COVID-19 Myths and Misconceptions

Myth: Black people can’t get coronavirus

Fact: Anyone can get, or transmit, the coronavirus. African Americans actually make up the majority of coronavirus cases and fatalities in both Baltimore and Maryland. Source

Myth: You can microwave your mail to kill the coronavirus

Fact: Never microwave anything other than food. The CDC, the World Health Organization, and the United States Surgeon General all say the chances of getting the coronavirus via mail is extremely small. However, if you would like to be on the safer side,  open your mail and dispose of the envelope or outer packaging and then wash your hands thoroughly. Source 

Myth: Coronavirus isn’t as deadly as the flu.

Fact: COVID-19 has caused almost as many deaths in four months in the United States as the flu kills in an entire year. As of April 27th, approximately 206,811 COVID-19 deaths have been reported worldwide, in the United States, there have been  54,877 deaths. The flu on average causes between 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide annually, with 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. per year. Since COVID-19  is caused by a new virus, people do not have immunity to it, and a vaccine may be many months away. Doctors and scientists are working on estimating the mortality rate of COVID-19, but at present, it is thought to be higher than that of most strains of the flu. Source 

Myth: Coronavirus will go away in the warmer months

Fact: It’s too soon to tell. What we do know is that you can catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19. To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. Practicing social distancing, regardless of the weather outside, is the safest way to ensure the disease doesn’t spread. Source

Myth: It’s not possible to wear a mask incorrectly.

Fact: A homemade face cloth covering needs to cover both your nose and mouth to work effectively. It should also be washed frequently. Wearing a face mask incorrectly (only over your mouth, leaving your nose covered, not fitting tightly) reduces the effectiveness of the mask/cloth covering and increases the likelihood of accidental transmission. Please visit the CDC’s website below for more information on how to wear a facemask properly.  Wearing a cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing and social distancing at this time is still advised.  

Myth: 5G spreads the Coronavirus

Fact: Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks.COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. People can also be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then their eyes, mouth, or nose. Source

Myth: Drinking or injecting disinfectants will remove the coronavirus from your system.

Fact: Drinking or injecting disinfectants is potentially fatal, and is not an approved method of fighting the coronavirus. If you do accidentally ingest disinfectants, call the Maryland Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 or visit

Myth: Gargling or drinking hot liquids help prevent the coronavirus

Fact: Gargling or drinking hot tea will not kill the COVID-19 virus. Once the virus enters your mouth from droplets in the air or from your fingers, you can’t prevent it from reaching your lungs. Claims that the virus sits in your throat for a while and could be rinsed out with gargling or flushed out with a hot fluid are false. Source

Myth: The Stay at Home Executive Order means I can’t leave my house under any circumstances. 

Fact: Effective as of 8:00 p.m. on March 30, 2020, all Maryland residents are ordered to stay in their homes or places of residence unless they are performing essential activities. A few essential activities as defined by this order are:

Driving to and from work if you are an essential employee,

Obtaining necessary supplies or services for one’s self or family,

Engaging in activities essential for the health and safety of one’s self

Engaging in outdoor activities such as biking, walking, etc. Source

Myth: I cant spread the coronavirus if I’m not showing any symptoms

Fact: Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. 

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Source