Harmful misconceptions about the COVID-19 pandemic can lead to serious consequences, ruining the world’s effort to fight it.
As of May 14, the COVID-19 pandemic has infected more than 4.4 million people worldwide and nearly 300,000 died. The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes this disease is a virus that is highly contagious.
Over the past few months, we have taken a series of measures, even the most powerful such as lockdown of awhole country to prevent the spread of the disease. However, because COVID-19 is a new disease, there is more and more false information about the virus. Here are some dangerous misconceptions about this virus strain.
5 false myths about the COVID-19 pandemic
We’re safe at a 2-meter distance
Are we really safe at a distance of 2 meters when going to public places? Keeping a distance of 2 meters from others, or “social distancing” is the most common advice worldwide to limit the risk of exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is inherent spread by direct physical contact or contact with droplets containing viruses suspended in air in enclosed spaces.
In fact, it’s true that keeping a distance, not touching other people, not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth will help you limit the risk of disease because the greater the distance, the further away you are from the source of infection. However, the risk that you have COVID-19 depends on the amount of virus you are likely to be exposed to because you are obviously more susceptible if you are exposed to thousands of virus molecules instead of hundreds, tens or a few. molecule. For example, the more people who do not wear a mask, the greater your risk of coming into contact with virus particles or the more time you spend in enclosed spaces with the virus present, the more likely you are to become infected, whether the distance of 2 meters is maintained.
Even if only 1 person in an enclosed space is infected, the spread can progress exponentially. News of COVID-19 infecting people in airplanes, yachts, prisons, nursing homes… are clear evidences for this.
Children cannot get sick or spread the virus
This is one of the common misconceptions but is common in many countries around the world. It is true that the mortality rate among children with COVID-19 is quite low, but children are hardly immune to the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
A child’s immune system is not fundamentally different from adults because people are always vulnerable to the same infectious diseases at any age. Although the COVID-19 mortality rate among children is relatively low, more and more children develop abnormal symptoms of a rare disease called Kawasaki.
Even if no child dies from COVID-19, the opening of summer camps or playgrounds is unsafe for one important reason: that children who are infected can be contagious. infect others and put them in danger, especially the elderly or those with underlying diseases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in early April 2020 that children may experience symptoms other than adults but that the condition could still become serious or even worse. dead. Moreover, if adults can catch the disease and infect other vulnerable subjects even if they have no symptoms, so do children. Therefore, precautions should be taken by everyone regardless of age.
There is no risk of death unless you have underlying medical conditions
It is undeniable that people with underlying conditions have a higher risk of death when positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus, but there are cases of healthy people regardless of age of COVID-19 infection. have experienced complex symptoms such as stroke, kidney failure, lung scarring, heart damage, digestive problems and nervous system effects.
Although most people with COVID-19 hospitalized have at least 1 underlying pathology, a significant proportion of people with COVID-19 have no underlying disease. A chinese doctor who suffered from COVID-19 without underlying disease, died four weeks after being exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
We’ll be immune to SARS-CoV-2 when many people become ill
The good news is that if you’ve ever had COVID-19 and recovered, you don’t seem to be re-infected with the current strain but in reality, the virus is always mutating and if an important mutation occurs, it is possible. This immunity may no longer be available.
In addition, not everyone is positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus, even in areas of large-scale outbreaks such as New York (USA) or Milan (Italy).
We are still very vulnerable to the COVID-19 epidemic, whether locally or globally. Community immunity, a scenario that can only occur when more than 70% of the population is ill or finds a vaccine, has not yet been achieved. If natural immunity is to be expected, about 500,000 Americans will die from COVID-19.
Only a small number of people are immune to the virus. That means we, the majority of the population, still face the risk of the disease.
Life returns to normal when the lockdown is over
This is probably one of the most dangerous misconceptions in the present context because our actions will determine the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus. We have seen an increase in new cases in many parts of the world when the lockdown order is lifted. Unnecessary contact, whether with friends, relatives, colleagues or clients, can become a risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Clearly the pressure to return to normal life is enormous, even though this is contrary to the scientific bases we know today. Therefore, until a vaccine is found and widely distributed, we must adjust our thinking about the so-called “normal”. If not, all our anti-epidemic achievements will return to February and March or even to zero if the virus spread exponentially. There are many useful actions we can take today, such as social distance, wearing a mask, limiting concentration in crowded places …
Therefore, the smart solution that we should take in the context of an epidemic is to listen to accurate and reliable scientific evidence instead of following widespread but misleading and inaccurate rumors.