CoronaVirus Myths…A Nurse In Your Pocket Series

Only elderly people are at risk for serious health complications or death…

The primary issue with this virus is there seems to be no rhyme or reason as far as how this virus will impact your health. Yes, the elderly population is at much greater risk for developing serious complications or even death. But the younger generations and people without pre-existing illnesses have fallen victim to serious complications, including death in much higher numbers than most realize. So yes, the elderly, people with pre existing illnesses and the very young must be very concerned. But with so many unknowns related to this illness and extreme sickness ultimately, seeming to be “the luck of the draw”, everyone must take extreme precautions. I compare it with Forest Gump’s line in the movie “Forest Gump”, when he says “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”, well this CoronaVirus is like that, just not so sweet.

Stress will not increase my susceptibility of getting the CoronaVirus…

Stress is known for increasing susceptibility to illness and the body’s premature break down. Well, the CoronaVirus is no different from any other disease process. A person who has allowed stress to take over their lives will be more susceptible to illness. If you are stressed out and do not come into contact with the virus, you ofcourse will not get it. If you do come in contact with this organism and are “stressed out”, your body, while being forced to do more biological work to manage the stress, will unfortunately be more vulnerable to opportunistic disease processes, including this virus. But, people must also be aware of other disease processes besides this virus when it comes to stress. A person can be so “worried” about their situation, their loved ones, the national landscape, their bills and all of the things that come with the recent changes and have a heart attack while worrying about this virus. My advice is to be protected and proactive during this time, take care of yourself and your families, without worrying too much about the things that you can not change.

I am young and healthy, therefore I won’t get seriously ill from this virus…

Being young and healthy definitely gives you “a leg up”, but it does not mean you can’t get seriously ill or die from this virus. The flu kills people both young and old. The Corona virus is definitely worse than the flu. The flu is known to kill 0.1 percent of the people who get it. The Corona Virus kills 2–3% of the people who get it, therefore it is 10–15% more deadly than the flu. Yes, some people have no symptoms, but how do you know if that will be you? Most people have friends and family, people that they love, so even if you are lucky enough to get this virus without symptoms, that doesn’t mean that your loved ones will be as fortunate if they get it from you. The fact that this virus can go from one extreme to the next is also a deadly factor. One minute an infected person can feel fine with only mild symptoms and the next their respiratory system can essentially shut down.

My grandfather is adhering to stay at home orders, therefore he has no risk of getting the virus…

Your grandfather’s risk is as low or as great as the people he comes into contact with. If your grandfather stays at home without direct contact with anyone or adheres to the 6 ft rule religiously (self quarantine), yes his risk is low, but if you or any one else (who has contact with your grandfather) goes and deals with the public at work or hangs out with friends who are not adhering to the self quarantining rules, your grandfather is just as susceptible as the people he encounters. So your grandfather could potentially be sitting at home in a self quarantine situation, waiting for someone to bring the Corona Virus to him.

He/she looks healthy, therefore they can’t have the virus…

There is no rhyme or reason to this virus. Therefore, there are people who “look” healthy, but are carriers of the Coronavirus. Also, the virus that they are carrying may affect you in a completely different fashion from the way it’s affecting them. There are thousands of disease processes that you can not see, the Corona virus is no different from any one of these. For instance you cannot look at someone and know they have diabetes, dementia, high blood pressure, etc. Health issues are very different from physical issues, which are obvious, such as a broken leg. It is best to operate with consistent protection rules across the board, for everyone.

This surface looks and feels clean, therefore it can not possibly be contaminated….

Right now there are so many unknowns related to this organism, this is not the time to leave anything to chance. There are multiple hypotheticals that exist, because this is a very new situation. There are reports of this organism surviving on surfaces anywhere from hours to 3 days. Until more information presents itself, it is vital that we adhere to a worse case scenario as a protective mechanism. Assuming essentially that it is possibly on any surface that we encounter as it relates to others. Therefore cleaning surfaces before use and diligent hand washing is vital, especially for young children. Young children don’t understand these concepts, so parents have to be diligent in their guidance and mindful that their young are exploring ( naturally), so keep them close and wash their hands.

I have the virus, my symptoms are mild, therefore anyone who gets it from me will have mild symptoms…

Just because your symptoms are mild does not mean that a person who gets the virus from you will be as fortunate. It’s important to not assume with the Coronavirus, as there is no rhyme or reason with this virus. It seems that people who have even mild symptoms are suffering from loss of taste and smell. Symptoms such as these are still not fun; Are they permanent or temporary?… only time will tell.

I have the virus, but I have minimal to no symptoms, therefore I can’t transfer the virus…

Yes you can. The primary reason this virus is doubling and tripling in a matter of a days is because it is so easily transmissible. The CoronaVirus is obviously spread through direct contact (contact with an infected person or surface) and airborne. But an airborne organism that does not allow protection with a regular face mask, because the particles are so tiny, is very different from most airborne transmittable diseases that the world is familiar with. Also, the fact that this virus’s behavior is completely unpredictable, sometimes causing no symptoms or quickly changing from uncomfortable symptoms to deadly ones is unprecedented.Those two variables are what sets the Coronavirus apart from everything else.

I admire this person and they’re not concerned about getting the virus, so why should I be?

You are your own person with your own thoughts, right? Remember the old adage, “if your friend jumps off a bridge, will you”? Although, this situation is reliant on both individual and collective efforts, as an individual you must remember that what other people do within your circle can and will affect you. The first line of defense starts with you. You must make the decisions to protect you and your loved ones first and anyone else whose decisions infringe on yours or or not in line with your protective mechanisms should be expected to at least honor the 6 foot distance rule.

If I adhere to the lock down rules, then I will not have quality of life….

Whatever you are blessed to have in life, is your quality. But if your favorite pastime is going to the beach or the mall etc, yes you will not be able to do those things. But , this is only a temporary situation. The period that this organism is contagious is 14 days, not an extreme amount of time. If society can get it together long enough to honor a 14 day commitment to quarantine then we will have this pandemic under control. But, society as a whole will have to make a concerted effort; in order to turn this into a temporary issue. Unfortunately, the longer that takes to happen, the longer the relationship between humanity and the Coronavirus will be.

It’s just a matter of time before I Get it, so there’s no need to take precautions, it’s inevitable…

If you adopt a self defeating mentality, then yes you are right. But, if you understand you have a voice, you have a certain amount of control over your life and a certain responsibility to your existence, then you will understand that it does not necessarily have to go in that way. As human beings we are making choices and those choices ultimately have consequences. Although, we can’t control everything, we can control many things. Our response as individuals to the CoronaVirus will dictate both the impact and presence of this virus in our everyday lives and future.

Kristal Glover-Wing BSN-RN, Author -The Caregivers Bible

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