Fears regarding the outbreak of the new coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, has led to a lot of rumors circulating online.
There are so many claims popping up each day that VERIFY is compiling a week’s worth of coronavirus fact-checks every Friday. That way, you can easily find every fact-check the team has made about the coronavirus every week.
Here are the fact-checks for the week of May 22:
Misleading claims make facemasks appear falsely dangerous
Social media users claimed that carbon dioxide could get trapped in facemasks and give the wearer CO2 poisoning. Homemade masks or cloth masks are not especially great at keeping air from coming in or going out, so it’s unlikely that they would trap enough CO2 to give you anything more than a headache at worst.
Studies show speaking generates particles that would typically spread COVID-19
Early research has suggested that people generate respiratory particles -- the kinds of droplets that COVID-19 spreads from -- when speaking. The probability of someone getting infected is different from case to case and dependent on factors like speaking volume and proximity between people. The WHO says these droplets fall to the ground quickly, so keeping your distance from other people while speaking should be enough to keep you safe. If you can’t do that, then you can wear a facemask to intercept droplets.
Study did not show marijuana could prevent COVID-19
A study recently found certain CBD extracts could reduce the number of cells the virus attached to. The study stated “these results cannot be extrapolated to the effects of cannabis smoking.” Scientists who conducted the study said more research is needed and that this is a stepping stone to a trial which could potentially prove the results.
Screenshot of CDC back-to-school guidelines on social media is real
A viral post shares some -- but not all -- of the guidelines the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published for schools. A few of the rules listed in the social media post are oversimplified, but otherwise accurate. The guidelines aren’t a mandate or requirement of any kind, as they were published simply to help schools and local governments make plans to help them safely reopen.
It’s unlikely hand sanitizer will catch fire in your car
The National Fire Protection Association acknowledges that hand sanitizer is flammable, but firefighters are generally worried about people leaving large quantities -- like five gallons -- in their car. The small quantities you typically take in portable bottles are unlikely to start a fire in your car.
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