Don’t Let These 4 Myths About COVID-19 Impede your Well-being

We’re in the second week of India’s 21-day lockdown to fight the global pandemic of Coronavirus or Covid-19. The virus has taken lives of many thousands and affected millions on the planet as reported by WHO , and yet only a few take this pandemic seriously. And as we grapple with the virus, there are various rumours spreading, creating distress and fear among the population. It’s important to separate facts from myths and rumours that have surfaced in the past weeks, especially through the online media networks.

Here’s the truth of the most common myths related to Covid-19:

Myth 1: COVID-19 is just another flu

No, it’s not. While both Covid-19 and flu cause a respiratory disease and spread the same way (that is, via small droplets of fluid from the nose and mouth of someone who’s infected), there are several differences: Covid-19 doesn’t spread as fast as the flu and it has a longer incubation period. However, more people are susceptible to Covid-19 and it causes more severe disease than the seasonal flu. That’s because many people around the world have built immunity to seasonal flu strains but this is still a new virus that our bodies haven’t been introduced to before. Mortality for Covid-19 also appears higher than for seasonal flu. Based on the data that WHO has so far, the mortality ratio of Covid-19 appears to be higher than the deaths caused by flu.

Myth 2: The old generation are the only ones susceptible to COVID-19

Recent Indian reports suggest that among a data sample that has been analysed, 28.9 percent of those infected belong to the age group of 20 to 29 years. The respiratory virus can infect people of all ages. A person who is young (20-40 years) is assumed to be less likely to have severe disease and attract the virus. But, as there is a constant increase in the number of people affected by coronavirus in the country, there is a fair share of younger individuals who are deeply affected, critically ill, and require extraordinary amounts of medical care and resources to fight the virus. One of the many reasons why the population is vulnerable is because of the lack of immunity to fight the virus.

And one of the pivotal ways to build immunity is by consuming protein, a vital macronutrient that not only helps build body tissue but also repairs it and helps fight viral and bacterial infections. Including a mix of nuts, milk and dairy products like eggs, cheese and other easily accessible protein-rich foods in your diet can go a long way in boosting your immunity and fight the virus.

Source:Freepik

Myth 3: All I need is a face mask to protect myself from the virus

A mask is important for doctors and family members who may be in close contact with those who’re infected by this virus. It’s also important to wear a mask if you’re coughing or sneezing. However, masks are effective only when used in conjunction with frequent washing of hands with soap and water and cleaning them with alcohol-based sanitiser. If you’re using a mask, ensure that you cover mouth and nose in a way that there are no gaps, avoid touching it without washing your hands, replace it with a new one as soon as it’s damp and dispose the used mask correctly in a closed bin.

Myth 4: Avoid eating fish and poultry during the COVID-19

Several kind rumours have claimed that eating meat, fish or eggs are directly linked to increased chances of coronavirus. However, the Indian Animal Husbandary Department confirmed that it is absoulutely safe to eat meat, fish and eggs and there is no need to refrain ourselves, as meat strengthens our immunity and helps fight diseases. One must only ensure that we maintain hygiene and cook meat properly.

As the doctors strive to find a cure, it’s of utmost importance that you wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face too often. And most importantly, it’s essential to practise social distancing and maintain your overall physical and mental wellbeing by eating healthy foods that meet your protein requirement and increase immunity.

**No diet or lifestyle modification – aside from physical distancing, and practicing proper hygiene – can protect you from developing COVID-19. The strategies outlined above may boost your immune health, but they don’t protect specifically against COVID-19.

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