Separating facts and fiction in a crisis like this is super important, and even though there are many more trusted sources now that at the beginning, there are still some crazy rumors and fictions being talked about and posted, let’s set the record straight.
One of the earliest versions of these fake and made up posts was posted by a Facebook user on 7 February 2020. It was shared in a group called Happy People, with nearly 2,000 members.
It went like this:
“My classmate’s uncle and nephew graduated with a master’s degree, and work in Shenzhen Hospital. He is being transferred to study the Wuhan pneumonia virus. He just called me and told me to tell my friends…”
The tips that followed are quite misleading or just completely wrong. One of them tells us that you don’t have the virus “if you have a runny nose”, but again this is simply not the case.
According to fact-checking organizations “Full Fact and Snopes”, citing health authorities including the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and The Lancet medical journal, a runny nose is fairly uncommon, however, it’s not unheard of among coronavirus patients.
The post also tells people to “drink more hot water” and “Try not to drink ice”, again this is likely born of the idea that hot drinks will help to kill the virus, however, there’s currently no medical evidence that either of those things will help prevent or cure coronavirus!
Then, on 27th February, an 84-year-old guy, a former art gallery owner, called Peter caused it to go completely viral.
Peter’s post was similar to this first post, and again included some new information, but some of which were wrong or misleading people.
Peter’s post spread really fast until it came to the attention of fact-checkers like Full Fact and Snopes. The organizations wrote detailed stories debunking these claims and citing reliable medical sources including the WHO, the US CDC, the UK National Health Service (NHS) and others.
For instance, one claim in the post stated that the virus “hates the Sun”, but as of yet there’s no evidence that sunlight kills the virus, and cases have been reported in many countries with hot and sunny climates.
But among all these rumors you can now simply google for coronavirus and you will be directed to trusted source of information, not only this but Facebook have vowed to work hard to remove false information and make sure any information is accurate, read about it here.
So stay safe and only trust what you read from government or trusted sources, lets beat this virus together and do our best to stop it spreading.