Saturday, March 28, 2020

See How The Office Of NYS Senator James Sanders Jr. Dispels The Top 11 Myths Of The Coronavirus

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NYS Senator James Sanders
In the wake of coronavirus (COVID-19), there has been a lot of misinformation spreading just as fast as the coronavirus itself. While there is a lot of truth out there about what coronavirus is and how serious this pandemic is, there are many myths floating around too. Senator James Sanders Jr. is here to make sure you get the facts above all else. Therefore, here are the top 11 myths about COVID-19 and the facts to set them straight. 

Myth 1: Black People are Immune to Coronavirus

Last week, two notable individuals of African descent tested positive for COVID-19. Afro-British actor, Idris Elba and NBA player, Rudy Gobert (as well as many other black NBA players testing positive) had to self-quarantine due to contracting the virus. There have been many false assertions that black people can't be infected by COVID-19. However, there is no data suggesting that there is any racial or geographic immunity to coronaviruses. Otis Brawley--a professor of epidemiology and oncology at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health--said, "I want to be very clear — there is, despite many claims to the contrary, no truth, no fact at all in claims of genetic differences, immunity or susceptibility, to disease based on race."

Myth 2: Cold Weather Can Kill the Virus

Cold weather cannot kill the new coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization, there is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases. The normal human body temperature remains around 97.7°F to 98.6°F, regardless of the external temperature or weather. The most effective way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or washing them with soap and water.

Myth 3: Only Elderly People Can Be Infected by the Virus

This virus can infect anyone and any age is at risk for being infected. However, it is true that coronavirus is likely to significantly affect people over age 65 and individuals with underlying health conditions, such as asthma, cancer, diabetes and chronic heart disease. People in those groups are more likely to have a severe and sometimes fatal illness from a coronavirus infection. It is also important to note that younger, healthier people can be infected, show no symptoms, and pass the virus on to those more vulnerable populations. 

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Myth 4: If I Become Infected with the Virus, I'll Die

Only a small percentage of people who contract COVID-19 are likely to die. About 80% of those who are infected with the virus experience only a mild illness. Some people will contract the illness and be asymptomatic. The data suggests that only around 2.3% of people infected with COVID-19 die from the virus. People who are older or have underlying health conditions seem to be most at risk of having severe disease or complications. While there's no need to panic, people should take steps to prepare and protect themselves and others from the new coronavirus.

Myth 5: The Virus is Just a Mutated Form of the Common Cold

No, it's not. Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that includes many different diseases. SARS-CoV-2 does share similarities with other coronaviruses, four of which can cause the common cold. All five viruses have spiky projections on their surfaces and utilize so-called spike proteins to infect host cells. However, the four cold coronaviruses — named 229E, NL63, OC43 and HKU1 — all utilize humans as their primary hosts. SARS-CoV-2 shares about 90% of its genetic material with coronaviruses that infect bats, which suggests that the virus originated in bats and later hopped to humans.

Evidence suggests that the virus passed through an intermediate animal before infecting humans. Similarly, the SARS virus jumped from bats to civets (small, nocturnal mammals) on its way into people, whereas MERS infected camels before spreading to humans.

Myth 6: If You Have COVID-19, You Will Know

Wrong. COVID-19 causes a wide range of symptoms, many of which appear in other respiratory illnesses such as the flu and the common cold. Specifically, common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and difficulty breathing, and rarer symptoms include dizziness, nausea, vomiting and a runny nose. In severe cases, the disease can progress into a serious pneumonia-like illness — but early on, infected people may show no symptoms at all.

Myth 7: Wearing a Facemask Will Protect You From COVID-19.

This is not accurate. Certain models of professional, tight-fitting respirators (such as the N95) can protect health care workers as they care for infected patients. For the general public without respiratory illness, wearing lightweight disposable surgical masks is not recommended. Because they don’t fit tightly, they may allow tiny infected droplets to get into the nose, mouth or eyes. Also, people with the virus on their hands who touch their face under a mask might become infected. People with a respiratory illness can wear these masks to lessen their chance of infecting others. Bear in mind that stocking up on masks makes fewer available for sick patients and health care workers who need them.

Myth 8: Flu and Pneumonia Vaccines Protect Against COVID-19

As SARS-CoV-2 is different than other viruses, no existing vaccines protect against infection.

Myth 9: Garlic and Home Remedies Protects Against COVID-19

Some research suggests that garlic might slow the growth of some species of bacteria. However, COVID-19 is caused by a virus, and there is no evidence that garlic can protect people against COVID-19. No home remedies can protect against COVID-19, including vitamin C, essential oils, silver colloid, sesame oil, garlic, fish tank cleaner, and sipping water every 15 minutes. The best approach is to adopt a good handwashing regimen and to avoid places where there may be unwell people.

Myth 10: If You Can Hold Your Breath for 10 Seconds, You Don't Have a Coronavirus Infection. 

The idea behind this myth is that if some is infected with coronavirus, by the time someone is having trouble breathing, 50% of their lungs will have pulmonary fibrosis -- a lung disease that causes irreversible scarring and hardening of the lung tissue. There's a post that's been floating around the internet that states that if you can hold your breath for 10 seconds -- without feeling like you need to gasp for air or a tightness in your chest -- then you don't have pulmonary fibrosis and you're likely not infected with coronavirus.

While it's possible for the coronavirus to cause fibrosis, holding your breath is not a suitable at-home "test" to determine if you have lung damage. To get a proper diagnosis, you'd need a variety of tests performed by your doctor. And, if you're having difficulty breathing, from coronavirus or anything else, you should call your healthcare provider.

Myth 11: You Don't Have to Pay Your Rent Because of the 90-Day Moratorium Due to COVID-19

To be clear, the Governor has NOT issued an Executive Order suspending rent payments for residents or business.  In fact, in yesterday's update on New York State Actions on Coronavirus was the following statement regarding housing:

"On March 20, Governor Cuomo announced that the State will be implementing a 90-day moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial tenants. The Governor declined to announce the suspension of rent, but noted that an eviction moratorium is an important step in that direction and encouraged landlords to be lenient because they will not be able to evict their tenants and show vacant apartments or stores for the near future."

In other words, without an Executive Order or legislative actions, which both have not happened, tenants are still required to pay rent to landlords during these times.  If they do not, they risk being evicted by the landlord once the eviction moratorium is lifted and they will still responsible to pay those missed rent payments. While there is a bill or two that calls for the suspension of rent, it has not become law until the legislature passes said bill(s) and the Governor signs it.

Lastly, it is important to note that information surrounding this pandemic is always changing. As that happens, we will make sure to update you as soon as possible with the most accurate information.


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