What Are Some Common Myths And Questions Around The Coronavirus Outbreak?

This post is a part of YKA’s dedicated coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak and aims to present factual, reliable information. Read more.

Here is a list of frequently asked questions about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a class of viruses known for causing respiratory diseases in humans, and includes viruses such as SARS, MERS, and of course, SARS COV-2. SARS COV-2 is the virus responsible for causing COVID-19, the current pandemic spreading all over the world. Coronaviruses are known for having a protective membrane around their body, due to which they are hard to kill. The current coronavirus outbreak is due to SARS COV-2, a mutation of the SARS virus, which was responsible for a similar outbreak in 2002.

corona virus

Can drinking alcohol kill coronavirus?

Just because an alcohol sanitiser can be used to kill the virus on our skin, doesn’t mean we can drink alcohol and kill the coronavirus in our body. If that were true, every time you drank alcohol, all viruses in our body would die, and medicines would have been declared redundant. If anything, drinking alcohol can decrease one’s immunity.

Can I eat non-vegetarian food?

Since Coronavirus has now jumped species from animals to humans, avoiding animal exposure would not stop the spread of the virus. Additionally, meat that has been cooked thoroughly doesn’t contain any type of pathogens. So, if you want to eat meat, technically you can. Having said that, it would be a good idea to avoid heavy consumption of non-vegetarian food under these circumstances, because it might put unnecessary load on your digestive system and waste energy that can be used to fight diseases. This is especially applicable to elderly people. Avoiding partially-cooked and raw meat is, as always, a good practice.

Will Coronavirus die during summers?

This is only an estimation at this point. Coronavirus patients are showing symptoms similar to that of influenza and the seasonal flu. It is known that influenza becomes aggressive during the initial time of the year when it’s cold, and as we approach the summer season, it dies down due to high temperature. Currently, it is not known if coronavirus will show the same trend, but health officials think there is a high probability that it will.

Can drinking ‘Goumutra’ kill coronavirus?

There is no research supporting the claim that Goumutra or cow urine can cure COVID-19 (caused by coronavirus) or any other viral disease. While it may work as a placebo, I wouldn’t suggest drinking it due to the presence of ammonia and many other toxic chemicals in any type of urine.


Can garlic, onion, or turmeric kill coronavirus?

No. Garlic, onion, turmeric, or any other home spices can’t kill viruses. This is because diseases caused by viruses like the Coronavirus are ultimately destroyed by our own immunity system. What these home remedies can do is boost your immune system, which can then help you fight any type of viruses or bacteria, including the coronavirus. So, eat garlic, onion, honey, tulsi, and turmeric not because they kill viruses, but because they build your immunity.

Are scientists working on a cure for coronavirus?

Not exactly. Since COVID-19 is a disease caused by a type of coronavirus named SARS COV-2, finding a cure is very difficult and could take a lot of time, time that we don’t have. This is because infection caused by viruses can’t be eliminated using antibiotics, and there are very few effective medicines that can be used against such viruses. While research on using anti-HIV drugs against coronavirus is ongoing, majority of the doctors and scientists all around the world, including those at World Health Organisation (WHO) and Center for Disease Control (CDC), are currently trying to come up with a vaccine to inoculate people.

How much time will it take to make the vaccine?

We have to understand that making a vaccine is not an easy process and requires a lot of time. We can be satisfied with the fact that the WHO and CDC, and many other health organisations are working on the development of a vaccine for coronavirus. Still, the best estimate currently being given by the officials is mid-2021. This means we need to decrease the spread of the virus as much as we can, until the vaccine is prepared.


What can common people do to stop the virus?

Until the vaccine is developed, we have to try to decrease the spread of Coronavirus as much as we can. We need to practice social distancing and indulge in social interactions only when it’s absolutely necessary. Wash your hands regularly, use sanitisers when you can’t wash your hands, and practice good hygiene. If you think you have any symptoms of COVID-19, use a face mask to limit exposure to other people and consult with your nearest hospital so that you can be tested.

We need to flatten the curve of the number of deaths due to coronavirus.

The virus is bound to infect many people as it is highly contagious. What we can do to make sure we survive this pandemic is to decrease the number of cases at any given point in time so that our medical facilities are not overwhelmed. If a large number of people start approaching hospitals, our health system might collapse, and people who can be cured from the virus might end up dying. This is what is happening in Italy. So, practice social distancing, take care of vulnerable people at your home, and don’t panic. We will get through this together.


The article was originally published here

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As the coronavirus pandemic continues, it is our duty to keep ourselves informed, take care of our own health, and wash our hands! Some simple measures that we must follow include social distancing, covering our mouth when coughing and sneezing, washing one's hands regularly, and avoid crowded places, and self-quarantine! The helpline provided by the government is +91-11-23978046. Here are some resources that the WHO and the Health Ministry have created. Remember, prevention, and not panic, will see us through this!
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