Every corner of the internet is telling you something different about COVID-19. I’ve read all sorts of strategies about how to avoid contracting it, along with people encouraging others to go ahead and get it, since apparently it’s inevitable (please don’t do this). There are people who are insisting this will all be over in two weeks’ time, and people who are predicting this could last over a year.
You can read one “fact” only to find another that contradicts it a minute later. It’s hard to single out what’s fact and what’s myth during a time like this. Relying on false information also makes it harder to plan for the future.
For small businesses who are trying to figure out how they can survive this, false information can impact the effectiveness of their contingency plans. As an agency, our job is more important now than ever. Helping small businesses navigate through uncertain times means we need to present them with reliable information and be prepared with what that means for them right now.
Here are some of the most common COVID-19 myths, followed by the facts, and some advice on how to handle it all.
Myth 1: Temperature plays a role in whether or not you can catch coronavirus.
Fact: COVID-19 is active in all types of climates all over the world from hot and humid to cold and snowy. Your resting body temperature doesn’t change depending on the climate. COVID-19 can still survive in cold climates. A hot bath will also not kill COVID-19, nor will UV lamps or hand dryers.
Advice: Take your temperature daily to check that you are not running a fever. A fever is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19. If you have a fever, self-isolate and consult your local government health organization to determine whether you need to be tested. If you are unwell, take time off to recover. Small businesses should encourage their employees to stay home if they’re unwell. No work is more important than your health.
Myth 2: Spraying or ingesting alcohol, chlorine, or bleach into or onto your body will kill the virus.
Fact: These cleaning products are great for keeping your home and workspace clean and disinfected, but they won’t have the same effect on your body. In fact, they are harmful and should not be consumed.
Advice: Continue to clean your workspace and home thoroughly with these products. This is especially important for foodservice businesses and any other businesses delivering goods. Make use of social posting to let customers know you are on top of disinfecting your space. For people, the best preventative measure is washing your hands thoroughly, followed by drying with paper towels or a hand dryer.
Myth 3: COVID-19 only affects elderly people.
Fact: People of all ages are being affected by COVID-19. While it is true that older people are at higher risk of developing a more serious infection, there are also immunocompromised people of all ages who face the same risks. Even young, healthy people are not immune to COVID-19.
And though COVID-19 has not affected everyone physically, it is affecting everyone in some way, be it mentally, emotionally, or financially.
Advice: Even if you are not at a high risk of contracting COVID-19, you will likely be in contact with someone who is, whether you realize it or not. Continue to minimize physical contact with anyone it is not essential to be in contact with. If you’re a small business, arrange for curbside pickup or drop off deliveries at customer’s doors to minimize contact.
Myth 4: This will all be over in two weeks.
Fact: What most of the world is being called to do right now is social distance, self-isolate, and self-quarantine. The purpose of this is to slow down the spread of COVID-19 so that healthcare systems are able to serve those who need help now, without overwhelming it further. It is still unclear how long it will take for the virus to stop spreading.
Advice: Continue to isolate for as long as your country’s government requires or suggests. Hopefully, the more we all adhere to these guidelines and rules, the quicker we will be able to get back to normal. In the meantime, create a new normal routine for working and spending more time at home. For those in the difficult position of owning or helping small businesses, strategize ways you can adapt your business to work remotely.
That last one might be the hardest to swallow, especially for small businesses whose livelihood is at stake. While we’re all hoping to return to normal sooner rather than later, ultimately we don’t have a timeline for how COVID-19 will continue. It seems like the smartest thing to do right now is to plan for things to remain as they are. We have to put our safety first.
Thankfully, many governments are providing support programs for businesses in need. But this also means small businesses need the tools to adapt for the foreseeable future. Which is where we, as an agency that helps small businesses, we’re stepping in to help. Visit our COVID-19 Relief page to learn more.