Coronavirus: Fact or Fiction

There’s a lot of different info about Coronavirus COVID-19. So we thought we’d throw together some quick facts we’ve managed to source;

  • As of 29 February at 9am, a total of 10,483 people have been tested in the UK, of which 10,460 were confirmed negative and 23 positive.
  • The number of cases have climbed to over 83,000 globally Friday. Nearly 3,000 people have died from the virus. 
  • The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the UK from low to moderate
  • The UK is now one of the first countries outside China to have a prototype specific laboratory test for this new disease. 
  • The name coronavirus comes from the Latin word corona, meaning crown or halo. Under an electron microscope, the image of the virus looks like a solar corona.


CLAIM – Corona is Reporting over 100 million loss in sales since the epidemic started due to fears of getting the virus from Corona beer. 


TRUTH – No you can’t


The company that owns Corona beer (Anheuser-Busch, also own Budweiser/Stella Artois/Beck’s) is facing its worst quarter in 10 years following the coronavirus outbreak.

During the last two months since coronavirus has been spreading, the company has suffered a $170m (£132m) loss in of earnings in China. This comes during a lunar new year, where sales were expected to be up. Such a loss has affected the chief executives bonus. There’s a forecast of one of the steepest declines in quarterly profits. 

The company believe this is due to people in China not wanting to go out to avoid catching COVID-19. With many bars and restaurants being forced to close due to the lack of people in public.

CEO Carlos Brito told CNBC: “

“Our business is all about going to restaurants, to nightlife, going out with friends, it’s really about to go back to normal, we’re preparing for the surge when things return to normal.

As we look to the future, we are determined to lead growth through consumer-centricity, operational excellence and innovation….our performance in 2019 was below our expectations, and we are not satisfied with these results.”

A survey undertaken by 5W Public Relations said that 38% of Americans wouldn’t buy Corona “under any circumstances” due to COVID-19. 14% also say they wouldn’t order a Corona in public. 5W Public Relations were polling from 737 beer drinkers in the US.

Another survey by YouGov found consumers’ intent to purchase Corona has fallen to its lowest level in two years

Furthermore searches for “corona beer virus” spiked in early February! However they have since declined.

Constellation Brands’ stock dropped 4% on Friday and 8% Thursday. However, the entire stock market has fallen sharply recently due to the uncertainty around COVID-19. 

CLAIM – You can get it from packages from China

TRUTH – No, you can’t

It is still safe to get packages from China

The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low. 

You can catch Corona COVID-19 from your pet


There is no evidence that companion animals or pets such as cats and dogs have been infected or could spread the virus that causes COVID-19

Wired – Reports that a dog in Hong Kong that had tested “weak positive” for the coronavirus provoked breathless newspaper headlines that pets could carry Covid-19. But there is no evidence that dogs or any pet can become sick with Covid-19 and it may well be that the dog that tested positive for the virus had simply picked up the virus from a contaminated virus.

Claim: ‘Face masks stop Coronavirus”


TRUTH – They do not stop Coronavirus


You can still get sick if you wear a mask. Viruses will still transmit through eyes and tiny viral particles, known as aerosols. These can still penetrate masks. 

Masks are effective at capturing droplets. If you are likely to be in contact with an infected person, mask cuts the chances of the disease being passed on. Walking around town and not in close contact with others, wearing a mask will not make a difference. 

Claim: ‘It only kills the elderly, so younger people can relax’


TRUTH – NO – (Kinda) Explanation below


Most people who aren’t elderly and don’t have an underlying health condition will not get critically ill from COVID-19. However, the illness still has a higher chance of leading to more serious respiratory symptoms than the regular seasonal flu. Others such as health workers are more vulnerable due to being around the infected. 

Young, healthy people’s actions including reporting symptoms and self isolation will have an important role in protecting the most vulnerable. 

Even if you’re young and healthy, you still need to stay away from the most vulnerable to reduce the risk of spreading the disease on. 

This is just us thinking here but, if you are young and have an underlying health condition such as asthma – could you potentially still be at risk of getting seriously ill? Check with your local GP if you are worried! 

Claim: ‘You need to be with an infected person for 10 minutes to get infected’


TRUTH – NO, it doesn’t matter how long you are around someone who is infected


You can actually catch it from shorter interactions and from surface contamination.

For flu, some hospital guidelines will define exposure as being around an infected person who sneezes/coughs for ten minutes or longer and within 6ft. Though it is still possible to be contaminated from shorter interactions by simply touching an infected surface and then touching your nose, eyes or face. Though contaminated surfaces are known to be a less common transmission route. 

Claim: ‘It is no more dangerous than winter flu’


TRUTH: NO – Kinda.  There’s loads of factors that contribute – See below


Most people who get coronavirus will experience nothing worse than season flu like symptoms. However, the overall profile of the disease, including the mortality rate, looks much more serious than the seasonal flu. 

At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, the mortality rate may have been an overestimate if a lot of mild cases are missed. However a WHO expert squashed this, Bruce Aylward, who led an international mission to China to learn about COVID-19, said the evidence did not suggest that we were only seeing the tip of the iceberg. Further testing could mean current estimates of a 1% mortality rate could be accurate. Making COVID-19 TEN TIMES more deadly than the season flu. Which estimates suggest that it kills 290,000 to 650,000 people a year globally. 

Claim: ‘If a pandemic is declared, there is nothing more we can do to stop the spread’




Pandemic = a worldwide spread of a new disease. 

However the exact threshold of declaring a pandemic is vague. While actions being taken would not change whether or not a pandemic is declared. 

Containment measures are not simply about eliminating the disease altogether. It’s about focusing on reducing the ‘peak’ or an onset of an outbreak. Keeping the numbers infected low to allow health systems ro cope with a sudden influx of patients. 

Hand Sanitizer will protect you


TRUTH: KINDA (see below)

Hand Sanitizer eliminates bacteria, Coronavirus is a Virus


HOWEVER – You can use hand sanitiser that is alcohol in it and has at least 60% alcohol in it (CDC.Gov)  kills virus

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.


Aljazeera 1 / 2

World Health Organization 1 / 2 / 3 / 4



The Guardian

UK GOV Website

CDC Gov Website

The independent

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