The Pandemic and its Conspiracies

By Isabel Vonessen ESF

CoVid19 conspiracy theories have been all over the internet ever since the virus first broke out. They range from topics such as “Bill Gates wants to hide micro-chips in CoVid19 vaccines” to “Evil Chinese scientists created Corona as a biological weapon”. They often have unsubstantial evidence to prove these claims and use derogatory language to prevent others from contradicting them. The main question however is: Why do people create these fake conspiracies?

There are various reasons as to why someone would create such a conspiracy. Some people believe that certain events are purposely created or manipulated by “evil forces”. Others fear the current events and try to find an explanation for them by blaming a single person or a group of people. For some, the theories serve as a way of coping with a situation, as fruitless as it may be.

Furthermore, these theories are often hard to contradict because every person who does it, is automatically considered part of the conspiracy. The authors of conspiracies call themselves experts on the matter and spread their lies throughout the internet. Celebrities such as the German author Attila Hildmann and people who wish to manipulate opinions also share them on questionable Social Media platforms such as Telegram. If you come across one, then do not share it. More people than you might think will believe them. It almost seems as if conspiracies themselves spread like a virus.

In any case, to spot conspiracy theories, there are several factors to which one can pay attention to. The writing will be emotional and more demanding than proving meaning that the author will ask more questions than answer. In addition, people opposing the theory will be portrayed as naysayers or evil and whatever the theory claims it will be presented as “nothing but the truth”.

As you might have expected, the largest, most famous theory is that CoVid19 is Bill Gates’ plot to vaccinate the world and secretly implant microchips into the worlds population. Questions like “Why would Bill Gates do this?” and “How would he hide the microchips?” remain unanswered. As for “proof” there is a video of Bill Gates holding a Ted Talk on the Ebola Crisis of 2014. He says: “We’re not ready for the next epidemic.” Now this is very unsubstantial, as he was trying to explain that a disease could cause much harm due to little investment in an anti-epidemic system. Nevertheless, the quote is often used out of context to support the theory with apparent evidence.

In a similar manner, there are two very popular theories which involve Chinese scientists. The first would be that the Coronavirus escaped from a Chinese laboratory. The Chinese city of Wuhan houses a virology institute which also conducts research on the Coronavirus. Obviously, many people believe that CoVid19 escaped this lab, but different internationally renowned scientists were able to prove that none of the Coronaviruses ever researched there were carriers of CoVid 19. The second theory is that Chinese scientists created the Coronavirus as a biological weapon. Now this one sounds more as if it were part of a Sci-Fi movie. It is also incorrect because CoVid19 was proven to have completely natural origins and no form of manipulation in any way.

Despite the actual proof which contradicts these theories, many people choose to believe them anyway. In March 2020 the Gallup International Association (GIA) published a poll with various questions on the topic of CoVid19. It included 28 countries and showed that 32% of questioned people believed that a foreign power had deliberately caused the pandemic. Sadly, it seems that the number of people believing in these theories has not stopped growing since March.

In any case, it is normal to be frightened during this situation but that does not mean one should start blaming innocent people with insubstantial evidence for the current situation. It is important not to give up on logic and to listen to real scientists. Know your sources and where you are getting your information from. You could for example use the World Health Organisation (WHO) or your local health authorities.

Sources:

https://www.gallup-international.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/GIA_SnapPoll_2020_COVID_Tables_final.pdf

https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/coronavirus-response/fighting-disinformation/identifying-conspiracy-theories_en

https://www.who.int/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.