Busting COVID-19 Myths: Separating Facts From Speculation
The COVID-19 pandemic has been around for over a year-and-a-half and has affected more than 142 million people across the world. While coronavirus has spread rampantly across the globe, so have the myths and misconceptions surrounding it. Forwarded messages and unverified articles are the biggest reason these myths are spreading so far and wide.
In such unprecedented times, it’s best to stay informed about what’s right so you disseminate accurate information to your loved ones and peers. Furthermore, with the emergence of new strains of the virus, it’s essential you stay safe and protected. The need of the hour is to ensure that a majority of the global population gets vaccinated to curb the spread of the virus and you must do whatever it takes to encourage people to do so.
To help you understand what’s right and what’s not, here’s a list of seven of the most common myths about COVID-19 and its vaccine:
1. Myth: Taking the COVID-19 vaccine will cause COVID-19
Fact: COVID-19 vaccines do not introduce any live coronavirus into your body so, no, getting vaccinated for COVID-19 does not infect you with the disease. In fact, getting vaccinated is highly recommended to keep the virus at bay. Since many organizations work in closed spaces with little or no ventilation, you should tie up with medical facilities and volunteers to run safe and effective vaccination drives for your employees.
2. Myth: COVID-19 vaccine causes infertility and alters your genes
Fact: One of the biggest reasons many health workers and eligible individuals are avoiding the vaccine, is the misconception that it causes infertility in women. There is no evidence that this claim is true.
The Messenger RNA or mRNA technology based on which most of the vaccines function, is highly misunderstood by many. A widespread assumption is that this technology causes a modification in the genes of the receiver which is not true. mRNA vaccines only ‘train’ our cells to create a protein that activates an immune response in the body which helps fight Covid. Of course, the vaccine does not guarantee 100% protection. Instead, it acts as a seatbelt of sorts and reduces your chances of contracting the virus. And if you do contract it, it’s a milder version.
3. Myth: The vaccines have been developed so quickly; they must be unsafe.
Fact: The effect of the pandemic is felt far and wide, leaving scientists and research laboratories under pressure for a solution and fast. Fortunately, within a year, thanks to scientific advancement, they were able to develop several successful vaccines. Every single vaccine has met all safety standards and undergone rigorous clinical trials to test safety and efficacy. Furthermore, COVID-19 coming from the coronavirus family, which in the past included MERS and SARS, provided them with previous research to speed up the process. Rather than filling your minds with doubt, thank the collaboration and investment worldwide for quick turnaround time on the development of the vaccines.
4. Myth: Covid does not spread in extreme weather - warm or cold
Fact: Coronavirus flourishes in any climate be it warm or cold. Moreover, warmer countries have also reported a high number of COVID-19 related cases. It is very important to protect yourself and those around you from the virus by following safety norms, especially if you work indoors with co-workers. Organizations should make working from home an option to make sure their employees don’t have a reason to step out of their homes and expose themselves and their near and dear ones to the virus.
5. Myth: Rinsing the nose with saltwater and consuming hot drinks throughout the day will protect you from the virus
Fact: This works only for the common cold virus or the influenza virus. Rinsing your nose with saltwater multiple times can cause sufficient damage to the common cold virus. But the cause of COVID-19 is a new strain of the coronavirus, and every day there is ongoing research to understand different ways to curb the spread of the virus in the human body.
Consuming hot drinks throughout the day is not a scientifically proven remedy either. But hydrating throughout the day and taking prescribed medication clubbed with a bit of body movement can aid a speedy recovery from the sickness.
6. Myth: Taking vitamin and mineral supplements can cure COVID-19
Fact: Vitamin and mineral supplements help strengthen the body’s immunity. However, presently, there’s no evidence about such supplements helping cure the virus. If you have the virus, it’s best you consult with a general physician and seek guidance on what you should do.
7. Myth: Once I have the vaccine, I am free to discard all precautions against COVID-19
Fact: After the vaccine, it would be unwise to throw caution to the winds. While the vaccines have been tested and proven effective, it does not eliminate your risk of getting infected or infecting others. It’s a must to continue safe practices and do your bit to stop the transmission until the pandemic is completely under control. The precautions you should continue to follow are:
- Continue wearing good quality masks, properly
- Stay away from crowded areas
- It’s best to avoid closed area or those with bad ventilation
- Use soap sanitizer
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes with unwashed hands
- Maintain social distance
- Stay at home as much as possible
With the virus mutating and scientists continuing to study it, it’s best to follow the ‘better safe than sorry’ approach.
Focus On The Facts
Fighting the COVID-19 pandemic is a global mission. The best way to ensure your employees and co-workers are protected from the virus is to follow safety measures to a T. Wearing a mask, social distancing and washing/sanitizing hands at regular intervals are some of the most effective ways to ensure you and those around you are shielded from the virus.
With vaccines in India proving their efficacy and offering protection against the virus, it’s time you consider enrolling your employees in a safe and trusty corporate vaccine program. Give them a boost of confidence to work productively and safely while ensuring those around them are protected.
To stay well-informed about the facts and bust myths about this deadly health hazard, always verify the information you receive on social platforms and chat groups. Make it a norm to question the sender about where they received the information from or check the same on fact-check websites. Become a responsible COVID-19 fighter by doing the right thing and spreading the right information.