Every day we learn something new about the coronavirus (COVID-19). But as we continue to gather new information, myths about the virus have also been spreading fast. It is critical that we are able to tell apart facts and misinformation, especially as it impacts vulnerable communities.
Current data shows an unequal burden of illness and death among racial and ethnic minority groups, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Health disparities among racial and ethnic groups are traced to economic and social conditions, such as living conditions, work circumstances, underlying health conditions and access to care.
Here are the facts:
Truth 1: COVID-19 has the potential to affect everyone.
COVID-19 impacts all races and ethnicities. However, older people and people with other underlying health conditions – such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes – are at a higher risk of getting seriously ill.
Truth 2: It is not proven that certain hot drinks or foods will prevent infection.
There is no evidence that drinking hot ﬂuids, lemon juice or alcohol, or eating hot peppers or garlic, will prevent you from getting COVID-19. There are two diﬀerent paths just past our tongue. One is our esophagus for food and liquids. The other is our trachea for breathing. Inhaling small droplets of the virus is the most common way the virus enters our bodies.
Truth 3: Children, teens and young adults can get the virus.
The virus infects people all ages. However, older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions are more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
Truth 4: Bathing in hot water does not prevent the virus.
Taking a hot bath after exposure to COVID-19 will not kill the virus inside your body. Your best defense is preventing exposure. For example, washing your hands often, wearing a face covering and physical distancing from people who aren’t in your household. Since distancing from people is not always an option for everyone, wearing a mask or facial covering is especially important. Frequent and thorough hand washing is best. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also an option when access to soap and water is limited.
Truth 5: It’s possible that if you don’t feel sick or show any symptoms you can still spread the virus.
Many people who feel well can actually have COVID-19 and spread it. It’s important to follow the CDC’s recommendation to wear a mask and maintain six feet of distance from others.
Truth 6: Hospitals are safe.
Hospitals are safe, ready and open to provide you safe expert care, including preventive appointments, select surgeries, procedures and diagnostic testing. Safety protocols are in place to offer the highest standards of care. Our doors are open and we are ready to treat patients with non-COVID related medical needs in a safe environment.
Truth 7: Everyone can seek medical care.
Seeking medical attention will not make any legal processes, like getting a green card, more diﬃcult in the future. Everyone should seek medical care if needed.
As we continue to learn more about this pandemic, it’s important that you take care of yourself. Do not delay or be afraid to seek medical care when you need it.