By MACKENZIE STEELE
Keep an eye on our site…
Part 2/2 of this COVID-19 myth buster series is coming out on Tuesday 28th April 2020.
There’s been a lot of information and misinformation floating around about COVID19, and it can be really hard to tell fact from fiction. I’ve compiled some of the common things I’ve heard, and there are links to more information from reputable sources in there too. Happy reading!
1. It’s just a cold / It’s just a flu.
Firstly, while your medicine cabinet might be stocked with things labelled “cold and flu”, colds are different from the flu. I get a bit mad when people say “just the flu”, seeing as influenza isn’t “just” anything: it kills! People don’t die of a cold, but they can from the flu. And COVID19 is different again. There are a lot of pictures floating around showing the differences in symptoms, but here’s one of my favourites. Remember though, not everyone who has any contagious illness will have symptoms!
Image by Siouxsie Wiles & Toby Morris.
2. It’s not even as bad as the flu.
Actually, it is worse. I found a nice infographic from Vox showing the difference, based off American influenza rates (ours shouldn’t be much different though). Seasonal flu does have its own epidemics, but those are mostly in countries without good healthcare access.
3. It doesn’t affect healthy or young people badly, if at all.
Young people aged 20 to 29 are by far the group with the highest numbers of infected, above even the vulnerable groups of people over 60. Below is a graph from the Ministry of Health of the numbers by age group as of the fourteenth of April (get your most recent statistics here).
As for being healthy, that isn’t much of a protection. If you have a pre-existing condition, you are more likely to be worse affected, but that doesn’t mean that healthy people won’t end up in hospital or die. Recently a healthy 13-year-old died in the UK, and he is one of many.
4. The best way to fight it is not a quarantine but herd immunity, letting the weak die.
I hear this one frighteningly often. The idea is if most people get it, then those who survive will be immune, and anyone old or with a pre-existing condition can either self-isolate or die. Of course, this is flawed on many levels. For one, people can be re-infected with viruses, and sometimes immune people can be carriers (they don’t get sick, but others will). Two, forcing vulnerable communities to become more isolated from the support they need is harsh and unnecessary.
The best way to fight is to stop giving it more cells to infect. It needs us and our cells to move to new victims and grow in number, so if we don’t go anywhere, if we don’t let it leave us, our immune systems will destroy it, our soap and water will wash it away, and after a time there won’t be any virus left here. That’s why we are in lockdown.
For more, accurate, information, go to https://covid19.govt.nz/ and https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019.
Mackenzie is Tearaway’s resident evil Aspie queen. Mwahaha! She’s dead set on becoming a geneticist, but she’s interested in other things too. Like Sims, cats, owls, Sims, books, music, Sims, Ancient Roman life, Latin, Sims…