Coronavirus has been declared a pandemic, so it’s time we started getting to grips with what we can – and can’t – be doing to protect ourselves.
As ever, there’s plenty of misinformation floating around. So let’s get myth-busting, shall we? Here are some which the
How Not To Be A Dick During The Coronavirus Outbreak
4. Using a saline solution can kill the germs.
You might be tempted to rinse your nose with a saline solution to try and wash it out once in a while, but there’s no evidence as of yet that doing this can protect people from the new strain of coronavirus (Covid-19).
There is some evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold, suggests WHO. However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.
5. Taking a hot bath can prevent you from getting the virus.
As much as it pains us to say it (because baths are great), having a nice long soak in the tub won’t reduce your risk of getting the virus. Your normal body temperature will remain around 36.5°C to 37°C regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower and WHO actually warns that taking a hot bath could be dangerous if the water’s too hot, as you’ll end up burning yourself.
That said, if you want a soak in the tub to relax after a busy day, we’re not going to stop you. Keeping in a relaxed and de-stressed state can help keep your immune system in check.
6. Making your own hand sanitiser is safe.
With hand sanitiser flying off supermarket shelves, some have decided that a DIY version could work just as well – but Public Health England (PHE) has warned against it.
Dr Jenna Macciochi, an immunologist based at Sussex University, told HuffPost UK alcohol-based sanitisers that have more than 60% alcohol are considered best – but homemade solutions may not be up to scratch.
“I wouldn’t try and make your own sanitiser at home,” she said. “It’s not necessary for most people who have access to regular hand washing with soap and water, which is perfectly sufficient. [Homemade sanitiser] will most likely be less effective than ones that you can buy and have a known amount of alcohol in them.”
7. Taking antibiotics can fight off the virus.
Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections, and, despite popular belief, should not be used for viral infections such as colds and ear infections – and, of course, coronavirus. That said, people who are hospitalised with Covid-19 may be given antibiotics as bacterial co-infection is possible.