Months into the worst pandemic to hit the United States in more than a century, people continue to believe that 5G mobile networks are to blame for COVID-19, that this health disaster was planned, that eating garlic can protect you, and that children are immune.
A number of these myths have been debunked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, Johns Hopkins University, the Mayo Clinic, public health officials, and scientists. They persist, however.
According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in June, 71% of Americans had heard the conspiracy theory that powerful people planned the outbreak.
Myth 1. Children are immune to COVID-19
COVID-19 has been detected in newborns in Kansas City. Children’s Mercy has treated a small number of children for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, a rare but serious condition linked to COVID-19.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, which represents more than 220 children’s hospitals across the country, reported last week that the number of children testing positive in the United States increased by 90% between July 9 and August 6.
More than 380,000 people have been infected so far, accounting for approximately 9% of all cases in the country, according to their tally. The groups said their data, which is limited because it is based on the various ways states report cases, emphasized the need to control the virus so that schools can reopen. In April, the pediatric group began collecting data on children infected with COVID-19.
Myth 2. Masks don’t work.
In Kansas, they do. According to a new analysis by The Star and The Wichita Eagle, there has been a downward trend in cases since July in 16 Kansas counties that mandated masks early on, while 89 counties that did not mandate masks have trended up.
Kansas also saw its first sustained decrease in daily new cases since early June after implementing Gov. Laura Kelly’s order on July 3, according to the analysis.
There is no statewide mask order in Missouri.
Myth 3. Hot peppers prevent or cure COVID-19
No, they will not. Just don’t tell that to the 107-year-old New Jersey grandmother who recently made headlines for surviving both the Spanish flu and COVID-19.
Anna Del Priore, a Brooklyn native, attributes some of her immunity to growing up on a Mediterranean diet. “I eat hot peppers,” she admitted to one television station.
Myth 4. It’ll go away after the election
COVID-19 will be with us for years, according to public health experts and drug companies developing vaccines and leading clinical trials. COVID-19, like the flu, is expected to resurface from time to time even with a vaccine.
Myth 5. Bleach will protect you
President Donald Trump discussed the possibility of treating COVID-19 with disinfectants during a coronavirus briefing at the White House in April.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there is still misinformation about how to treat COVID-19, and saline nasal washes, as well as drinking alcohol or eating garlic, do not help.
Following Trump’s remarks at the White House, disinfectant manufacturers, including Lysol, were among the first to warn people against injecting or ingesting their products.
Myth 6. 5G mobile networks spread COVID-19
This whopper, which has been widely debunked, received a lot of attention from a Twitter account that has since been deactivated, according to researchers at the London School of Economics. They discovered that the user of the account, who was never identified, sent out 303 tweets in seven days.
According to the WHO, viruses cannot travel over radio waves or mobile networks, and COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G networks.
Myth 7. Houseflies and mosquitoes transmit COVID-19
To date, there is no evidence or information showing that COVID-19 is transmitted through mosquito bites or houseflies, says the WHO.
Myth 8. Pets can spread COVID-19
According to the CDC, the risk of animals transmitting COVID-19 to humans is currently low, but the so-far limited information is constantly changing. Infected people, it appears, can spread it to animals “in some situations,” according to federal health officials.
No one in one of the cats’ household had tested positive for COVID-19 and was suspected of contracting it from an asymptomatic family member or an infected person outside the home.