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Rob Morris
Rob Morris

Be Aware of Coronavirus Hoaxes

Mar 16, 2020
Warnings about the COVID-19 virus should be followed, especially the call to wash your hands, practice social distancing, and steer clear of large group gatherings. 

Oh. And stop hoarding hand sanitizer, wipes, and toilet paper. Definitely STOP doing that.

But social media is also filling up with fake cures, warnings, emails, and other posts you should be aware of. This is not an exhaustive list, but it's a start. Pay attention and double-check sources before mindlessly sharing posts like these no matter how official they appear to be:

1. You can self-test for the coronavirus simply by holding your breath for 10 seconds. This social media post started last week and claimed Stanford as its source. Stanford has firmly and repeatedly denied the information. 

2. Gargling water mixed with salt & vinegar will eliminate the coronavirus from your throat if you do it early enough. The World Health Organization and doctors everywhere have roundly debunked this. 

3. Text messages attributed to city officials claiming cities are going into "shutdown mode." Again, roundly and completely discredited. Government officials at all levels will use public airwaves, not text messages, to communicate essential information.

4. There are social media posts claiming the President is going to invoke the Stafford Act to institute a mandatory two-week, nation-wide quarantine. The source cites a "trusted friend from the UN." The President has declared a state of emergency, but the National Security Council has announced that rumors of a national lockdown are fake.

5. Fake cures for COVID-19. None of the following are approved or tested treatments: colloidal silver, vitamins, teas, or essential oils.

6. Drink enough water and your stomach acid will help kill the virus. The sheer stupidity of this one has been so thoroughly debunked that it's hard to believe people are still sharing it.

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