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Covid-19. Information, links and advice on the Coronovirus pandemic.

The latest information from the government can be found on their website at www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance.

I received this information by email and it mostly looks good.  I checked on Snopes (26th March 2020) and it was not listed as a myth or urban legend, however the information in the second BBC program (see below) casts some doubts on two of the items of advice.

NHS staff at The Princess of Wales hospital have been sent this:

  • This is. the advice given to hospital staff.
  • It explains the virus and hopefully, how to prevent getting it.
  • Please share with family, friends and work colleagues.

Virus Detection:

The simplest way to distinguish Coronavirus from a Common Cold is that the COVID-19 infection does not cause a cold nose or cough with cold, but it does create a dry and rough cough.  The virus is typically first installed in the throat causing inflammation and a feeling of dryness.  This symptom can last between 3 and 4 days.  The virus typically then travels through the moisture present in the airways, goes down to the trachea and installs in the lungs, causing pneumonia that lasts about 5 or 6 days.  Pneumonia manifests with a high fever and difficulty breathing.  The Common Cold is not accompanied, but there may be a choking sensation.  In this case, a doctor should be called immediately.

Experts suggest doing this simple verification every morning: Breathe in deeply and hold your breath for 10 seconds.  If this can be done without coughing, without difficulty, this shows that there is no fibrosis in the lungs, indicating the absence of infection.  It is recommended to do this control every morning to help detect infection.


The virus hates heat and dies if it is exposed to temperatures greater than 80F (27C).  Therefore hot drinks such as infusions, broths or simply hot water should be consumed abundantly during the day.  These hot liquids kill the virus and are easy to ingest.  Avoid drinking ice water or drinks with ice cubes.

Ensure that your mouth and throat are always wet, never DRY.  You should drink a sip of water at least every 15 minutes.  WHY?  Even when the virus enters via water or other liquids through the mouth, it will get flushed through the oesophagus directly into the stomach where gastric acids destroy the virus.  If there is not enough water, the virus can pass into the trachea and from there to the lungs, where it is very dangerous.

For those who can, sunbathe.  The Sun's UV rays kill the virus and the vitamin D is good for you.  The Coronavirus has a large size (diameter of 400-500 nanometers) so face masks can stop it, no special face masks are needed in daily life.  If an infected person sneezes nearby, stay 10 feet (3.3 meters) away to allow the virus fall to the ground and prevent it from falling on you.  When the virus is on hard surfaces, it survives about 12 hours, therefore when hard surfaces such as doors, appliances, railings, etc. are touched, hands should be washed thoroughly and/or disinfected with alcoholic gel.  The virus can live nested in clothes and tissues between 6 and 12 hours.

Common detergents can kill it.  Things that cannot be washed should be exposed to the Sun and the virus will die.  The transmission of the virus usually occurs by direct infection, touching fabrics, tissues or materials on which the virus is present.  Washing your hands is essential.  The virus survives on our hands for only about 10 minutes.  In that time many things can happen, rubbing the eyes, touching the nose or lips.  This allows the virus to enter your throat.  Therefore, for your good and the good of all, wash your hands very often and disinfect them.  You can gargle with disinfectant solutions (i.e. Listerine or Hydrogen Peroxide) that eliminate or minimize the amount of virus that can enter the throat.  Doing so removes the virus before it goes down to the trachea and then to the lungs.  Disinfect things touched often: mobile phone, keyboard, mouse, car steering wheel, door handles, etc ....

The BBC have two programs available on i-player which give advice on the coronovirus involved with the 2019-20 pandemic.  The information in the program is not quite correct, they correctly state COVID-19 is a disease (Coronovirus Disease 2019) but then they claim that the virus is Coronovirus.  It is one of the Coronovirus group of related viruses but called SARS-CoV-2.  In program 2 they list 4 myths:

  • Eating garlic
  • drinking water
  • avoiding ice cream
  • ingesting colloidal silver

By CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM - This image comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library (PHIL), with identification number #23312.  Note: Not all PHIL images are public domain; be sure to check copyright status and credit authors and content providers., Public Domain, Link

Eating garlic is a common myth for many things (ever since Mary Shelly wrote Frakenstein), maybe it is put about by garlic growers.  Ice cream might have arisen from the fact that the virus seems to thrive better in cold climates.  Ingesting colloidal silver is thought to be a health hazard and therefore should be avoided.  The drinking water myth was just poo-pooed with no evidence.  The advice in the supposed NHS information makes sense, drinking water regularly is beneficial anyway, so to dismiss this as a myth seems to me to be a bad idea.

The BBC has two half hour programs available at present on i-player.  They may be weekly updates on BBC1 during this lockdown period.  There are actually three programs but those for the 20th and the 21st seem to be identical.

26th March 2020