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5 Things You Need to Know Now About the Coronavirus

Navigating a sea of half-truths and outright falsehoods.

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Coronavirus Illustration
Gado via Getty Images
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What a difference a week makes.

In the last seven to 10 days, foot traffic has plummeted in cities with major coronavirus outbreaks as residents heeding the advice to stay home. A daily drumbeat of travel disruptions, business shutdowns, and the cancellation of events including much-anticipated graduation ceremonies has led to frayed nerves — and empty shelves. And then there's the stock market, with jittery investors feeling helpless as they watch their hard-earned 401(k) funds start to evaporate. There's no doubt the effects of the current crisis have touched everyone.

As the coronavirus — and the panic surrounding it — continues to spread, so too does misinformation. One social media post shared thousands of times was titled "Oregano Oil Proves Effective Against Coronavirus." Well, that claim is simply not true. Scientists have said there is no such cure.

To help our subscribers navigate the sea of half-truths and outright falsehoods surrounding the deadly virus, we've put together a list of five things everyone needs to know now — after they take a deep breath.

1. How a Coronavirus infection actually feels. A doctor overseeing quarantined patients details COVID-19's symptoms.

2. Social distancing: what it is, why it's important, how to do it. Why it's not the same as a quarantine.

3. Can your pet get the Coronavirus? Plus, how to prepare for a potential quarantine with your animal.

4. Are face masks really effective at blocking illnessWhy proper handwashing may be a better line of defense.

5. All your questions answered: Hear what the experts have to say at the AARP Live Q&A Event on the Coronavirus.