The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the biggest modern pandemics known in history. Currently, there are more than five million confirmed cases in the world, with a total of 333,000 deaths. A total of 1.6 million of these confirmed cases are in the US alone. The world is currently in a race of finding a vaccine to prevent further damage and loss of life from the virus.
It is human nature to find understanding in complex situations happening to the surroundings, especially when it gives excessive amounts of stress and anxiety. Finding answers or explanation for difficult topics provide comfort for the human mind, no matter how bizarre they can be. Since the novel coronavirus is a new concept, existing less than a year, it is bound to be a source of hoaxes and conspiracies. People rely on social media and the internet for their daily lives. They are more exposed to the prevalence of hoaxes and conspiracy theories in the form of ‘Fake News’. Nowadays, it is difficult to pinpoint which information is factual or not.
Here are a few of the craziest hoaxes and conspiracy theories surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 virus was created as a bioweapon
There are two examples of this conspiracy theory. The first one is that there are claims that the virus was created by a laboratory in China. To avoid exposure, it is said that the spread in China was intentional to give a false image of vulnerability to the world. It is further believed that this is a plot from China to weaken economies in the West so their economy can get ahead. The second example of this conspiracy theory is that the US military imported the virus to China. On the contrary to the other example, it is believed that it is the country’s way of weakening China’s economy so Western GDPs will grow.
Either of these is, of course, unsupported theories. There are no shreds of evidence or indicators to support either of these theories to be true. Although there is no concrete knowledge to pinpoint the actual origin of the virus, it is unjustifiable to think that the virus was intentional.
The COVID-19 virus is a cover-up of the harmful effects of 5G wireless exposure
This is pretty much one of the most ridiculous of all hoaxes about the COVID-19 virus. In late 2019 and early 2020, the introduction of 5G wireless technology was in the works. One theory is that 5G waves suppress or weaken the immune system. This makes individuals more susceptible to illness. The funniest theory related to this is that 5G waves itself are responsible for the spread of the virus.
This might have been confused with a study back in 2011 connecting bacteria and radio waves. However, the study was about bacteria (not viruses) emitting radio waves and not the other way around. The exact origins of the hoax of 5G waves carrying viruses (COVID-19) are still unclear. Nevertheless, it is sure to be close to impossible. One thing should be made clear, there is no way radio waves (or 5G waves) can carry the coronavirus.
The novel coronavirus is a political scam
Like his father, Eric Trump does not seem to be a firm believer in the virus. Just recently, he publicly claimed that the COVID-19 pandemic is a scam created by non-supporters of the President. It is a way, according to him, for critics to ‘undermine’ the capabilities of his father. This can prompt his possible loss in the upcoming elections. He even reiterated that the virus will disappear after the elections, as it is surely fake. Many people from other countries also believe that the virus is not real. They think that COVID-19 was a lie created by politicians. This is either for the advancement of their careers or as a means of gaining more power over the citizens.
Miracle cures for COVID-19 are real
This is pretty much one of the most popular of all hoaxes about the COVID-19. Since the world is suffering from a pandemic, a lot of tips and tricks to stay healthy and safe are spread everywhere. There are articles everywhere about herbal treatments for the coronavirus. There are tips on which drugs to avoid or which supplements to take to ‘kill’ the virus in the body.
Politicians are not exactly innocent of spreading misinformation about ‘miracle cures’. It is publicly noted that President Trump is supporting the use of a certain anti-malaria drug as a ‘cure’ for the virus. He also publicly expressed his thoughts on injecting disinfectants as a way to ‘wash away’ the virus from the body. It is important to remember that treatment, vaccine, and medicine to fight the COVID-19 will take lengthy and detailed research before a usable conclusion can be made.
Possible repercussions of the influence of fake news
There are high possibilities that should the coronavirus vaccine be available, a great number of people will refuse to get vaccinated. One thing is surely proven by the pandemic so far, misinformation and fake news can spread just as fast as the virus. Believing in fake news is highly contagious and dangerous. It could lead to unwanted deaths. The presence of conspiracists is inevitable. However, it is important to be able to distinguish fact from fiction. If fake news about the pandemic will be lessened, then the world might stand a better chance at fighting it.
Also read: The Symptoms of a COVID-19 Denier