Confused about COVID-19 facts? Don’t be April Fooled by these 6 coronavirus myths.
When it comes to the coronavirus pandemic, it can be hard to keep up. Competing facts, new information, and fluctuating recommendations are leaving many Americans confused and frustrated.
When confusion and fear take the wheel, the ground becomes fertile for rumors, which easily circulate within communities during a crisis, says FEMA.
FEMA took over disaster relief efforts relating to COVID-19 response, and they put out a “Coronavirus Rumor Control” sheet to help dispel a few common myths relating to the pandemic.
MYTH # 1: The national government has instituted a lockdown.
This is not true! Many individual states, counties, and cities have taken precautions by instituting lockdowns. States like California, Colorado, Montana, New York, Louisiana, and Illinois have a statewide “stay at home” order; however, a nationwide lockdown has not been put in place. You can check your state via an interactive map here. However, practicing physical distancing from others should be encouraged everywhere, no matter if you live in an urban or rural environment.
MYTH #2: I should stock up immediately on all food and supplies.
Contrary to all those empty shelves you’re seeing at the grocery store, supply chains have NOT been disrupted! There are currently no shortages in groceries, cleaning supplies, or healthcare products— the empty shelves come from people getting scared and stocking up. To combat this phenomenon (which leaves many without the things they need), please only buy what your family needs for about a week at a time.
MYTH #3: I’m young and healthy, so coronavirus won’t affect me.
Early information and statistics said that the vast majority of COVID-19 cases are mild and that almost all the deaths and serious cases occurred in those who were older or suffered from underlying health conditions. This misinformation has caused many young or healthy people to take precautions less seriously. However, newer data from the CDC is showing that over half of hospitalized patients were under the age of 65, and one in five were aged 20 to 44.
MYTH #4: I should be drinking bottled water.
A lot of people have been stocking up on bottled water, causing it to sell out in many grocery stores. However, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends that citizens continue to use and drink tap water as usual. At this time, there are no indications that COVID-19 is in the drinking water supply or will affect the reliable supply of water.
MYTH #5: FEMA is deploying the military.
Some people have assumed that FEMA is deploying military personnel; however, FEMA does not have the ability or resources to do this. Rather, state governors are responsible for deploying the National Guard if needed.
MYTH #6: The emails I’m getting about free government money are trustworthy.
Yes, a stimulus package has been passed by Congress. However, many scammers are starting to use this information to take advantage of Americans in need! Use www.coronavirus.gov as a trusted resource. “Don’t trust anyone who tells you they can get you money now,” says FEMA. Find out more about COVID-19 scams here.
Do your part to stop the spread of disinformation. Share this article on social media and with the people in your circles. Be sure to cross-reference information you hear, and always go to trusted sources of information. We recommend coronavirus.gov and your local state and government’s official websites and social media accounts.
Stay safe and healthy!
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In addition to providing Disaster Case Management and Emergency Services, we also help connect military families to clinics, provide emergency staffing services, create long-term recovery plans, and far more.