The coronavirus public health emergency has generated its own unique set of myths. Here is a sampling.
5G mobile networks spread COVID-19? Not true. Or how about this one: Snow and cold weather kills the coronavirus. False. Or hand dryers eliminate the virus. Wishful thinking. Now, the World Health Organization is warning against what may be one of the more dangerous myths out there: Drinking high-strength alcohol protects us from COVID-19.
This one is most-decidedly untrue. In fact, it can be deadly.
Reports out of Iran, for example, say that potentially hundreds of people died after guzzling pure alcohol in the mistaken belief it offered protection. Many others required hospitalization.
The WHO warns that drinking will actually work against your health in a time of pandemic. Not only will it not cure you of the coronavirus, but drinking also can weaken your immune system and lead to adverse health outcomes. Experts say it will actually increase your odds of getting COVID-19.
The health organization says it’s a good idea to minimize alcohol consumption at any time. But drinking high-strength alcohol, particularly when it is adulterated with methanol as it was in Iran, carries severe health consequences.
The WHO points out that, while alcohol can disinfect the skin at a concentration of at least 60% by volume, it doesn’t do the same inside your body.
Alcohol sales rose dramatically in the United States early in the pandemic when stay-at-home orders forced many Americans to quarantine. Of course, it’s probable that almost all of these imbibers were more likely trying to rid themselves of boredom than the virus. After all, bars and restaurants have been closed.