The ever-changing nature of information surrounding COVID-19 can make it hard to pin down the facts and make safe choices for ourselves and our families. And that’s even more true if you or a loved one are at higher risk for developing potential complications. There’s a lot of information circulating about COVID-19 so it’s important to know what’s true and what’s not.
You can get a face mask exemption card, so you don’t need to wear a mask.
Fake cards and flyers, claiming that the bearer is exempt from mask-wearing regulations, have shown up in some areas. The cards, which some people have purchased online, may have official-looking logos or government insignias on them. They claim that the person carrying them has a physical or mental condition covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that makes them unable to wear a face mask or covering.
The United States Department of Justice has issued a statement about these fake mask exemptions, explaining that these cards and flyers are fraudulent. People have tried to use the fake cards to avoid having to wear a mask in public places that require them, such as some stores and restaurants. The cards are not issued by the U.S. government and are not backed by the ADA.
You can protect yourself from COVID-19 by injecting, swallowing, bathing in, or rubbing onto your body bleach, disinfectants, or rubbing alcohol.
These products are highly toxic and should never be swallowed or injected into the body. Call 911 if this occurs. Disinfectants, bleach and soap and water may be used to clean surfaces, an important prevention step in stopping the spread of coronavirus and COVID-19 — the disease caused by the coronavirus that’s led to the global pandemic. Never attempt to self-treat or prevent COVID-19 by rubbing or bathing with bleach, disinfectants, or rubbing alcohol anywhere on your body. Effective hand sanitizers do have alcohol, but they are formulated to be safe for use on hands.
A vaccine to cure COVID-19 is available.
There is no vaccine for the new coronavirus right now. Scientists have already begun working on one but developing a vaccine that is safe and effective in human beings will take many months.
The new coronavirus was deliberately created or released by people.
Viruses can change over time. Occasionally, a disease outbreak happens when a virus that is common in an animal such as a pig, bat, or bird undergoes changes and passes to humans. This is likely how the new coronavirus came to be.
Ordering or buying products shipped from overseas will make a person sick.
Researchers are studying the new coronavirus to learn more about how it infects people. As of this writing, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that the likelihood of becoming infected with COVID-19 from a commercial package is low since it has likely traveled over several days and has been exposed to different temperatures and conditions during transit.
However, the coronavirus can live for hours to days on surfaces like countertops and doorknobs. How long it survives depends on the material the surface is made from. Here’s a guide to how long coronaviruses live on some of the surfaces you probably touch every day.
- Plastic: 3-7 days
- Metal: 3-7 days, except copper on which the virus lasts only 4 hours
- Paper: 3 hours
- Glass: 4 days
- Cardboard: 24 hours
- Wood: less than 2 days
- Clothing, shoes, and floors: less than 2 days
Just because the virus is detectable on a surface doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s enough there to make someone sick. Scientists are still working to figure out what the infectious dose requirement is to actually cause an infection.
And as stated in the DrOwl blog post, How Long Does The Coronavirus Live On Surfaces?, “There is a speedier way to kill COVID-19. Research shows that you can inactivate the virus within 60 seconds by coating surfaces with a solution that contains 62% to 71% alcohol or 0.5% hydrogen peroxide bleach, or with a homemade solution that contains 0.1% sodium hypochlorite.”
So, as we learn more, continue to follow the CDC’s recommendations for cleaning frequently touched surfaces and objects every day. These include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
COVID-19 is comparable to the seasonal flu.
While the viruses that cause both COVID-19 and seasonal influenza are transmitted from person-to-person and may cause similar symptoms, the two viruses are very different and do not behave in the same way.
Despite the relatively low mortality rate for seasonal influenza, many people die from the disease due to the large number of people who contract it each year. The concern about COVID-19 is that, unlike influenza, there is no vaccine and no specific treatment for the disease. It also appears to be more transmissible than seasonal influenza. As it is a new virus, nobody has prior immunity, which means that the entire human population is potentially susceptible to infection.
If you think you may have COVID-19 stay at home and consult your doctor. If your symptoms are severe or you feel like you need medical care, call before you go to your health care provider. Describe your symptoms over the phone. Or you could use an app like DrOwl to access a telemedicine appointment with a doctor.
DrOwl is a medical platform built on patented technology, that provides a safe place to sync your medical records. It was built to store, organize, search, and share your digital medical records on demand. DrOwl users can also share their customized Patient Portal with caregivers or family members to include them in the patient’s healthcare decisions. Users can initiate telehealth sessions and allow their caregivers or family members to join in the secure telemedicine video call. And, DrOwl even has a free screening and monitoring solution that helps facilities screen for symptoms or a history of exposure to COVID-19 to help protect people.
As scientists and doctors continue their work to understand and treat COVID-19 our knowledge of, and ability to treat and prevent the virus will improve. For now, it’s important to follow official government advice and get information only from reliable sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the WHO, or your local government’s health department.