About the Novel Coronavirus

Jessica Galvin

Due to all the media panic about the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a plethora of fearmongering and misinformation out there. Because of these dangerous factoids, I feel it has become relevant to share some information that may help provide some peace of mind in these troubling times. Honestly, eating Chinese cuisine or drinking Corona beer is as safe as any other food or drink. I really shouldn’t have to list things like this, but some people are hopelessly ignorant. Also, masks don’t work if they don’t cover your nose and mouth. There are actual photos of people wearing masks on their chin or like a blindfold or a hat.

What to Do:

· Frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, not alcoholic beverages. It’s ineffective and a waste of booze.

· Always cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, but not with your hand. Use the inside of your elbow.

· Keep at least six feet away from other people in public.

· Stay at home whenever you can, especially if you have symptoms. Only leave for things you truly need.

· See as few people outside your own home as possible.

What Not to Do:

There is no evidence that eating spicy peppers, taking hot baths, drinking tea, or applying essential oils will do anything against the coronavirus, but at least they won’t kill you, probably. The bigger issues are when conspiracy theorists and internet trolls tell people to drink poison, microwave their currency, and hunt down stray animals. I probably sound condescending, but real people are earning their Darwin Awards out there.

Household disinfectants are not for use on or in the human body. These chemicals are not meant for animals or plants either. You want to sanitize the surfaces that people touch the most, like doorknobs and light switches. This may seem obvious or even patronizing, but, sadly for the future of humanity, people are literally drinking bleach. We have these clueless citizens running around and hospitalizing themselves during a time when we desperately need medical resources.

What to Look Out for:

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are no current “miracle cures” for the coronavirus. There was some hype about chloroquine, which some people implied would solve the whole epidemic. Hastily touting a treatment in the opening stages of its research is irresponsible and could put many people at risk. Further experimentation is necessary to see if the chemical becomes a confirmed treatment for the coronavirus or a poison to the uninformed.

Chloroquine is not a new drug. It is approved for the treatment of lupus and malaria, but not COVID-19. There was an elderly couple who got their hopes up on hydroxychloroquine being a magic bullet. After ingesting chloroquine phosphate, the husband died, and the wife went to the emergency room. While it is important to note that this isn’t the same chemical used to treat malaria or lupus, the point is the same. Don’t use unverified cures for the coronavirus or any other illness.

Aside from chloroquine and the similar hydroxychloroquine, there are other potential treatments out there, such as remdesivir, leronlimab, ivermectin, lopinavir, and ritonavir, or likely a combination. While the possibilities are exciting, remember that in times of crisis there is always someone looking to profit off the suffering. There are snake oil salesmen out there peddling supposed cures for money.

Be careful and don’t get scammed.

Edited by Abbie Barth, Diana Martinez-Ponce, Shelby Spradling, Hannah Alleyne