Coronavirus: Myth vs Fact

COVID-19 Internal Communication Templates

Written by Glenn Elliott

Last published at: March 26th, 2020

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Coronavirus Myths vs Facts V1.1.docx


There’s a lot of information flying around about coronavirus at the moment, and not all of it from reliable sources. So, let us sort the fact from the fiction and set the record straight on some of the myths surrounding this new virus. Coronavirus Myths vs Facts V1.0.docx

Coronavirus only affects old people

People of any age can get coronavirus. Older people are more likely to become seriously ill if they get the virus, but this is also true of people who have a long-term medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease).

About 20% of the people hospitalised in New York are aged between 20 and 50

Sources: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/common-questions/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/01/yes-it-is-worse-than-the-flu-busting-the-coronavirus-myths

Coronavirus is no more dangerous than winter flu

Coronavirus is more dangerous than Winter Flu for three reasons :

  1. It transmits more easily as no one has natural immunity
  2. It causes hospitalisation in a much larger number of cases
  3. The death rate is between 10x and 20x winter flu

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/01/yes-it-is-worse-than-the-flu-busting-the-coronavirus-myths

People can pass on coronavirus even if they don’t seem ill

It’s thought that people are most contagious (ie. most likely to pass the virus on) when their symptoms are at their worst.

It is possible that coronavirus can be passed on before people show any symptoms, but it’s not thought to be the main way it spreads. 

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html

It’s not safe to receive post and parcels.

Coronavirus lives for around 24-36 hours on hard surfaces but much less on rough and dry surfaces like cardboard. Parcels are not thought to be significant source or infection

Source: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

We should all avoid public transport and places

UK government advice is now that we should all avoid gatherings of more than 2 people, should leave the house only if essential and should only go to work if that work is essential and cannot be done from home.

I should wear a face mask in public

It’s widely recommended that only people who have symptoms of coronavirus and those caring for them (like health workers) should wear face masks. There’s little evidence they offer much benefit to anyone else.

The best way to protect yourself is to try and prevent the spread of viruses by regularly washing your hands with soap and water, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and avoiding close contact with people who are unwell.

Sources: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/common-questions/