8 popular myths about Colorado that are totally false


1. Aspen is a true representation of Colorado ski culture.

No. Well, maybe if you’re from Hollywood. But to see how the locals live and what they’re into, start by heading up the road to Carbondale or venturing off the gold-beaten path to towns like Salida or Gunnison, where the ski bums can actually afford to live.

2. No one is actually from here.

Actually, there are lots of us. We just don’t feel the need to talk constantly about the fourteener we just bagged or our cousin’s ski in/ski out condo at Breck, so we’re often drowned out. Head to the local sports bar during a Broncos game and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

3. Everyone is walking around with skis on.

In the bigger cities, particularly the suburban areas, plenty of people don’t ski. But even in the mountain towns, there are the die-hard mountain bikers and others that live here for the summer activities and spend more time at the gym than on the slopes during winter.

4. Denver is kind of like a big mountain town.

Denver is one of the flattest cities in the country, hence its nickname “The Queen City of the Plains.” It has altitude but it isn’t San Fran or Quebec when it comes to urban vertical. Additionally, Denver is a major metropolitan area. Outdoors culture is very popular, but getting to the mountains takes effort (and a vehicle).

5. The winter weather is all hardcore snow and freezing temps from November to April.

Most winter days are quite mild temperature wise. Near the beginning of winter, we typically have a cold front but it isn’t uncommon to see 40, 50, sometimes even 60F degree days scattered in between the snow storms.

6. We’re all a bunch of lackadaisical stoners.

Not even close. Colorado is one of the fittest, most active states in the country and while many enjoy marijuana as an enhancer (a la John Stewart’s character in Half Baked), the average Coloradan is far from the potato chip eating couch potato portrayed in the cannabis cult movies.

7. Culturally, the state is all the same.

While it is true that certain activities, styles, and expressions are very ‘Colorado,’ you’re not going to find everything the same here. Urban Denver lifestyle to the rural western countryside; upscale ski resorts to prairie farming communities and honkytonks. The flat portion of the state east of Denver receives little to no media coverage at all but represents part of the state’s history and culture.

8. Getting up into the mountains from Denver is super easy.

It really depends on where and when you’re going. I-70 is an absolute nightmare from Friday night thru Sunday between Denver and Summit County. With the massive population growth, even Highway 285 is beginning to get backed up as swarms of people flock back to Denver on Sunday afternoons after a weekend in the hills. Plan your trips and get on the road early.


25 Coronavirus Myths You Need to Stop Believing, According to Doctors

There's a lot of misinformation about COVID. Here are the biggest myths, debunked by doctors.

Wearing a face mask for an extended period of time may be uncomfortable, but it will not inhibit your breathing. Face masks do not cause oxygen deficiency or carbon dioxide intoxication, WHO explains. Reports linking face mask use to hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) have been widely debunked. And for more mask myths to avoid, check out these 10 Myths About Face Masks You Need to Know.

Thermal scanners are useful tools in that they can spot a fever, but that doesn't mean they can actually detect coronavirus. As WHO notes, there are many different reasons why a person could have a fever, so a high temperature is not proof of a COVID infection. More importantly, many people could be asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic, meaning a temperature check would not detect their infection.

There is no COVID vaccine currently available. According to the experts at Johns Hopkins, "There is no vaccine for the new coronavirus right now. Scientists have already begun working on one, but developing a vaccine that is safe and effective in human beings will take many months."

As for when a coronavirus vaccine will be available, Anthony Fauci, MD, the head of National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is now cautiously optimistic that there will be a vaccine by the end of this year or early 2021. And for more vaccine myths, discover 5 Dangerous Myths About the Coronavirus Vaccine You Need to Stop Believing.

Technology and cellphone signals are not linked to coronavirus, despite what you may have heard. "Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks," WHO states. "COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks."

That said, it's never a bad idea to clean your phone, which could be harboring germs.

When you're walking around all day, your shoes pick up all sorts of grime from the ground, so taking them off before walking around your home isn't a bad idea. But the idea that shoes are an easy way to spread coronavirus is a common misconception. "The likelihood of COVID-19 being spread on shoes and infecting individuals is very low," WHO says. And to clear up any other cleanliness misinformation, check out these 13 Cleaning Myths You Need to Stop Believing.

Although this nifty saline trick can help soothe symptoms of the common cold, it does not prevent or cure the coronavirus, according to WHO.

"Viruses will frequently lodge in areas deeper in the nose, such as the adenoids, where they cannot be reached with simply washing the nose," Gary Linkov, MD, previously told Best Life.

Yes, the disinfectant product is helpful when it comes to household cleaning, but Clorox wipes should not be applied to the skin. In fact, they could cause serious harm if they were to get in your eyes or mouth. "The wipes are meant to disinfect hard surfaces—they're not meant to put on the skin because it can be harmful," Eudene Harry, MD, the medical director for Oasis Wellness and Rejuvenation Center, previously told Best Life.

In April, it was reported that there was a surge in people purchasing human breast milk due to the belief that it would help prevent COVID. But of course, that's totally untrue. Dyan Hes, MD, founder of Gramercy Pediatrics, plainly told CBS News: "Do not buy breast milk to prevent COVID. That is not going to help you."

As those at Johns Hopkins plainly state, this myth is 100 percent false. "Viruses can change over time," the experts continue. "Occasionally, a disease outbreak happens when a virus that is common in an animal such as a pig, bat, or bird undergoes changes and passes to humans. This is likely how the new coronavirus came to be." And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Despite what you may have seen on social media, being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort does not mean you don't have COVID-19 or any other lung disease.

According to WHO, "The best way to confirm if you have the virus producing COVID-19 disease is with a laboratory test. You cannot confirm it with this breathing exercise, which can even be dangerous."

COVID is mainly spread through liquid droplets. So while it's technically possible that a product ordered from China could house a virus-infected bit of liquid, the odds of that happening are almost impossible.

"I don't think we need to get completely obsessed about packages that come in, because those types of surfaces… the virus might live there for a very short time," Fauci told Trevor Noah on a March episode of The Daily Show. "But people say, 'Should I get a package from a grocery store that says "Made in China"?' I wouldn't worry about that. That's not the issue."

But with outbreaks occurring in several countries and across the U.S., what about packages from other arrival points? Coronavirus infection from mail is still a long shot. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, "Although the virus can survive for a short period on some surfaces, it is unlikely to be spread from domestic or international mail, products or packaging."

According to WHO, "There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases." And they also note, "you can catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is."

While many people hoped that summer would bring about an end to the pandemic—given that it usually marks the end of flu season—temperatures never get anywhere near hot enough to kill coronavirus. There is little evidence to suggest a warmer season has any effect on the spread of COVID at all, though the use of air conditioning amid the heat may actually make things worse.

There may be relaxing benefits to a hot bath, but it won't keep you from contracting coronavirus. "Taking a hot bath will not prevent you from catching COVID-19," WHO asserts. "Your normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower." And again, that's nowhere near the temperature it would take to kill the virus—56°C, which would seriously burn you.

While there has been some research into the question of whether or not mosquitoes can spread coronavirus, there is no evidence to suggest that COVID can be spread that way, according to WHO. "The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose," the experts note.

Drinking bleach may sound absurd to some, but there are those who believe it can cure the coronavirus. In fact, enough people were buying into this alleged "cure" that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned against the practice in an official statement. "Drinking any of these chlorine dioxide products can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and symptoms of severe dehydration," they explained. "Some product labels claim that vomiting and diarrhea are common after ingesting the product. They even maintain that such reactions are evidence that the product is working. That claim is false."

In February, a natural health expert appeared on televangelist Jim Bakker's show and claimed that colloidal silver can kill bacteria and viruses within 12 hours. Though the "expert" admitted colloidal silver hadn't been tested on COVID-19 yet, the rumor caught on.

In truth, "colloidal silver can be dangerous to your health," according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). As a result, the state of Missouri filed a lawsuit against Bakker and his production company for advertising colloidal silver as a false cure for the coronavirus.

In March, a message went viral on social media that suggested that boiling garlic in water could "cure" the coronavirus. But, according to WHO, "Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus."

Facebook caught on and tagged the post with the following statement: "The primary claims in the information are factually inaccurate."

Sadly, there isn't anything you can add to your diet—whether chemical or natural—that will keep you from getting sick with coronavirus, or make it go away any faster. As WHO says, "Hot peppers in your food, though very tasty, cannot prevent or cure COVID-19."

Some people believe that drinking alcohol will prevent them from contracting coronavirus—so many, in fact, that WHO had to address it and debunk the myth.

It turns out, the opposite could be true: "A glass of wine seems fine, but repeated rounds—especially of hard liquor—or increased alcohol use over days or weeks might suppress immune responses or lead to a greater susceptibility to pneumonia," according to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Global Health Now.

There are some people who believe that aiming a hairdryer up your nose will cure you of COVID. In fact, Florida politician Bryant Culpepper went so far as to brag about his background as a paramedic when he publicly promoted this “cure” that he saw “one of the foremost doctors who has studied the coronavirus” reveal on cable TV. The belief is that the hot air travels up into your nostrils and kills the contagion. But, as you likely already assumed, this "cure" is just a bunch of hot air. Hairdryers are good for drying hair, not curing or preventing coronavirus.

Just like hairdryers don't kill COVID-19, hand dryers don't either. WHO plainly states: "Hand dryers are not effective in killing" coronavirus. Washing your hands regularly, however, is a definite must, and drying them thoroughly is essential.

Drinking lots of water through the course of the day is good for you, but will it help you avoid coronavirus? Nope. A frequently shared meme on Facebook and Twitter cites an unnamed Japanese doctor who claims drinking water every 15 minutes washes any virus down the esophagus so it can’t get into your lungs. Turns out, this isn't true at all. Sure, it's good to hydrate, but it won't keep the COVID contagion away.

Nope, essential oils do not prevent coronavirus either. But that hasn't stopped a few companies from trying to sell their products as such. The FDA called out Idaho-based company Herbal Amy for selling "unapproved and misbranded products related to coronavirus disease." Whether it's traditional Chinese herbs or CBD/hemp related supplements, there is currently zero evidence that herb consumption will do anything to fight or cure coronavirus.

Again, WHO warns, this is yet another coronavirus myth. "UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation," they note.

The malaria drug hydroxychloroquine has been touted by many as a miracle treatment for coronavirus, but the evidence of its efficacy is mixed, and the FDA currently cautions against the use of the drug for COVID patients outside of a hospital setting or clinical trial. The FDA notes that the drug's side effects can include heart rhythm problems and liver failure.


20 It’s always bright and sunny

Maybe because it’s in California or maybe because the movies we’ve watched make it look ultra sunny, but we can’t imagine L.A. having bad weather. In reality, the city does have its bad days when it comes to weather. It’s not always as bright and sunny as you would imagine. In fact, L.A. receives an average of 14.93 inches of rainfall every year. This is a city where the winter is both the sunny season and the rainy season. Generally the sky is always clear, but that doesn’t mean the city never sees rain. Los Angeles certainly gets its share of cloudy, rainy days.


10 Myths About Herpes That Are Totally False

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False rumors about herpes can be as contagious as, well, a virus. While most people know that it's a common sexually transmitted infection, many don’t understand what the herpes virus is, how people get it, and how they can protect themselves.

Here, Brian A. Levine, M.D., and New York practice director for the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine, explains the truth behind some of the most common herpes myths. The good news: what you're about to read is actually pretty reassuring!

While it’s true that herpes is a virus that stays in your body once you get it, there are two types: herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2). “Type 1 is what people think of as classic oral herpes,” Levine tells SELF. That's because the most typical symptom of HSV-1 is cold sores around the mouth. “Type 2 is the most common cause of sexually transmitted herpes, but we’re starting to see more type 1 with genital infections,” says Levine. That happens when a person who has HSV-1 in their mouth transmits the virus via oral sex.

Since the herpes virus doesn't leave your body, that means you might have recurrent outbreaks, although it all depends on your body. Some people get one outbreak then never have one again while others never even have symptoms in the first place, and still others have outbreaks that return every so often.

If only! Condoms are great, but they don’t completely eradicate the risk. “Genital herpes can spread so easily, especially with new sexual partners, and even when you’re wearing a condom,” says Levine. That’s because herpes is transmitted via skin-to-skin contact, especially between any moist areas that secrete fluid. That’s why doctors recommend abstaining from sex if you’re having an active outbreak, because that’s when the virus is most infectious. Since condoms don't cover all skin that might be infectious, they don't offer ideal protection (even though using them is still a good idea).

One hundred percent false. Since herpes carries such a stigma, the people who have it are often the butt of various jokes. In reality, around two-thirds of the global population under 50 has HSV-1, according to the World Health Organization. Given that you can contract it as a child on the playground or a teenager innocently making out means it can be hard to avoid. And around one out of every six people between 14 and 49 have genital herpes, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

So really, a ton of people have the virus! Then why is there such a persistent idea that the only people who get it are the ones who are the "dirty" people who sleep around? Because most people have no idea they have it. Around 90 percent of people with HSV-2 have never received an official diagnosis, according to the CDC.

One major reason people who have the virus have never sought out or received an official diagnosis is because herpes can present without symptoms. And even when symptoms do crop up, a lot of them can be written off as nothing to worry about. For example, cold sores are one of the most common symptoms of HSV-1. "They're painful sores on the vermilion border, or outer edge, of your mouth,” says Levine. "After some days, they rupture, and as they heal, they start to crust over and have a yellowish appearance, then eventually go away,” he says. The thing is that many people don't even realize herpes and cold sores are linked, says Levine, or that the virus is at its peak infectiousness when the sore is present.


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