4 COVID-19 myths

Have you heard the one about how the coronavirus (COVID-19) isn’t nearly as bad as catching the flu? How about the claim that only “old people” need to worry about COVID-19? Or even that taking a hot bath can stop COVID-19 after you’ve been infected? None of these things are true. But myths like these can gain a lot of traction because people read or hear about them and then repeat them to friends and family. That’s why it’s important to separate fact from fiction before hitting the “share” button. “Besides practicing social distancing and regular handwashing, sharing accurate information is one of the best things we can do to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” says infectious diseases and infection control specialist Roy Chemaly, M.D. To set the record straight, here’s what he wants you to know about some of the most common myths related to COVID-19. Myth #1: COVID-19 only affects “old people,” so I’m not at risk. Fact: The COVID-19 pandemic concerns everyone, because people of any age can be infected with the virus that causes it. They can also pass that virus along to others — even if they never show any symptoms of infection. And while most cases of COVID-19 are mild, the elderly and people with chronic health conditions, such as cancer, are even more vulnerable. Children appear to be both less susceptible to infection by the virus and less likely to develop COVID-19 as a result. Still, says Chemaly, “It’s important to remember that healthy people in their 30s and 40s have developed severe COVID-19 symptoms, and some people with chronic health...