The Worst Mistakes You Made When Coronavirus First Hit

Let's just say the first days of the pandemic were full of misinformation that affected our judgement.

The earliest days of the coronavirus pandemic had everyone scrambling for the right answers. And while most scientists and public officials were well-intentioned with their decisions, a lack of information early on lead to some huge misconceptions. Now that we're a few months in, it's easy to see where we went wrong. These are a few of the glaring mistakes that we all made early on in the COVID-19 crisis. And if you're looking to avoid making any other errors, check out 7 Mistakes You're Making Every Time You Get in Your Car.

Assuming kids were safe

baby with mother wearing face mask

The earliest outlooks on the pandemic had medical experts concerned about the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, and children were initially pegged as the group that was more or less immune to the dangers of COVID-19. But as things progressed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began warning of potential related coronavirus-related complications called "multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children" (MIS-C). This severe condition affects "the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs." And while still rare, it has made the disease feel like a threat to everyone, regardless of age. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Fearing the mail


Pandemic panic was fueled by reports that the novel coronavirus could live on all kinds of surfaces for hours or days, which made any foreign object coming into the house a potential threat. But now that scientists agree that most transmission happens via person-to-person contact, wiping down every incoming Amazon package or can of soup from the grocery store feels like overkill. And for more information on what to avoid to stay safe, check out These Are the Worst Coronavirus "Super Spreaders" You Need to Know.

Doubting face masks

closeup of a young man in an office holding a briefcase and a surgical mask in his hand

Given their current guidelines, it can be hard to remember that the CDC originally discouraged wearing face masks as the pandemic began. But the agency quickly changed their messaging when it became clear the virus could be spread through airborne droplets. Now, wearing masks is required to enter public places in many states.

Not stocking up on essentials

woman looking at Supermarket empty toilet paper shelves amid COVID-19 coronavirus fears, shoppers panic buying and stockpiling toilet paper preparing for a pandemic.

Years from now, one of the strangest memories of the coronavirus might be the early run to stockpile as much toilet paper as humanly possible. And while hoarding vital products from others was definitely not a good move, experts claim that well-stocked homes reduced the number of trips into grocery stores. "Here's what we've come to appreciate: It kept us home," The Mercury News reports of those early trips. "When infections were skyrocketing, we weren't wandering the aisles of CVS or Costco." Those reduced exposure rates helped ensure lockdown orders were as effective as they could be. And for more shopping changes due to the pandemic, check out These Items Will Be Cheaper After Coronavirus.

Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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