The Latest: Beware of the Covid-19 scams

Alexandra Sifferlin
Medium Coronavirus Blog
3 min readApr 27, 2020


Dear Reader,

Among all the other seismic life changes we’ve experienced over the last two months, how we eat has drastically changed — and health experts are actually pretty thrilled about it. More people are cooking at home instead of eating out. More meals are spent eating with others — loved ones or roommates.

Today, Elemental launched a weeklong series called How to Eat in the New Normal, which explores how the pandemic is changing the way we eat, with expert advice for making choices that keep people healthy and happy. The first story is about why “healthy eating” means so much more than it used to.

What’s New:

  • CDC adds six symptoms to its Covid-19 list: The agency added chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. See the full list here.
  • Italy will start to reopen: Construction and manufacturing wholesalers will be allowed to reopen in early May, followed by retailers and museums. Bars, restaurants, and barbers may open on June 1, and schools will remain closed until September, Bloomberg reports.
  • Prisons continue to be hotspots: In four U.S. state prisons, nearly 3,300 inmates have tested positive for coronavirus, Reuters reports. In New York, there’s a grassroots movement urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to grant clemency to vulnerable people in state prisons. Actor Alec Baldwin lended his voice to the cause on Sunday.
  • FDA issues hydroxychloroquine warning: On Friday, the agency issued a warning against using the drug to treat Covid-19 outside of the hospital or in a clinical trial setting due to risk for heart rhythm problems.
  • Some states are relaxing lockdown orders: Around the U.S., governors are beginning to allow certain businesses to reopen, but the changes are inconsistent. Read more.
  • Boris Johnson is feeling better: The British prime minister returned to work on Monday after coronavirus treatment.

Follow our Medium Coronavirus Blog for regular updates, and read some of the essential stories we’ve curated below.

Be well,

Alexandra Sifferlin
Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog

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A Quick Q&A:

Is This Legit? Three Covid-19 Scams to Watch Out For
Scammers are taking advantage of misinformation and fear during the pandemic. As of April 21, the FBI had reviewed more than 3,600 complaints related to Covid-19 scams. Here are three:

  • Bleach as medicine: A group called Genesis II Church of Health and Healing was selling a product called Miracle Mineral Solution that they claimed could cure coronavirus. In reality, it’s a kind of bleach and makes people very sick.
  • Ozone therapy: A Texas health clinic claimed on Instagram that ozone therapy was the “only prevention” for Covid-19 and that it could “eradicate” the coronavirus.
  • Fraudulent websites: One fake site pretended to collect donations to give to the American Red Cross for Covid-19 response efforts.

Read the full story here.

New on the Blog:

A New Conspiracy, Heartburn, and 6 Additional Symptoms

Untangling the Theory About Covid-19 and a Wuhan Lab

Helpful Stories for Our New Normal

‘Healthy Eating’ Means So Much More Than It Used To

Quarantine Fitness Will Change Workout Culture Forever

Let Your Kids Know How Stressed You Are

Why You’re So Irritated by Everything

6 Smart Reads

You Can Get an Antibody Test if You’re Rich and Well-Connected

Restoring the Economy Is the Last Thing We Should Want

The Three Most Likely Scenarios to Defeat the Coronavirus

U.S. Deaths Soared in Early Weeks of Pandemic, Far Exceeding Number Attributed to Covid-19 (Washington Post)

Are Female Leaders More Successful at Managing the Coronavirus Crisis? (The Guardian)

What the Coronavirus Crisis Reveals About American Medicine (The New Yorker)

Personal Pandemic Stories

A Cartoonist Sketches What It’s Like to Get Covid-19

How I Stayed Positive During 42 Days of Quarantine

What I’ve Learned Treating Patients Suffering From Covid-19

A Beloved Police Sergeant Lost to Covid-19



Alexandra Sifferlin
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Health and science journalist. Former editor of Medium’s Covid-19 Blog and deputy editor at Elemental. TIME Magazine writer before that