Mythbusters: Coronavirus Edition

Dear Rich Lifer,

We are in truly unprecedented times, my friends. For what may be the first period in our history, we are expected to stay home, to stay away from other people. We are being asked not to go to work, to the store, to the gym… 

Today, all we can seem to focus on is the Coronavirus and how it is impacting us physically, mentally, and fiscally. 

Rightly so, given the significant and historical impact this virus is wreaking upon the planet. What may be the most frightening factor in this entire debacle is that the numbers are constantly changing. 

We cannot seem to get a grip on statistics, we cannot predict or seemingly even contain or slow the spread of this virus. However, there is something we CAN stop the spread of, today, even!

We can take a moment to educate ourselves about this COVID-19 pandemic, and we can eliminate the many myths, fallacies, and fabrications that have spread nearly as quickly as the virus itself.

Since today is April Fools Day, I thought it would be good to do a “Mythbusters” issue today. I have researched and collected several Coronavirus myths that have been swirling around social media. Let’s take a look at each one, break it down, and find legitimate sources and research. 

I’ll address and debunk (or prove) each one as needed. Keep in mind that (especially in this day and age) just because something is published on the internet or on social media, it does NOT mean that the information is explicitly true.

 Websites such as The World Health Organization (www.who.int) or the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) are the most reliable and trustworthy resources available for all of your COVID-19 -related questions or concerns.

The Coronavirus Started Because Someone Ate a Bat

Calm down, Ozzy Osborne, bats are not to blame for this outbreak – humans are! After completing extensive research on the topic, there is no legitimate proof that the spread of the virus began with someone eating a bat. 

In fact, the CDC states, “Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. 

This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people.” While this Coronavirus may have originated in bats, the virus first had to mutate to even be able to infect humans. 

We cannot trace the exact initiation of the virus, so to claim that it began with someone eating a bat is misleading and unsupported by research and truth.

I Can Refer to this Outbreak as the “Chinese Flu”

This one isn’t so much a myth as it is a point of serious concern. Blaming China for this pandemic is a dangerous method of making circumstances even worse than they  already are. Many have wrongly begun to use this pandemic as a means to discriminate against those of Asian descent. 

Many have pointlessly stopped enjoying Chinese take out, spread hatred and rumors, and some have even verbally and physically attacked others.  Please recognize that this  discrimination only hurts us all by increasing fear and anger towards ordinary, innocent people. 

The need to place blame, the spread of gossip and rumors, and plain fear of the virus are the actual enemies here. This virus could have just as easily originated in the USA.

I Can Kill the Virus with Heat or Water 

A few unique “suggestions” I’ve heard:

  • Blowing a hairdryer up your nose will kill the virus
  • Drinking lots of water will send the virus to your stomach, where your stomach acids will kill the Coronavirus.
  • Frequent gargling with salt water reduces the risk of infection.

As outlandish as some rumors may be, there are many people out there who believe them, because they are unsure what reports are fact versus fiction.

 Unfortunately these false and unhelpful “tips” will only cause more harm to the population. We can very easily influence people into believing that they are not at risk or that they can protect themselves with these methods when, in reality, they can’t. You can find more information about these myths by following this link.

I’ll Die if I Take Ibuprofen to Treat Coronavirus 

Another widespread rumor that has been circling around and inciting fear is that taking Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) to treat Coronavirus symptoms can actually make your illness worse or even cause death. There is currently no scientific proof to this. 

Continue to check the WHO and CDC websites for updates on medical treatments for COVID-19, and like always, be sure only to take medications that have been recommended by a licensed medical professional. 

COVID-19 Will Be Gone Soon  VS. Stuck Inside for 18 Months

The duration of COVID-19 is what leaves most people uncertain. The fact of the matter is that the amount of time it takes for our world to rid itself of the pandemic is entirely up to us. Let’s break down exactly why that is. 

You may have heard of the term “flattening the curve” in relation to the outbreak. When we correctly distance ourselves from others socially, we are reducing the risk of getting infected, but we are also reducing the risk of spreading the infection to others. 

Patients may be infected for up to two weeks before even showing any symptoms! That is problematic because you may think you are totally fine to go out to the store or to get together with friends and family, when in reality, you’re spreading that invisible infection to everyone around you. 

When we correctly social distance ourselves, we cannot spread the infection anymore, fewer people get sick, our hospitals do not become inundated or overwhelmed with patients they cannot treat, and the pandemic ends. 

When we ignore our social distancing orders by frequently going shopping or gathering with other people, we cannot lessen the rate of infection. More people get sick in a small window of time, and hospitals become swarmed with patients until they are beyond capacity. 

If we do not correctly isolate ourselves during this pandemic, the outbreak will become more severe, more people will become sick and it will take longer for things to go back to normal.

Were All in this Together

Let’s be realistic, everyone. This pandemic is global, meaning it is something that we are all suffering through collectively. With this many countries affected, the potential for harmful rumors and myths to be spread increases exponentially. You may hear or read some things about Coronavirus that sound terrifying, concerning, questionable, or outlandish. 

The important thing to remember is that not all of it is true! You must check your sources before believing what you read or hear. To keep up to date with COVID-19 statistics, check out a reliable source, such as https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/. Stay safe, stay well, and stay home. 

To a richer life,

Nilus Mattive

Nilus Mattive

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Nilus Mattive

Nilus is the editor for the daily e-letter The Rich Life Roadmap and a Paradigm Press analyst.

Nilus began his professional career at Jono Steinberg’s Individual Investor Group, where he published his original research through a regular investment column. Later, he worked for a private equity business and spent five years editing Standard and Poor’s...

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