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Covid conspiracies

BY Will Nicholls Jun 5, 2020

One can’t go on social media without being inundated by conspiracy theories. They include everything from a fake moon landing to aliens being dissected in Roswell by the Illuminati.

The latest conspiracy craze concerns Covid-19 and is infecting minds faster than the pandemic has spread around the world. These stories gain traction during times of uncertainty and fear, as we have seen in the economic and health impacts of the pandemic. Latching on to these theories is a way of trying to understand and come to terms with that. It’s a human thing amidst great changes to personal, family and work life.

My favourite is that the virus doesn’t really exist. I guess neither does SARS, diabetes and a host of other health problems. Ignoring or denying the existence of a health problem never works. And if it didn’t exist then someone would have spilled the beans by now.

There’s the idea that an electro-magnetic field carries and spreads the virus while weakening the immune system. That’s why some are saying that the new 5G wireless communication system is to blame. Tons of fools believe this, and this disinformation is blamed for a series of arsons of 5G towers north of Montreal. 

Back in the real world, the World Health Organization says the only way to be infected is from water droplets expelled from a person who carries the virus or by touching a surface or material that has the virus on it.

Misinformation about Covid-19 is dangerous. A prime example of this was when US president Donald Trump said that household disinfectants could help combat the sickness. Within hours New York’s poison control staff received calls concerning bleach, Lysol and other cleaning products. You will usually see a skull-and-crossbones symbol on these products indicating they are poisonous and should not be ingested.

Another harmful belief is that the virus only affects Elders. It is that older people are hit harder and have higher death rates, but it has affected all ages. Infants are a vulnerable population also. It hits babies under a year old particularly bad as more than half the cases to date have been deemed critical.

There are also tons of scams. Do not be taken in by them. There is no proven homeopathic solution. There is no immune booster guaranteed to make you safe. There is no vaccine that the government or medical community is hiding from you, but is secretly available at a special price.

Neither is this a bioweapon that the Chinese government unleashed on the world. It has been examined and was not created in a laboratory. 

The real conspiracy is that people will write anything on social media and will not back up their reasoning with facts. It’s up to you to verify information from credible sources. As they say, “Buyer beware.” If you buy into nonsense, you have spent your time and money for nothing.

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Will Nicholls is a Cree from Mistissini. He started his career off in radio and is still one of the youngest radio DJ’s in Canadian history, having a regular show on CFS Moosonee at the age of 12. Will was one of the founding members of the Nation, and has been its only Editor-in-Chief.