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Coronavirus: Truth or Scare?

by Cash Store Staff

Updated 3/21/2020

Cash Store will continue to update this information to reflect updated coverage. However, some information may be changing in real time between our updates. For the latest facts on COVID-19, use official resources such as the CDC, WHO, and your local public health department.


With new cases reported every day, COVID-19 coverage has taken over the news. But it’s hard to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s hype, especially when there’s so much information. So we decided to fact-check some of the top coronavirus-related stories, to help you see past the stigma and get to the point! Let’s start by understanding what COVID-19 actually is.


  1. Every COVID-19 is coronavirus, but not every coronavirus is COVID-19.

    The name “coronavirus” refers to a type, or category, of virus—not just the exact one everybody’s talking about right now. “Corona” is Latin for “crown,” and the coronavirus has little crown-like spikes on its surface. But not every single coronavirus is making the news this year. The “bad one” is really only one specific type of coronavirus called COVID-19, which is an abbreviation for Coronavirus Disease 2019. CO for corona, VI for virus, D for disease, and 19 for 2019. COVID-19 is a new and unique type of coronavirus, and not just any random one from years past.

  2. Coronavirus is NOT being spread by cash.

    Alarming news stories have been popping up saying that banknotes, or dollar bills, may be spreading the new coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), they “did NOT say banknotes would transmit COVID-19, nor have we issued any warnings or statements about this.” WHO simply said that people should wash their hands after handling money if preparing or eating food, which is good hygiene. You should wash your hands every time you’re going to prepare or eat food anyway.

  3. It is safe to receive a package from anywhere COVID-19 has been reported.

    According to WHO, coronaviruses may stay on surfaces anywhere between a few hours to a few days, depending on different conditions. It’s unlikely for an infected person to contaminate commercial goods, and it’s also unlikely for you to catch the virus from a package. If you’re still concerned, simply clean the item with a disinfectant to kill the virus and then wash your hands with soap and water.

  4. Face masks are ONLY helpful if the person wearing it is already infected.

    There is no evidence that a healthy person wearing a surgical face mask is effectively prevented from being infected with the virus. However, a person who is already infected can wear a surgical face mask to reduce the risk of infecting others. Several issues are created from a healthy person wearing a face mask:
    • It reduces the number of face masks available for use by infected individuals.
    • There is an increased risk of infection for healthy individuals wearing a face mask due to a false sense of security and increased contact between hands, mouth, and eyes.

  5. Coronaviruses are typically spread from person to person.

    Coronaviruses are spread by the tiny droplets created when a sick person coughs or sneezes. Because coronaviruses may survive on surfaces that have been contaminated by these droplets, contaminated surfaces are a possible but less common route of transmission. The use of antimicrobial cleaning products can be used against coronaviruses, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has provided a list of registered products that are recommended to use. WHO is continuing to study ways COVID-19 is spread, and we will update this blog with more information as it becomes available.

  6. Stay aware, but don’t panic.

    The risk of catching COVID-19 still depends on where you are and how many cases are in your area. Local governments and health authorities may set different restrictions such as travel restraints, rescheduling of large gatherings, school district closures, and instructions to work from home. It’s important for you to comply with whatever your local officials recommend.

WHO is updating its website regularly as new developments emerge, and we will update this blog to reflect up-to-date information. All facts in this article are taken directly from Q&A on Coronaviruses (COVID-19) from the World Health Organization.

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