I’ve been seeing a lot of information on how to prevent getting the Covid-19 virus and most of it is true, but some of it seemed iffy and as an R.N., I was curious so I went searching. I’m embarrassed to admit that I even repeated a couple of these “facts”.
Facts and fallacies about preventing Coronavirus infection
These are the things we all know to be true (You can find them on the World Health Organization website or on the website of the CDC.)
1. Wash your hands the right way (20 seconds). You can sing the happy birthday song or the chorus to Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide.
2. You can use hand sanitizer but make sure it has at least 70% isopropyl alcohol in it. Keep it at the entrance to your house and in your car.
3. If you can, use a tissue to cough or sneeze and again, if you can, throw it away in a covered trash can (or if you’re like Monk, have someone open a Ziploc bag, toss it in and seal it! Then put that bag into another bag and seal it. KIDDING!) If you don’t have a tissue, use the inside of your elbow (so I guess we should all wear long sleeves!). When I think about this, I don’t think I’ll ever hug anyone again! Doesn’t the inside of an elbow always land somewhere around your neck?
4. Stay home if you can. If you can’t stay home, maintain social distancing. The World Health Organization recommends 3 feet but 6 feet sounds better to me.
5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth because that’s where the virus can enter the body. How many of you have realized that you touch your face a LOT?!
6. Many household cleaners will kill the coronavirus. Vinegar will not. It’s safe to use hydrogen-peroxide, bleach, and alcohol-based cleaners (must be at least 70% alcohol) for disinfecting surfaces that have or may have come into contact with the Coronavirus.
7. If you feel unwell, stay home. But if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Emergency rooms and urgent care centers are not your friends right now. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Advice that is possibly true.
- Zinc Lozenges will help avoid the coronavirus. A pathologist, James Robb of the University of San Diego, Californa, did some studies of coronaviruses in the 70s. What he said in an email to his family was “These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY “cold-like” symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx.” He believes that the lozenges may help.
- Taking Ibuprophen is not a good idea if you suspect you have Covid-19. French medical advice is to avoid ibuprofen as it may make the disease worse, but evidence on this is still being argued and research is ongoing.
- There’s no evidence that taking vitamin C will help prevent Covid-19. That being said, vitamin C promotes a healthy immune system so taking vitamin C supplements or eating foods high in Vitamin C is considered a good idea.
- 7. Can a facemask protect me? While it can’t protect you entirely (viruses can penetrate tear ducts and sometimes the tiny particles known as aerosols can get in, some studies have estimated a roughly fivefold protection versus no barrier alone.
Advice without foundation (FALSE):
- To test for coronavirus, hold your breath for 10 seconds. If you can do this without discomfort, you probably don’t have the virus. There is no evidence to suggest that this test is accurate.
- Some are suggesting that drinking hot liquids or gargling with warm water, salt water, essentials oils, garlic or even bleach can help prevent catching the virus, by washing it into the stomach where it will be neutralized. First of all, never, EVER gargle with bleach, even if diluted. Also, be careful with the essential oils. You need to understand them before using them.
There is not currently enough evidence to suggest that the use of warm liquids works, although they can certainly be comforting for a sore throat. And there is evidence that the virus
3. If you don’t have any hand sanitizer, you can use hand gel and vodka to make your own. Sanitizer requires at least 70% isopropyl alcohol. Most vodkas have only about 40%.
4. There are all sorts of posts claiming the amount of time the virus lives on certain surfaces: hair, clothing, countertops, grocery items. We just don’t know enough about this virus yet to determine those values. Keep washing your hands and sanitizing your items. The Public Health Department in England has advised that laundry items can still be washed together and according to the manufacturer’s directions, but warned against shaking dirty laundry “to minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air”.
5. No, a hairdryer will not stop the coronavirus. <smh>
I hope this helps you differentiate between the facts and myths. Let me know if you have any other questions about “facts” you have heard. I’m sure you have heard the possibly good news today about the combination of Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (a drug used for malaria) and Zythromaz or Z-Pac having some positive results in people who have contracted Covid-19. Let’s hope the good news continues!
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