not likely to pass the virus. The CDC recommends still quarantining pets if they exhibit symptoms and check with a vet on the safest way to disinfect pet.

Myth 3: Everyone should always wear a mask.

Fact: It is not safe for people in certain age groups or conditions to wear masks. The CDC says infants or one-year-olds should not wear masks. Some people may not be able to wear one for circumstances such as breathing troubles or “sensory, cognitive, or behavioral issues.” According to the World Health Organization, it is also dangerous to wear masks in certain situations such as exercising, where profuse sweating can grow bacteria and impede breathing. 

Myth 4: COVID-19 can be treated with antibiotics. 

Fact:  COVID-19 is a virus, and the CDC explains, “antibiotics do not work on viruses, such as those that cause colds, flu, bronchitis, or runny noses.” USA News article shows that bacteria-killing antibiotics are often used too often and unnecessarily. It also referenced CDC information that overusing them is dangerous because “As bacteria are exposed to antibiotics, they have a remarkable ability to mutate in ways that help them defend against the drug. These antibiotic-resistant bugs cause at least 2.8 million hard-to-treat infections in the U.S. each year, and more than 35,000 people die from them every year, the CDC reports.”

Myth 5: There is a relationship between corona beer and the coronavirus.

Fact: Corona beer is an alcohol brand that’s existed since 1925 and cannot cause, halt, or cure any virus. The World Health Organization states that no alcoholic beverages can cure COVID-19. It also warns that “Alcohol has a deleterious [harmful] effect on your immune system and will not stimulate immunity and virus resistance.”