COVID-19: Myths v. Facts

By: Rebeccah Fleischmann

The coronavirus pandemic is in actuality two outbreaks: that of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the disease COVID-19, and that of misinformation. But, have no fear, the Conard Courant is here to dispel the circulating myths and elucidate which commonly believed statements are true and which are false. Our primary objective here at the Conard Courant is to keep you and your family healthy and safe during these trying times.

  1. Surgical masks can help protect you from catching a case of Coronavirus.

False.

Truth: A person should use a surgical facemask if they have COVID-19 to prevent spreading it to others. However, if you are healthy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you do not wear a surgical mask in order to keep a good supply for those who are immunocompromised. But, if you are heading out to a public place and want to stay healthy, wear a N95 mask, which is made of a thicker fabric than a surgical mask and can protect against the new coronavirus, also called SARS-CoV-2.

 

    2. Everyone will die from Coronavirus.

False.

Truth: According to a CDC official, Nancy Messonnier, data from China reveals that 80% of the Coronavirus cases are mild and that most consist of cough and fever. In more serious cases, it can cause pneumonia. At the moment, there are 20 confirmed cases in Connecticut, all being citizens in their 40’s and 50’s, except for one child. This number of confirmed cases will likely rise in the coming days and months, but one encouraging fact is that researchers have found that Coronavirus seems to be mysteriously sparing kids and teenagers, unlike influenza, and is mainly a risk for those with a compromised immune system and/or underlying health conditions and for those over the age of 60 (according to the CDC).  

 

    3. The media is overhyping the danger of COVID-19; it’s not that bad.

Half-true.

Truth: Although there is a lot of misinformation circulating with mentions about Coronavirus reaching 2.2 billion (as of yesterday) according to the World Health Organization, it is better to take the necessary precautions to keep you and your family safe than to throw caution to the wind. There are many who will dismiss the warnings and still get together with their friends and have large parties. Although it may be tempting to ignore the pandemic and just have fun, we must remember what is at stake here - our lives. Several people feel that getting Coronavirus is the same as the seasonal flu and that since more people have died from the seasonal flu than Coronavirus, there is nothing to worry about. However, scientists have been researching the seasonal flu for decades, and despite the danger of it, we know what to expect each season. By contrast, very little is known about Coronavirus. "Despite the morbidity and mortality with influenza, there's a certainty … [with] seasonal flu," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a White House press conference on January 31. "I can tell you all, guaranteed, that as we get into March and April, the flu cases are going to go down. You could predict pretty accurately what the range of the mortality is and the hospitalizations [will be]," Fauci said. "The issue now with [COVID-19] is that there's a lot of unknowns." 

Conard High School's Premier Student Forum and News Organization

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