More COVID Myths
Multiple posts on Facebook shared tens of thousands of times during the ongoing novel coronavirus epidemic claim ginger can “cure” coronavirus infections if it is boiled and consumed on an empty stomach.
Like many medicinal herbs, much of the information has been handed down by word of mouth with little controlled scientific evidence to support the numerous claims. However, in the last few years, more organized scientific investigations have focused on the mechanisms and targets of ginger and its various components. It is important to remember testing & research is usually done on animals before humans with extraordinary amounts of potent extracts or concentrations of the targeted chemical the researchers are testing.
Tests done by directly combining the gingerol, shogaol, or other chemical in test tubes combined with whatever specific cell or enzyme, or other item is not the the same as testing the tea bags in your pantry or the ginger you bought from the “health food” store.
"There is no scientific evidence to substantiate the claim that garlic boiled water cures the novel coronavirus nor is there any proper medical research available on the subject," said Dr Wasim Khawaja, an expert at the Pakistani Institute of Medical Sciences.
It is also important to note that while I absolutely think ginger is be a healthy and nutritious addition to your diet, steeping tea, drinking a “shot,” or eating it raw one or two times does more for your taste buds than your general health. This also applies for cinnamon, turmeric, and black pepper.
Other posts and texts I’ve received:
- I heard the government is sending $1,000 checks. How do I sign up?
The U.S. government is not mailing checks in response to COVID-19 at this time. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is running a scam. It’s important that you only trust information coming from official sources. The Federal Trade Commission recently provided more information about this scam and other common COVID-19-related scams on their website. Further, If you or someone you know has been a victim of a scam, attempted scam or price gouging, please report it to your state Attorney General. In NC you can call 877-5-NO-SCAM or visit this website.
- I’m okay because only people 60 and those with health problems are at risk from coronavirus.
It is an unfortunate rumor that only people over 60 years of age are at risk of getting this disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), those at higher risk include older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions.
In New York State, of the first 25,000 infected individuals 55 percent were between 18 and 49. In Mecklenburg county, NC approximately half of the first 100 cases were in people under 39 years old.
- “Well, people are saying it’s not even as bad as the flu.”
The people who are experiencing challenging symptoms aren’t saying much because they are in hospitalized, many in critical condition and not taking time out of their healing process and treatment plan to update you on Facebook.
Many individuals who get coronavirus will experience what may feel like flu symptoms, but the overall profile of the disease, including its mortality rate, is more serious.
Bruce Aylward, a WHO expert, who led an international mission to China to learn about the virus and the country’s response, explains that even a 1% fatality rate (we are currently much higher in the US) would make COVID-19 about 10 times more deadly than seasonal flu, which is estimated to kill between 290,000 and 650,000 people a year globally.
Now, let’s talk about the elephant in every room.
Simply put, a face mask is not going to 100% keep you from getting COVID-19.
Certain models of professional, tight-fitting respirators (such as the N95) can protect health care workers as they care for infected patients.
For the general public without respiratory illness, wearing lightweight disposable surgical masks is not recommended. Because they don’t fit tightly, they let tiny infected droplets get into the nose, mouth or eyes. Also, people with the virus on their hands who touch their mask then a table, food, item at the grocery store, banister, child, etc. or their own face might spread the infection.
Don’t confuse images of people in other countries wearing masks due to high levels of smog or pollution with the ability to protect from disease.
If you’re sick with a respiratory illness (colds, flu, COVID-19) you can wear a mask to lessen your chance of infecting others, and taking care of one another is a big deal.
If you are really concerned when you go out and want to wear a mask, a surgical mask is not your best option. The Japanese Pitta or similarly styled mask is also not effective at capturing tiny particles.
Pitta masks can capture large pollen or dust particles. However, they are completely ineffective at capturing 0.1 micron particles, like the coronavirus particles.
It’s more effective to sew several layers of cotton together, fitting it as closely as you can to your face’s contours, and washing the mask and your hands immediately when you take it off. Remember- don’t touch it. It’s your face. We are not touching our faces.
Stocking up on masks makes fewer available for sick patients and health care workers who need them and wear them under a face shield.
By the way - the internet lies, people. These “healthy” and “medicinal” websites telling you how they have the remedy for all that ails you are designed for marketing. You cannot believe everything you read online just because it comes up on the first page of Google results.
If you need help with identifying a trusted source stay away from Wikipedia and look for words like “peer-reviewed.” The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) conducts and supports research and provides information about complementary health products and practices. They have a great website and tool on checking website information validity here.
Better yet, ask your trained and educated doctor.
March 25, 2020