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What are the conspiracy theories around COVID-19? Show more Show less
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Despite all evidence pointing to infected animals at China's Wuhan seafood market as the source of the COVID-19, conspiracies abound. These claims range from international political plot to eccentric effort to undermine the Chinese economy. So, what are the conspiracies around this previously unseen, potentially devastating, illness?

COVID-19 can be cured by taking drugs Show more Show less

We know the drugs don't work. but that hasn't stopped claims that illicit substances are a proven cure for COVID-19.
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Hand dryers kill COVID-19

False Misleading
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Context

(ALERT: Visit the WHO for accurate information about the coronavirus pandemic)[1]

The Argument

The World Health Organization published a study regarding the SARS COVID-19 strain and concluded that "Heat at 56°C kills the SARS coronavirus at around 10000 units per 15 min (quick reduction)."[2] This is definitive proof of the fact that concentrated heat, including that contained within a single hand dryer, can potentially kill COVID-19 germs, so a good precaution would be to spend a longer amount of time placing one's hands underneath a dryer when leaving a public bathroom.

Counter arguments

The idea that hand dryers will kill or even remotely protect someone from COVID-19 is completely false. According to the World Health Organization, hand dryers will not protect against COVID-19 and the most effective way to protect against the disease is to wash your hands thoroughly with soap.[3] Yes, intense heat has been proven to at least stem the growth of the virus itself, the amount of heat required to do so is not contained within the capacity of a single hand dryer. This conspiracy theory is neither scientifically backed nor proven.

Premises

[P1] The World Health Organization has published a study concluding that a certain amount of heat can kill COVID-19. [P2] The amount of heat required to kill COVID-19 can be contained within the power of a hand dryer. [P3] Therefore, hand dryers can kill COVID-19.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] There is no scientific evidence to suggest that a hand dryer contains the amount of heat required to kill COVID-19. [Rejecting P3] Hand dryers cannot kill COVID-19.

References

  1. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
  2. https://www.who.int/csr/sars/survival_2003_05_04/en/#:~:text=Heat%20at%2056%C2%B0C,(quick%20reduction).
  3. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

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This page was last edited on Monday, 26 Oct 2020 at 13:11 UTC

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