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Drug and Syringe

Misconceptions about COVID-19 and its vaccine

Three years into the pandemic, after huge losses in lives, livelihoods, and freedoms, misinformation about the coronavirus and now its vaccines, are still in circulation on the internet. It will take time to completely eradicate these misconstructions, but it is not impossible. I will begin discussing some myths and theories about the coronavirus itself, and then continue on to the vaccines science has developed to battle the virus. The misunderstandings are not listed in any order.

Coronavirus

The virus is called many different names: coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2). The disease it causes is called COVID-19, or simply COVID.

– Getting COVID is no big deal. It is just another flu.

It is true yes that COVID-19 is only a mild condition for most people, however for those who are elderly and/ or clinically vulnerable it is anything but mild. Getting COVID-19 depends on the immune system, and if the immune system is already weakened, it is a big deal. As for the flu, it has been around for years mutating each time, but it is never less of a threat.

– Only the elderly contract it.

In most cases, it is the elderly who fall victim to the disease. But there are many factors at play; age is only one of them. Pre-existing health conditions regardless of age (for those clinically vulnerable), ethnicity, wealth, gender (does not factor that much), all determine who contracts it and how long it will take for someone to recover from the disease.

– Children and teenagers are immune to it.

Not necessarily true. For the better part of a year, children and younger adults seemed to evade COVID-19 but now more and more are falling ill to it. It is probably due to the emerging variants and how vulnerable children are.

– Herd immunity is the way out. We do this by sacrificing said elderly to save the economy.

It would have been the ideal solution to continue working and travelling while the virus ravages entire nations to protect the economy, but it would also have meant exposing society’s most vulnerable, namely the elderly, to the virus. Not a good solution to only protect one generation of society and not another.

– Yes, because lockdowns don’t work.

Lockdowns tend to have a rapid effect; they act to break the circuit of virus transmission up and down the country. They work. This is the reason why they last no more than one month or so when put in place. However, lockdown costs people’s freedoms and mental health so it should only be imposed when crucial.

 

But we need to work! How will we support ourselves?

Very understandable. But if you suddenly contract COVID, you will not be able to work anyway. Many government initiatives have been started to support workers in the past year or so.

What is this 2m/ 6ft rule? No social contact whatsoever? The particles don’t even travel that far.

The major way coronavirus travels is by droplets in the air between human contact. Not through surfaces (very little evidence supporting this), not by sharing needles, not by parasites and animals (vectors that bring the virus to humans).

 

- And face masks! No need to say they don’t work either. No matter the number of layers in the mask.

Nothing is ever 100% efficient, and face masks are not exempt from this. Face masks help a lot by stopping you from inhaling COVID-19 particles in the air, indeed spread by people not wearing, or cannot wear, masks. Not just COVID-19 particles, but any other harmful particles. You’re still able to take oxygen in and carbon dioxide out- these molecules are much smaller, 1-3 atoms big, so they can pass through the mask. Multiple layers of the mask offer more protection, however one is enough.

- Antibiotics can be used to treat COVID-19.

Antibiotics are anti-bacteria. Coronavirus is a virus- only antivirals will help.

- Surely if bleach cleans and wipes out pathogens on surfaces and on just about anything else, it can do the same inside our bodies.

Bleach is for surfaces only; they are not for consumption or administration as medicine. They will cause untold amount of damage inside the body. Bleach also turns things white. Whatever cleaning and wiping of pathogen need to be done, your immune system will do it. No need for bleach.

 

- How does opening windows help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

As mentioned before, COVID-19 respiratory particles travel by air. So opening windows and increasing the circulation of air, helps the particles to be blown away from you and the people with you and reduces the chance of becoming infected with the virus. Going outside for this reason helps (if not under lockdown or other restrictions).

- How does fresh air help?

As above.

Vaccine

– I think they will inject a microchip under the pretence of a vaccine and will track my every movement.

There is no microchip. All the ingredients and chemicals used to produce the vaccines are available to view on the respective pharmaceutical website. None of the ingredients have any tracking potential.

– Or they are just making money.

Usually the government or state orders and buys the vaccines from the different companies. The expenses are on them. The rest of the population get the vaccine for free.

- Vaccines hurt.

Only a pinprick when the vaccine is being administered. After that only mild side effects and taking paracetamol or other painkillers will help.

- And we are part of a big experiment.

All the testing and experimenting was done during the three phases of clinical trials. The vaccines have been approved for (temporary) nationwide use.

- Vaccines don’t work anyway.

There is always a story in the news detailing the efficacies of the vaccines. They have an efficiency of 70-96% depending on the vaccine, and vaccine dose. Generally, the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks that come from it.

- Yes, because they cause shedding.

Check the context and definition of this word. ‘Shedding’ here refers to the vaccine releasing or discharging its viral components onto others and infecting them. Once inside the body, the vaccine has no way to expel the viral contents.The only way the virus will shed its components is when the person is infected and sneezes, coughs, or causes the particles to travel in the air (i.e. when NOT vaccinated).

 

- And, fertility issues.

No biological mechanism or pathway has been discovered over the centuries that shows vaccines cause fertility issues. In fact, the reproductive system itself suppresses the immune system (not the other way round).

- They will definitely cause issues if given to children.

Vaccines were originally produced to provide protection to adults 18 years and older. Though there are vaccines that only children take as routine e.g. MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and children don’t typically have any problems with them, COVID-19 vaccines aren’t among them.

- Vaccines contain meat, and/ or made from animal products (and I am against this).

As mentioned already, all the ingredients of the different vaccines can be found on the individual drug company websites. None of the vaccines contain meat, and if religion-conscious, scriptures advise the use of health agents even if they contain meat, to better your well-being.

Anyway, the vaccine is used as medicine and not as an item for consumption.

– You can pay to get a vaccine made from glucose sugar and water, and I believe it does the same thing as the official vaccine.

Sugar solution is not a vaccine. It does not prevent against COVID-19. No trials have been conducted in favour of this. For a vaccine to be a vaccine, it is essential to have the actual weakened version or mRNA form of the virus.

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Please take the time to read, watch, or listen to official government or health system information on coronavirus and vaccines. Millions if not billions have listened so far, be a part of this number. As with any public health guidance, education and spreading awareness are always key.

By Manisha Halkhoree

Related articles: COVID-19 glossary / Origins of COVID-19 / Digital disinformation 

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