Not sure if what you’ve heard about the coronavirus is true? Read on to find out.
Parents, raise your hands if you’re suffering from news fatigue after constantly reading the depressing situation surrounding Covid-19 in Singapore and around the world… especially after the World Health Organization (WHO) has officially classified the outbreak as a pandemic. It has certainly made us more hypervigilant of who and what we come in contact with, especially with the kiddos running around touching everything before touching their faces. Fact: did you know an average person touches their face at least 2,000 times a day? Insane.
Whether you’re keeping the kids occupied at home, focusing more on your outdoor time or carrying on as usual, we’d love some sense of normality as a family. But with the constant stream of information and potentially fake news in the media, how do we know if the information supplied to us is true? Well, let’s bust some misconceptions about the coronavirus – you might just learn something new!
Myth #1: The virus can be transmitted through goods manufactured from China or any other country with Covid-19.
Thanks to technology, it’s become incredibly convenient for us to buy things off the Internet – from maternity clothes and stylish threads for the kiddos, to cool kicks for us and even the bi-weekly food haul. But are you worried that the items you purchase from any country with Covid-19 might still be present when you receive them?
Thankfully, it’s very unlikely that viruses will persist on surfaces after being moved and exposed to different climates. That applies to the coronavirus, too! If you’re worried, take precautions and disinfect your package before touching it. And, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water after.
Myth #2: Covid-19 is transmitted through mosquitoes.
We don’t know about you, but pesky mosquitoes are the bane of our existence… mozzie repellant is a must-bring on every trip out with the little ones (that and sunscreen, of course). If you’re a Nervous Nellie and are limiting the kiddos’ time outdoors because of these pests, you’ll be glad to know that the Covid-19 virus can’t be transmitted through mosquitoes.
In fact, the coronavirus spreads primarily through droplets when a person sneezes or coughs, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. Your best bet? Use hand sanitiser with an alcohol content of at least 60%, or wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap for 20 seconds.
Myth #3: Hand dryers are effective in killing the coronavirus.
All right – you got the handwashing down: you know how to scrub between the fingers and have already picked a song to sing or hum for 20 seconds. And then you stroll over to the hand dryer and dry your hands, knowing that your hands are now virus-free. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but unfortunately, hand dryers are not as effective as they seem! Instead, WHO experts recommend you to dry your hands thoroughly by using paper towels as they are more effective in killing the virus.
Myth #4: Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people with coronavirus.
By now, it’s pretty common to walk past a thermal scanner before going into a mall or through an airport. Various companies and schools around Singapore have also looked into purchasing these scanners – both handheld and standing versions – to take note of temperatures when people enter a building.
Unfortunately, thermal scanners are not the be-all-end-all solution to find out if someone has coronavirus. They can only inform the user if a person’s temperature is higher than normal, and cannot detect if someone is infected with the virus but not sick with fever. In fact, it takes between two to 10 days till an infected person develops a fever. If you’re displaying symptoms – however mild – wear a mask to protect your loved ones and others around you, and speak to a healthcare professional for medical advice.
Myth #5: Spraying alcohol all over your body prevents you from getting Covid-19.
Thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve become more reliant on using hand sanitisers. And, if you’ve got your own stash of alcohol at home to make your own hand sanitiser now that the shops have run out of them, you might have just considered taking a small amount to use for cleaning around the home… or even on yourself.
But before you do that, here’s what you should know: WHO experts advise against spraying alcohol on your body to prevent viruses that have entered your body as they are harmful to clothes and your eyes and mouth. Though, if you do intend to use alcohol to disinfect surfaces at home, experts advise on using them under appropriate recommendations. When in doubt, stick to store-bought disinfectant!
Myth #6: Wearing a mask can prevent you from getting coronavirus.
Remember when the news of the coronavirus first broke out months ago? Everyone was scrambling to stock up on surgical masks and hand sanitiser (and, strangely enough, toilet roll). Hop on the MRT or the bus and you would’ve seen everyone wearing a mask, or even two at a go! Now that things have calmed down a little (let’s be honest, we’ll be calmer when the whole thing blows over), fewer folks are wearing masks, though the need for hand sanitiser grows, especially since the WHO has classified the outbreak as a pandemic.
But how effective are masks against coronavirus? Turns out, not as effective as you might think. According to the WHO, “masks are effective only when they’re used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with an alcohol-based rub or soap and water”. And, if you’re using a mask, it’s important to know how to use it effectively, too,
Here are some guidelines from the WHO:
- Before putting on a mask, clean your hands by washing them with soap and water or with hand sanitiser.
- Cover your nose and mouth with the mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
- Avoid touching the mask when you use it – if so, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly.
- If the mask is damp, replace it immediately with a new mask – masks are for single-time use only.
- Remove the mask from behind (without touching the front of the mask) and discard it immediately in a closed bin. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or hand sanitiser after.
Myth #7: Eating garlic prevents you from getting the coronavirus.
When we fall ill, some of us prefer taking our dose of medicine from the doctor, but at times some prefer alternative therapies to soothe our ailments. So you can bet that in a time like this, folks will resort to anything that can help… including garlic.
Unfortunately, though garlic goes perfectly when you’re stir-frying veggies, is tasty, healthy and has antimicrobial properties, there’s no evidence to show that eating garlic can protect against Covid-19. It might protect you from the odd vampire, though!