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WORLD AFFAIRS 5G causing coronavirus – A perilous nonsense

May 15, 2020

The coronavirus disease has been detected in more than 200 countries and territories and has claimed 253,241 lives as of May 05, 2020. While there are a couple of theories behind the source of the coronavirus, one of the most believed, and at the same time, absurd theories happen to be that the virus is caused by 5G. This opinion editorial explains how this theory came into being, how it spread like wildfire and why it is in no way true.

The coronavirus has taken over our lives, stopping us from stepping out of the four walls of our houses for a long time now. The very initial source of the coronavirus is believed to be a wet market in Wuhan, China, which sold both dead and live animals. Besides that, there’s word that a Chinese high-security biosafety laboratory in Wuhan may be the cause of the outbreak.

But there’s a new theory in town – the conspiracy theory that 5G is somehow the cause for the coronavirus pandemic. One needs to take notice of the fact that the virus is also spreading in countries without access to 5G, like India, Japan and Iran. At the same time, South Korea has had 5G towers for a year now, and it only began to have COVID-19 cases after the Wuhan outbreak. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says on its website, “Non-ionising radiation is not strong enough to directly affect the structure of atoms or damage DNA.”

A conspiracy theory connecting the spread of the coronavirus pandemic to 5G mobile telecommunications masts is, indeed, dangerous fake news. New South Wales Labor politician, Penny Sharpe, in early April, tweeted, “The people sending me conspiracy theories about the 5G network causing coronavirus. I can't be more blunt about it. Stop it. It's not sensible. It's not helpful. It has been one of the most disappointing things.” Another individual voicing his views is Nick Jeffrey, CEO, Vodafone, UK, who wrote in a LinkedIn post that the conspiracy theories were utterly baseless and said a mast serving an emergency hospital had been targeted. What’s more, Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director, NHS, said it was the worst kind of fake news.

And yet, the idea of COVID-19 having anything to do with 5G has been spread like wildfire. It all began with a Belgian newspaper that tried to link the pandemic with 5G technology, quoting a general practitioner from Putte, near Antwerp. Thus, the conspiracy theory instantly spread all over on English-speaking Facebook pages. This extensive spread of such disinformation, without a doubt, is extremely dangerous. For instance, the fact that multiple 5G towers being set on fire in the UK.

However, companies are already taking matters into their own hands. The World Health Organization hosted a meeting at Facebook this year, with some of the largest tech companies, to discuss how to bring down disinformation about coronavirus.

This spread of disinformation of 5G being the cause of the coronavirus pandemic is certainly concerning. Moreover, such conspiracy theories can do some real damage, sidetracking us from the real problem which we need to work on – that is the fact that we are dealing with a deadly virus, with no cure yet. Instead of focusing on and encouraging such baseless news, we must focus on social distancing, taking precautions, following the lockdown and supporting research for vaccine development. Remember people, radio waves can only spread computer viruses, not human ones.

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