Updated: Apr 14, 2020
The good thing about the Web and Social Media is that you can find the answer to almost anything - but beware of its source!
Today from three independent sources I was sent an audio file advising of ways in which you could combat Coronavirus COVID-19. Now all three of these friends sent this to me (and a whole load of others) with all the best intentions and I'm sure the lady that made the recording also had all the best intentions as well.
The information that this lady is giving, isn't even hers, it's come from a friend who has a friend who works in a local clinic or hospital (see where I'm going with this). Whenever I come across something like this, the first thing that I do is question the source.
I'm not going to spend my time pulling apart all this particular recording of information in its entirety as I’m too busy for that and it’s not really the purpose of this blog. However, we could all be more positive if we are furnished with the correct information in what is going to become a very trying time - so I thought a quick heads up on checking the source was in order.
In my days back in I.T. I was frequently having to de-bunk myths about viruses of the technology kind and tell all my users what was relevant and what was not. So, it’s instinctive within me to check a source as soon as I am given a piece of info.
"Decided not to listen to government advice or 111, because Gemma on Facebook who lives down the road turns out to be a microbiologist, national economical expert, housing advisor, mortgage guru, GP and national pandemic specialist .... "
OK – so back to the recording…
Quite honestly, I have not listened to the whole thing as the very first piece of advice that is being offered has already been de-bunked by the BBC among others. It’s the advice that you should drink every 20 minutes as this will wash the virus down to your stomach to be dealt with by all the clever “acids” that you have down there. I mean REALLY? You don’t have to be a genius to work out that may be a little far-fetched.
This particular false claim was de-bunked as I said by the BBC back in March 8th and you can find out more HERE.
And if you prefer a video - there is a vid from the BBC offering some additional advice HERE
And there is another one busting some more myths HERE
Professor Trudie Lang at the University of Oxford says there is "no biological mechanism" that would support the idea that you can just wash a respiratory virus down into your stomach and kill it.
I stopped listening as soon as I heard that little gem, as I had already read the BBC’s piece which I recommend we all read, as it goes into a little more detail on other false claims. As far as I was concerned the whole recording from that point on was compromised and could not be trusted.
"There is "no biological mechanism" that would support the idea that you can just wash a respiratory virus down into your stomach and kill it".
So my advice to everyone is that if you get a well-meaning message or piece of information passed on from a friend – and maybe it’s something that you have not heard from one of the press conferences, or read on the NHS website, then there is a chance that it may not be factually correct.
Google is giving prime space to organisations such as the NHS and World Health Organisation and if you search “Coronavirus UK” you’ll notice that there is a section called “Help and Information” right at the top and I suggest you get your information there.
There’s going to be those who are Conspiracy Theorists and will come up with all sorts of reasons why you should believe other sources before the W.H.O and such like. Personally I love a good conspiracy theory – if only for entertainment value – but now is not the time.
As my good friend David put it on a Facebook Post “Decided not to listen to government advice or 111, because Gemma on Facebook who lives down the road turns out to be a microbiologist, national economical expert, housing advisor, mortgage guru, GP and national pandemic specialist ....
Who’d have thought eh? Only last week she was a full-time mummy selling bath bombs on Facebook! ... goes to show, never judge a book by its cover”
Sound advice Dave and perhaps we should all think twice before passing info on if we don’t know its source.