How coronavirus spread around the world
The coronavirus supposedly came from a wet market in Wuhan, China. It is thought to have emerged from zoonotic origins with a close genetic similarity to bats. The virus came about in 2019 and quickly spread around the world.
With no immunity to the virus and no preventive measures taken it is said that each infection resulted in 1.4 to 3.9 new infections. As people continued to travel the globe, the virus quickly became a pandemic. As China was slow to react and didn’t tell country leaders about the issue, it spread quickly and we didn’t have time to prepare.
Common myths about coronavirus
Their have been many myths and misconceptions regarding the coronavirus and here we will share a few of them.
The virus was made in a lab
The coronavirus is very similar to SARS which occurred between 2002-2004, and both viruses seem to have originated in bats.
A study from the journal Nature Medicine provided evidence that the spike protein found in SARS-CoV-2 would have almost certainly come from nature and not something that would have been created in a lab.
Pets can spread coronavirus.
In rare cases, pets can get COVID-19, with that being said there is no evidence that they can spread it to people. Whilst there have been a few cats and dogs who tested positive for the virus, the owner was confirmed to have symptoms before the animal showed any signs.
Kids can’t catch COVID-19
All people are capable of contracting the virus, and whilst it is less likely that a child would suffer severe illness, it is possible. The rates of infection for children are also much lower but even Donald Trump falsely claimed that kids were ‘almost immune’ to COVID-19 and this could not be further from the truth.
If you have COVID-19 you would know about it
Whilst there are common symptoms that you may get if you had the virus, some people have little to no symptoms at all. The symptoms completely vary from person to person, in fact, studies suggest that 40% of cases could be “asymptomatic” which means with no symptoms.
There are a few more myths that we can quickly breakdown. Wearing a mask will not cause C02 poisoning, the coronavirus is spread through droplets, not 5G, and drinking disinfectant will not help you, in fact, it is a poison that should not be ingested ever. Finally, vitamin C will not stop you from getting the virus, and receiving packages from China is safe as COVID-19 does not survive for long on packages and letters.
How do conspiracy theories start?
It’s important to know the reason why people believe in conspiracy theories and promote them.
When we take a look at social media, its clear that it’s a place where fake news articles with plenty of misinformation are shared and usually the headline is something extravagant or almost unbelievable.
The reality is that we want to find out what the article is saying so that we don’t miss out. After reading more we begin to believe it’s lies and when we have read it, we believe it.
Feeling that we are on top of a mountain of valuable information, we feel the need to share it with friends and family. As it spreads across social media platforms, it becomes more believable and even those that were skeptical at first begin to nod their heads.
The repetition of seeing anything on our news feed continuously provides us with a familiarity which confuses us with factual accuracy.
As the coronavirus is a life-threatening issue that we face globally this gives information more power as our minds are left vulnerable by worry and fear. What we recommend is to focus on the facts and ensure you get the information from a reliable source. Its better to make your own decisions using logic instead of your emotions.
Common Coronavirus symptoms
According to the NHS, the main symptom of coronavirus (COVID-19) is a high temperature (Feeling hot to the touch on your chest or back.)
Other things to look out for is a new continuous persistent cough. This could mean that you are coughing a lot for more than one hour, but could also show as 3 or more coughing episodes within 24 hours.
Another symptom is a loss or change in your sense of smell or taste. These are the main symptoms to look out for, however, the virus can cause a range of symptoms that range from a sore throat, headache, and even severe difficulty breathing.
If you develop any symptoms, you shouldn’t go to places like a pharmacy, GP surgery, or hospital. Instead, you should get a test to check if you have coronavirus and stay at home until you get your result to prevent spreading it. If you do have coronavirus you will need to self isolate for 14 days, or however long the current guidance from the government says.
Will wearing a mask protect me?
Wearing a mask is a new measure set by the government in an attempt to low the rate of infection and to prevent further transmission.
Currently in the UK, wearing a mask in a shop is mandatory and if you do not follow the guidelines you may be issued with a fine (unless you have a medical condition which prevents you wearing one.)
Various studies have been conducted looking at the protection that masks can offer, and in one study they found that in those countries that had face-covering government policies, they had a lower rate of death across 198 countries.
Scientists are now saying that as they can block the droplets, wearing a mask at the beginning of the pandemic could have saved 70,000 people in the U.S alone.
It’s important to know that not all masks are equal, and whilst there are limited requirements to what is needed from a mask if you want to keep yourself and others safe you should ensure that you go for a good quality mask. Whilst making your own may seem like a good idea at the time, it may be lacking in the protection that you need.
It’s also worth noting that whilst it is not a requirement for children under the age of 11 years old to wear face masks, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t.
What should I look for in a mask?
A good quality mask should be made up of at least three layers. Research suggests that homemade masks that seem the most effective have tightly woven fabric and also have a seal along the edges.
N95 masks are a respiratory protective device that is designed for efficient filtration of airborne particles. The surgical face masks are an effective option however they are not the best for the environment as they are disposable and can be used for a limited amount of time which will cause landfill. Bandanas are not an effective solution.
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Is a possible vaccine safe?
Even though a vaccine has not yet been made available, there is a substantial debate about whether the vaccine is safe or not, and instantly we have seen the separation of people who would take the vaccine and people who wouldn’t.
Under current human rights laws, the UK government cannot force a person to take the vaccine although things could change. It seems that a vaccine is not off the cards, as billions have been invested in vaccine development.
We will look back at these days in the future and the COVID-19 coronavirus will be a part of the world's history and schools will speak about pandemics to create awareness. Through this situation, all of the key workers have been fantastic and have worked hard tirelessly and the clapping was a simplistic way to show our appreciation but we should show our appreciation not just at this current time but all of the time.
Without these services, life would become a lot more difficult and people may not get the help that they need and so we must recognise what these people do and be thankful.