6 CORONAVIRUS MYTHS DEBUNKED: NANCY DREW STYLE

Op-ed article covering coronavirus and the spread of COVID-19

 

6 Coronavirus Myths Debunked: Nancy Drew Style

By Jeremy Greenbaum

 

Fact or Fiction? As we’ve seen from the news, Coronavirus rumors of today go both ways (much like my college boyfriend). As we sprint, javelin in hand, toward our uncertain, COVID-tainted future, one thing is indisputable: there is a lot of misinformation out there.

 

Everyone’s second cousin once removed suddenly has ties to the Pentagon or CDC and has the inside dish on what’s to come. It’s been nearly impossible to distinguish the legit news from the unfounded rumors, and it only seems to be getting worse. Each piece of fiction drowns out and diminishes our trust in the helpful and necessary news we need. So please, in the name of our sanity and safety, join me as I put on my Nancy Drew loafers and BUST SOME MYTHS.

1. “You can make your own hand sanitizer out of vodka and aloe vera gel.” Although this sounds DELICIOUS, apparently it does not create a solution with a high enough alcohol content to be effective. Since hand sanitizers need to be at least 60% alcohol, and regular 80 proof vodka is only 40%, it’s pretty much useless at killing germs. Also, as a personal plea, make a martini instead!

2. “If you drink liquid at least every 15 minutes, the constant swallowing will flush the virus down into your stomach where it will be killed by your stomach acid before it can infect you.” I can neither confirm nor deny that this rumor was started on “someone’s” Grindr profile as an elaborate ruse to promote swallowing. Despite how fake this one sounds in hindsight, it definitely made its rounds.

 

3. “If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds without coughing or discomfort, then you do not have Coronavirus.” This myth was circulating around Facebook recently and has since been debunked. People who have COVID-19 can be asymptomatic for up to 14 days before showing any signs. That's two weeks! Do you know how much can happen in two weeks? For scale, two weeks is 672 episodes of Friends! Which, for the record, is 436 more episodes than are actually in existence.

 

4. “COVID-19 will go away by itself as the warm weather comes.” This myth has been adopted as fact by many people, including Trump. It is rooted in the legitimate fact that warmer, more humid weather will create a small decline in the contagiousness of the virus, but it does not seem like it will do enough to make a large impact. Looks like my six-pack isn’t the only thing that will NOT be happening this summer.

 

5. “You can get coronavirus from a package sent from China.” False! The coronavirus can only live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and even less on plastic and stainless steel.  I can’t even get mail from Poughkeepsie in 24 hours let alone China.

 

6. “You can catch COVID-19 from your pets.” Before you quarantine your pooch or pussy (get your mind out of the gutter), this is not true. The Spread of Coronavirus is human to human through airborne particles or contaminated surfaces. That being said, if you think of your pet as having surfaces (i.e. it’s fur, hair, rhinestone collar), it can be the liaison between an infected individual and a non-infected one. Never thought I would refer to a pet as a liaison… pets these days are so fancy.

Within the context of fear and panic, these rumors were given a life. Let’s face it, people have believed far crazier things for far longer (cue the flat earthers). Moving forward, we can all help each other out by verifying and cross-referencing the information we receive BEFORE spreading it. Just think of it as your rumor condom. And when all else fails, Just ask yourself (in a transatlantic accent): “What would Nancy Drew Do”?

©2020 by Jeremy Greenbaum