“Viral” posts always do the rounds, annoying some of us who know better and spreading inaccurate or sometimes harmful information.

It is probable that this is the most important time to date to NOT spread such posts. By way of illustration, the one which has a few different guises, claims to have been given to hospital staff and seems to have a common line “The simplest way to distinguish Coronavirus from a Common Cold” and then goes on to list a set of spurious methods to identify and even potentially counter the virus. This certainly has NOT had any origin in the NHS, as it claims.

If the NHS had any such advice we are 100% sure they would share it with all of us and quickly.

There is a real danger with posts like this that someone might believe the content, adopt the measures and relax their own safety practices. It is no exaggeration to say that sharing these posts could cost additional lives. Please don’t share.

Why such posts start, no one knows, but there are various theories out there ranging from mere idle curiosity with how far and others are to do with “like farming” and other such scams – all of which are methods to try to defraud people.

Please - we ask you most sincerely to NOT share these posts. If something hasn’t clearly originated from an “official” source, preferably either the NHS or UK government and claims to be giving advice DO NOT SHARE.

If someone does want to do some sanity checking of any viral posts, it can generally be done quite easily, via an internet search. Yes, not everyone has the internet, but those who don’t aren’t getting these posts.

There are also a number of websites that spend their time de-bunking such myths. Examples are:

Full Fact - see website and Facebook Page. Independent UK charity, that specialises in this role, but don’t only restrict themselves to social media viral posts. You can find their response to the above post here.

That’s Nonsensesee website and Facebook Page.

Snopessee website and Facebook Page.

There are others – choose the one you use to find fact from fiction. Please HAVE A CARE WHAT YOU SHARE.

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