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What You Should And Shouldn’t Believe About COVID-19

COVID-19 testing

Photo: Penn State Health / Flickr

As the number of COVID-19 cases rise, so do the stories and rumours around what’s going to happen and what we should do.

We have all likely seen the posts on Facebook: “this news is coming from a friend of a friend who knew a nurse…” or something along those lines.

It’s almost as if people are getting their information from the cockroach on Freaky Stories.

RELATED: How B.C. Is Dealing With COVID-19 Compared To The Rest Of Canada

In all seriousness, it’s understandable that people don’t know what to believe. So, here are some of the most common bits of misinformation you may have heard online.

You Should Never Leave Your House

We don’t blame you for being confused about what the rules are in terms of going outside. While some Vancouverites ignored that information recently, others won’t step out their front door.

According to the Government of Canada, we should be working from home, avoiding visiting others’ homes and keep at least two metres away from each other (if you’re healthy – otherwise just stay home). 

But the federal website also states you can “go outside for some fresh air, a run, a bike ride, or to walk the dog.” But again, make sure to keep your distance from others and try to avoid busy places. It’s best to stick to walks around your neighbourhood.

Don’t Take Ibuprofen

You may have seen posts online saying Ibuprofen can worsen the COVID-19 infection. But earlier this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) tweeted on its official account.

“Based on currently available information, WHO does not recommend against the use of ibuprofen,” the organization wrote.

And while UBC’s Dr. Mahyar Etminan said there is no scientific evidence to warn against using ibuprofen, he recommended acetaminophen.

“Until there is more scientific evidence on this issue, patients with mild to moderate fevers should use acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra), which has been regarded as the safest drug for pain and fever for decades,” said Etminan.

Are Masks Effective Or Not?

Here’s the directions on wearing masks, according to the World Health Organization:

  • If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask while taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.

For putting on the mask, here’s what you need to do:

  • Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
  • To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

What Sources You Can Believe

If you’re still unsure, it’s always a good idea to check the site of where you’re getting your information (not just for COVID-19, but always).

If you’re looking at a post on social media or at a blog run by an individual, you may want to take that information with a grain of salt. It’s also easy to double check information through Google.

In the case of COVID-19, some sources you can always trust include World Health Organization and the Government of Canada.

So stay safe and practice social distancing.

For more stories around the pandemic, head to our News section.


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