Virus rumors abound, and not just in China

As with any panic situation, it’s just human nature that hearsay abounds.

Concerning the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the rumors listed below have been rampant throughout China.

  1. Masks will protect you 100% 


This is not exactly true according to our CDC (Center for Disease Control) experts.  Masks that are meant to keep you safe need to be custom fitted, and changed on a daily basis, in order to do any good.  For the average person, washing hands regularly and thoroughly is recommended as a better option.  On the other hand, mask-wearing by healthcare workers is essential to keep them safe from patients who are sick and to keep those doctors and nurses who feel ill from passing on germs to others.

2) The virus disintegrates at 20 degrees C (68 degrees Fahrenheit) so keep your homes hot. “Do not to worry about the amount of electricity used to heat your home,” one Chinese website reported. “Keep your temperatures high and you’ll be safe.”  While it is true viruses do thrive better in cooler temperatures, they can still easily survive in warm environments as well.

3) Pets can carry the virus and need to be euthanized if in contact with a virus-diagnosed owner.

This one is particularly sad. Despite the research that pets are safe from the virus, the Chinese are still overly wary.  There has been an increase of abandoned pets around the epicenter, Wuhan, and throughout Hubei Province within the hardest hit cities.  The worst stories are of residents who contracted the virus.  Many were hospitalized or quarantined at home, then later forced by local authorities to have their pets immediately put to sleep “just in case.”

4) Strong liquor kills the virus; the more you drink, the less likely you are to get it.  

In other words, staying intoxicated during this entire outbreak will perhaps save your life.

These are just a few that have been adamantly defended as being accurate by Chinese locals, even though Chinese medical professionals have said again and again to ignore such ridiculous announcements.

The last, drinking the virus away, was targeted directly at Luzhou, my city of 5 million.  Luzhou is considered the liquor capital of the world, being famous for Luzhou Laojiao (泸州老窖) , a potent whiskey.  When the “consume more liquor” was announced on social media in late January, the whiskey shelves began to empty in many supermarkets and mom-and-pop stores across the city.  I’m guessing some clever shop owner in the Luzhou whiskey business started the rumor as he foresaw the mandatory closure of all public businesses, including his liquor store.  Smart move as I’m sure he sold out in a flash, giving him an edge over his competitors before all shops were closed by government edicts and no one was able to sell wares. (Businesses are now beginning to re-open but many still remain closed as concerned residents continue to stay at home and not patron local stores.)

When it comes to the virus, untruths, half-truths and just plain cockamamy nonsense cloud judgements.

And it’s not just in China. Here in America, it is starting as well.

We all know of bubble-wrap:  Those special packaging plastic bubble sheets full of air that protect and cushion fragile merchandise from breaking.

         Well, according to the latest USA rumor, don’t dare pop those little guys because, as we all know, bubble wrap comes from China and the virus might be contained in any one of those small pockets of air.  It could very well be your Amazon order, straight from the warehouse and carefully engulfed in bubble wrap, might carry with it a more sinister danger than you thought.

Educated folks scoff, “A virus clear from China surviving in an air bubble?   With the sheets most likely produced weeks, maybe months, before the virus was even an issue? Preposterous!”

I totally agree. Preposterous, indeed!

And that’s exactly what I’m thinking as I gingerly, cautiously pull out all the bubble wrap I’ve been using to pack up my mom’s dishes for her house move and placing it (unbroken) in the recycling bin … just in case.

Here’s wishing you 平安 (ping ahn), peace, for your day … and virus-free bubble wrap.


About connieinchina

I have been in the Asia region for 30 years as an English language teacher. 28 of those have been spent with the Amity Foundation, a Chinese NGO that works in all areas of development for the Chinese people. Amity teachers are placed at small colleges throughout China as instructors of English language majors in the education field. In other words, my students will one day be English teachers themselves in their small villages or towns once they graduate. Currently, this is my 13th year in Luzhou Vocational and Technical College. The college is located in Luzhou city (loo-joe), Sichuan Province, a metropolis of 5 million people located next to the Yangtze River .
This entry was posted in A Visit Home to Marshall, China, coronavirus, coronavirus, Illinois, Luzhou Vocational and Technical College, Tales of China, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

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