Debunking coronavirus myths

Epidemiologist Brandon Brown addresses some common myths surrounding the virus

March 18, 2020
Author: Iqbal Pittalwala
March 18, 2020

Epidemiologist Brandon Brown, an associate professor in the Center for Heathy Communities in the UCR School of Medicine, breaks down several coronavirus myths that have been recently circulating.
 
Only older people get coronavirus.

False, people over age 65 are more likely to have a severe illness, sometimes fatal, from infection. Anyone is at risk of getting infected, and anyone can pass on the virus to others who are at higher risk of getting severely sick, including older adults, pregnant women, and people with comorbidities and other chronic illnesses.
 
Hoarding food and supplies will help you.

There is no need to purchase 100 rolls of toilet paper and to fill your freezers with all the meats, milk, and other foods you can possibly purchase. This actually hurts other customers when there is nothing available, so take what you need and leave the rest. Going to a supermarket with hundreds of other people fighting for resources like toilet paper is one way you can be exposed to the virus.
 
Living in this time of COVID-19 is business as usual.

This is not business as usual. Travel is restricted, people are encouraged to work from home, restaurants and bars are closing, as are gyms, movie theaters, and events with crowds over 50. There may be a point where we proceed to aggressive social distancing, where we go outside only for food and medications.
 
African Americans are immune.

This social media myth is false. Everyone is at risk.
 
Drinking alcohol will protect you from coronavirus.

Drinking alcohol will not protect you.