Since the last blog entry I wrote here over a week ago, many things have continued to rapidly change around the world due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). With so much at risk for so many of us and so much that remains unknown, it’s easy to understand why people are overwhelmed.
To add to that, there is a lot of misinformation being spread, false claims being made and conspiracy theories are abound. Fuelling anxiety and concern.
Many are understandably and naturally overwhelmed by the amount of new and changing official information being issued on a daily basis, overwhelmed by the seeming magnitude of the problem, and overwhelmed by the way it is effecting us all directly and indirectly in varying ways. For many, the ‘normal’ way we used to live our lives has changed dramatically, and many people in our families and communities are vulnerable.
We have a great deal of uncertainty, and much stress, anxiety and depression comes as a result of uncertainty. I plan on writing on that topic in coming days and weeks, but wanted to firstly highlight the problem with so many false claims, so much conspiracy and misinformation. Take your information from a couple of official sources, and do not fall prey to conjecture, conspiracy or false claims.
Here, I’ve included some of the false claims I have encountered and that you might have seen online, and I’ve mentioned some of the best advice from experts on how to actually stay healthy and disease-free. On that note, do go and take a look at these resources I’ve made available in my Coronavirus Hypnotic Resource pack.
I wrote on my personal Facebook account this week that I’ve been really surprised by during these challenging times is how many people are prepared to believe in and support a range of conspiracy theories about the Covid-19 coronavirus. Even when faced with solid science and evidence, they find ways to mistrust it and spread paranoia.
Just published in the most prestigious peer reviewed academic journal is a paper showing that this virus is clearly not man-made and is most likely a result of evolution. Read it. Quash the conspiracy fires raging within you. We have enough reality to deal with currently without adding fear-mongering fantasy to it.
There is a theory that that Chinese government cooked up the virus in a laboratory and either released it deliberately in Wuhan or allowed it (by dint of carelessness) to escape containment. Others have suggested America developed it as a bioweapon and released it in Wuhan to weaken China. For others, it is an invention of the pharmaceutical industry.
I even read some people suggesting that the Chinese are genetically inferior to Caucasians and this is the reason they have had so many deaths. This has been tragically disproven by the volume of deaths in Europe.
With regards to conjecture over the spreading of the virus, some have argued that people who have recovered can still transmit the disease to others which has not been confirmed yet. Some suggest it is difficult to recover, yet statistics tend to suggest this is mainly true for a person with a weak immune system, pre-existing conditions or the elderly. Many people have recovered.
We’re running out of hand sanitisers of varying kinds as many people believe and are claiming that hand sanitisers are better than soap and water. Soap and water actually kill and wash away the virus from the skin (it can not penetrate our skin cells) and there are sensible alternatives if hand sanitiser is sold out at your supermarket.
Many are holding out for the Summer and claiming that Coronavirus will go away in Sumer months. This is yet to be officially confirmed. Previous pandemics didn’t follow weather patterns plus as we enter summer here in the UK, there will be winter in the Southern Hemisphere.
Then there are the blasé theorists. All this social distancing is an overreaction to those people. “You’ll see that the virus won’t cause much damage.” Switch on your TV and see what’s happening in Italy. However, if we are fortunate enough that we don’t see many infections it will actually demonstrate that social distancing worked. That is the point of social distancing. It would not be evidence that the virus was never a big deal.
Then there are those people sharing all the stats about other things that are killing more people than the coronavirus. For example; car accidents kill 30,000 people annually. Regular flu kills many more thousands of people. What’s the big deal with COVID-19?
Car accidents are not contagious, their fatalities don’t double every three days, they don’t cause mass panic or a market crash. Comparisons with regular flu are flawed and senseless for a wide number of reasons that you can read as published by scientists. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that logic and trying to belittle the seriousness of coronavirus by comparisons to other things.
Urban myths now include notions that cold weather and snow can kill the Coronavirus, taking a hot bath can prevent Coronavirus, mosquito bites transmit Coronavirus, hand dryers are effective in killing the Coronavirus, regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent Coronavirus infection, regular drinking sends the virus into your tummy where it is killed off by stomach acid, antibiotics are effective in preventing and treating the Coronavirus and it is just like the flu or is just a mutated form of the common cold. While some of these points have elements of logic and shades of truth in them, I’ve seen much more outlandish claims that I’m simply not prepared to share!
So what do we know? You can get good quality information online and from credible sources, though I recommend you stick with 1, 2 or 3 major sources and their official output, and not believe in everything shared on your Facebook feed.
Coronavirus is a large group of viruses that are common among animals. In rare cases, they are what scientists call zoonotic, which means the virus can be transmitted from animals to humans.
The viruses can make people sick usually with a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness similar to a common cold.
This type of virus is named as Novel Coronavirus or Covid-19. It is a new strain of the coronavirus family. It’s vaccine is not produced yet though scientists around the globe are working on it and encouraging soundbites are being mentioned, including by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the 19th of March public address.
Coronaviruses were first discovered in the 1960s. It was a bronchitis virus in chicken and two viruses from nasal cavities of humans with the common cold, responsible for a large proportion of common colds OC43 and 229E.
In Adults and Children, coronaviruses are believed to cause a notable percent of all common cold. It causes common cold with major symptoms e.g. fever, pharyngeal tonsil in the winter or early spring season. They can cause the common cold, pneumonia, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and can affect the gut.
Facts on Coronavirus:
• No cure for Common Cold.
• Causes SARS and MERS.
• It can infect other species.
• There are several variants of coronaviruses.
Coronavirus primarily affects the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tract of mammals and birds. Means cold or-flu like symptoms can be seen for two to four days after infection and that can be very mild in some people, but incredibly serious and life-threatening in others.
Symptoms include a runny nose, headache, persistent cough, a sore throat, raised temperature and fever.
It can cause severe symptoms for some. Infection may turn into bronchitis and Pneumonia, which may include,
• Fever may be high if suffering from Pneumonia.
• Breathing problems.
• Chest pain while breathing and cough.
• Cough with a lot of mucus.
These are most common in people suffering from heart and lung disease and older adults.
How to Prevent Coronavirus and It’s Spread
You’ll know by now what the official guidelines are. Health experts recommend daily preventative measures to help slow or stop the spread of respiratory viruses, the following are some ways that you will already have seen and are being publicly advised of:
1) Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
2) Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands.
3) Don’t go close to sick people.
4) Stay in your home if displaying any symptoms and isolate for 7-14 days.
5) Cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow or ideally with tissue paper, and then fling the tissue paper in the trash.
6) Clean and spray frequently before touching the objects and surfaces.
These daily habits can help prevent the spread of most viruses.
Take care, marshal the facts as best as you can, and do not let the false claims concern you or add to your concern at this potentially overwhelming time.