Beauty / Wellbeing

Separating coronavirus fact from fiction

Bridie Gilbert for RUSSH

Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? In the past few weeks, we've seen a lot of claims, assertions and information shared around COVID-19. Understandably so. Arming yourself with information is one of the best ways to alleviate confusion and panic. But the Internet can be a wild storm of information and it's hard to know where to look for the right stuff.

We've already spoken to a professional and looked at the best ways to stay fit and healthy during this time. We've also deep-dived into what the new "two-person" social distancing means for you. Now, the RUSSH team is looking into COVID-19 claims. We hope separating fact from fiction can offer catharsis and some much needed respite from anxiety.

We spoke to doctor, Leon Rothberg for his medical and scientific take on some assertions around the coronavirus. He shares that we should follow medical advice - even if that means wearing a face mask.

What is the best way to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Follow medical advice.

Stay at home and distance yourself from large groups of people including friends. I personally change shoes and clothes before coming in the house, hand-washing immediately, showering where possible.

But also, exercise, eat healthy, take up a hobby, read a book, meditate, learn a language and give up smoking. These things will aid your overall wellbeing.

What’s the best way to keep your immunity up in general?

There is almost nothing we can do for our immune system to protect from the coronavirus because humans have never encountered this virus before.

In saying that, having the seasonal flu, or any other illness on top of COVID-19 would not be ideal. So, get the fluvax when it comes around. Sort out your other health issues; if you have allergies, asthma or blood pressure concerns, now is the time to get on top of it.

What are your thoughts on the claims that anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen exacerbate coronavirus? 

There is a link between non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like aspirin/ibuprofen in asthmatics. Around 5% will get upper airway symptoms which may be confused for COVID-19.

In general, ibuprofen and paracetamol should be fine in relieving mild symptoms such as fever and pain. If you are having moderate to severe symptoms such as shortness of breath you need to think about seeking professional medical attention.

What's your medical opinion claims that colloidal silver and essential oils can treat or provide preventative measures against the coronavirus?

I do not see any scientific evidence in any of those claims. I would disregard any claim without a basis in accepted science and medicine.

What's your opinion on those who say 5G causes coronavirus?

I do not see any accepted scientific evidence that this is true.

There is a lot of misinformation right now. Do you have any advice for people?

The bottom line is stay at home. Minimise your contact with other people. Hand hygiene. Get on top of your other health concerns including your mental health.

Also, do not believe everything you read on the Internet. Get your information from reliable sources like medical professionals.