Unreliable information about COVID-19 spreads faster than the virus itself
March 11, 2020
Coronavirus stories and the rumors about it have been spreading around the SPA community among students and teachers, but what people think they know could be completely false.
One large assumption made is that this coronavirus is a new disease. There are many different versions of the coronavirus, COVID-19 is just one of them. There have been three emerging coronaviruses in the past few decades: the SARS-Cov, MERS-Cov and now COVID-19. The symptoms and ways the viruses affect the human body are quite similar for each known coronavirus. They affect the respiratory system and cause illness and symptoms in very similar ways. Most symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough and other cold symptoms. Not only is the coronavirus not a new phenomenon, but scientists have researched the disease previously, and even a study published in Mar. 2019 predicted the COVID-19 outbreak in China.
Another assumption students make about the coronavirus is who it is predicted to spread to and who it will affect. Many people believe the virus affects everyone, which it does to an extent, but the majority of people with very severe cases are of ages 70 and older with preexisting medical conditions. Around 20% of cases are severe, usually affecting the older population, but 80% are very mild consisting of few symptoms and less severe outcomes/after effects.
Masks are being used to combat the virus in places such as China that already have many cases. But what many citizens don’t understand is that the masks essentially do nothing for someone who isn’t already infected. Masks are meant to keep a disease in rather than keep it out, therefore those who are wearing masks and aren’t infected are setting themselves up to be infected and are taking away valuable supplies from people who need them, such as medical workers, and people who are infected.
The coronavirus outbreak can be scary and worrisome for some people, but understanding the facts and stopping the spread of false rumors is one way to be better educated and aware of the situation affecting the entire world.