Article headline
Culture

Conspiracy Theories Around The COVID-19 Outbreak

Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, we’ve heard more about bat soup than we would’ve liked. But how many of these stories have any truth to it?

Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, we’ve heard more about bat soup than we would’ve liked, with the infamous WhatsApp university coming up with something new every day to give us reasons for the outbreak. Personally, it has become a point of debate amongst my family after a forward said it was a bio-weapon invented by china to destroy world economies. But how many of these stories have any truth to it?

First off, with the credibility that WhatsApp holds now and fake news circulation peaking like never before the one and only way to curb it is by cross-checking facts with fiction yet somehow these conspiracy theories have still made it big because of their somewhat believable storylines so let’s get into it!

The Bat Soup Conspiracy

This story came to life when “patient zero” allegedly ingested bat soup or pangolin meat at the Hunan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China. (the searches for bat soup on google have blown up) When there is rumor social media is not far behind in their attempt to curate facts and prove it right so naturally, they traced it back to the now-viral pictures of a woman eating what looks like a whole bat in between her chopsticks. Turns out, the video isn’t from Wuhan or even China for that matter. The lady in the picture is actually a famous Chinese blogger who does travel shows and was in the Pacific nation of Palau when she tried the bat as part of her show. To further debunk this theory some of the early patients had no contact with the wet market at all. Even though the virus is found in bats it's still unclear how it has jumped to humans. This theory has also made its way to the source material of many memes but the racism and prejudice it fuels towards Chinese eating habits especially in the western world is far from funny. The infusion of meat in a person’s diet varies from culture to culture and it’s a bit hypocritical to frown upon eating dogs while you normalize eating cows which are frowned upon in a different culture. (I myself have ingested questionable things like octopus tentacles, fried worms, and veg momos).

The Biowarfare theory

To think old literature and Bill gates’ ted talk could spark this particular rumor is almost laughable and some would’ve no trouble believing this due to how poorly the Chinese government handled the situation in Wuhan which makes it look almost intentional to spread it all over the globe. However that wasn’t the main motivation for people to believe the biological war was on the verge, instead, it was a page from what they believed was a fiction novel called ‘the eyes of darkness’ written by Dean Kootz written and published in 1981. In a viral forward the book’s cover is shown along with a page referring to a new biological weapon called Wuhan-400 because it was developed at an RDNA lab outside the city of Wuhan. This claim however believable it may seem is false as in the original publication there was no mention of Wuhan and it was actually called Gorki after a Russian locality which was later changed in 1989 after the cold war ended as confirmed by Google books besides there aren’t any other notable similarities between Wuhan -400 which are said to have a kill rate of 100% as compared to the 2%-4% of the novel Coronavirus.
Now for everyone wondering how Bill gates ted talk fits into all this. Well, it is pretty relevant considering how it was about how the world lacked resources and research when it comes to another epidemic by using examples of previous diseases like Ebola and the flu; he also spoke about bioterrorism to becoming a thing in the future as we had a lot of nuclear deterrents but not many epidemic control measure, this obviously was twisted and turned to be used conveniently by WhatsAppers to back up their claims of bioterrorism by China. Thankfully new research held by Scripps Research Institute has not found evidence to prove that the SARs-CoV-2 is the result of bioengineering ruling out the possibility of it being a bioweapon for now.

The 5G theory

Recently Youtube has banned all conspiracy theory videos relating to coronavirus spreading due to 5G networks after a famous conspiracy theorist David Icke went live and linked the virus to technology by claiming there was a connection between 5G and this ‘health crisis’. Apart from the disease itself, he went as far as to link the cure to technology by saying the vaccine will contain “nanotechnology microchips “ that would allow humans to be controlled and wants Bill Gates- who has donated in COVID 19 vaccine research to be arrested. Regardless of how ludicrous this theory sounds, no one called out his stupidity much rather embraced this idea and made it very evident when cases of telephone towers being vandalized and telecom workers being abused started rolling in the UK, the government shunned this by calling it dangerous and absolute nonsense. The damage this must’ve caused to health care workers and essential services by harming their only way of communication is disgusting thought to think about which raises my next question.

Why were people so quick to believe fake news when it came to coronavirus?

One of the many reasons this could be is famous leaders you could look up to share accurate news have fallen prey to backing up false news. For example, President Bolsonaro posted hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the virus which you can cross-check to be completely false with a simple search on google. Apart from this, there is a lot of psychology that comes into play here as statistically the mere repetition of a sentence can make you believe it and question its accuracy less and in the age where we get the same forward by various sources, it’s hard to not believe it. Research also claims that only a few people have the cognitive skills to override their reflexive response which may help us in understanding why some people are more susceptible to fake news than others. In better news, psychologists are studying this situation already to be better equipped while tackling this in the near future. A lot of social media sites have also made their platforms more fake news repellent by deleting content that isn’t backed up by the WHO or CDC. Whatsapp and WHO has further made it easier by launching helpline numbers that clear doubts people might have by simply texting WHO on a specific number as follows:

Arabic
Send "?????" to +41 22 501 70 23 on WhatsApp
English
Send "hi" to +41 79 893 18 92 on WhatsApp
French
Send "salut" to +41 22 501 72 98 on WhatsApp
Italian
Send "ciao" to +41 22 501 78 34 on WhatsApp
Spanish
Send "hola" to +41 22 501 76 90 on WhatsApp
Via who.int

Culture

Conspiracy Theories Around The COVID-19 Outbreak

Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, we’ve heard more about bat soup than we would’ve liked. But how many of these stories have any truth to it?

Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, we’ve heard more about bat soup than we would’ve liked, with the infamous WhatsApp university coming up with something new every day to give us reasons for the outbreak. Personally, it has become a point of debate amongst my family after a forward said it was a bio-weapon invented by china to destroy world economies. But how many of these stories have any truth to it?

First off, with the credibility that WhatsApp holds now and fake news circulation peaking like never before the one and only way to curb it is by cross-checking facts with fiction yet somehow these conspiracy theories have still made it big because of their somewhat believable storylines so let’s get into it!

The Bat Soup Conspiracy

This story came to life when “patient zero” allegedly ingested bat soup or pangolin meat at the Hunan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China. (the searches for bat soup on google have blown up) When there is rumor social media is not far behind in their attempt to curate facts and prove it right so naturally, they traced it back to the now-viral pictures of a woman eating what looks like a whole bat in between her chopsticks. Turns out, the video isn’t from Wuhan or even China for that matter. The lady in the picture is actually a famous Chinese blogger who does travel shows and was in the Pacific nation of Palau when she tried the bat as part of her show. To further debunk this theory some of the early patients had no contact with the wet market at all. Even though the virus is found in bats it's still unclear how it has jumped to humans. This theory has also made its way to the source material of many memes but the racism and prejudice it fuels towards Chinese eating habits especially in the western world is far from funny. The infusion of meat in a person’s diet varies from culture to culture and it’s a bit hypocritical to frown upon eating dogs while you normalize eating cows which are frowned upon in a different culture. (I myself have ingested questionable things like octopus tentacles, fried worms, and veg momos).

The Biowarfare theory

To think old literature and Bill gates’ ted talk could spark this particular rumor is almost laughable and some would’ve no trouble believing this due to how poorly the Chinese government handled the situation in Wuhan which makes it look almost intentional to spread it all over the globe. However that wasn’t the main motivation for people to believe the biological war was on the verge, instead, it was a page from what they believed was a fiction novel called ‘the eyes of darkness’ written by Dean Kootz written and published in 1981. In a viral forward the book’s cover is shown along with a page referring to a new biological weapon called Wuhan-400 because it was developed at an RDNA lab outside the city of Wuhan. This claim however believable it may seem is false as in the original publication there was no mention of Wuhan and it was actually called Gorki after a Russian locality which was later changed in 1989 after the cold war ended as confirmed by Google books besides there aren’t any other notable similarities between Wuhan -400 which are said to have a kill rate of 100% as compared to the 2%-4% of the novel Coronavirus.
Now for everyone wondering how Bill gates ted talk fits into all this. Well, it is pretty relevant considering how it was about how the world lacked resources and research when it comes to another epidemic by using examples of previous diseases like Ebola and the flu; he also spoke about bioterrorism to becoming a thing in the future as we had a lot of nuclear deterrents but not many epidemic control measure, this obviously was twisted and turned to be used conveniently by WhatsAppers to back up their claims of bioterrorism by China. Thankfully new research held by Scripps Research Institute has not found evidence to prove that the SARs-CoV-2 is the result of bioengineering ruling out the possibility of it being a bioweapon for now.

The 5G theory

Recently Youtube has banned all conspiracy theory videos relating to coronavirus spreading due to 5G networks after a famous conspiracy theorist David Icke went live and linked the virus to technology by claiming there was a connection between 5G and this ‘health crisis’. Apart from the disease itself, he went as far as to link the cure to technology by saying the vaccine will contain “nanotechnology microchips “ that would allow humans to be controlled and wants Bill Gates- who has donated in COVID 19 vaccine research to be arrested. Regardless of how ludicrous this theory sounds, no one called out his stupidity much rather embraced this idea and made it very evident when cases of telephone towers being vandalized and telecom workers being abused started rolling in the UK, the government shunned this by calling it dangerous and absolute nonsense. The damage this must’ve caused to health care workers and essential services by harming their only way of communication is disgusting thought to think about which raises my next question.

Why were people so quick to believe fake news when it came to coronavirus?

One of the many reasons this could be is famous leaders you could look up to share accurate news have fallen prey to backing up false news. For example, President Bolsonaro posted hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the virus which you can cross-check to be completely false with a simple search on google. Apart from this, there is a lot of psychology that comes into play here as statistically the mere repetition of a sentence can make you believe it and question its accuracy less and in the age where we get the same forward by various sources, it’s hard to not believe it. Research also claims that only a few people have the cognitive skills to override their reflexive response which may help us in understanding why some people are more susceptible to fake news than others. In better news, psychologists are studying this situation already to be better equipped while tackling this in the near future. A lot of social media sites have also made their platforms more fake news repellent by deleting content that isn’t backed up by the WHO or CDC. Whatsapp and WHO has further made it easier by launching helpline numbers that clear doubts people might have by simply texting WHO on a specific number as follows:

Arabic
Send "?????" to +41 22 501 70 23 on WhatsApp
English
Send "hi" to +41 79 893 18 92 on WhatsApp
French
Send "salut" to +41 22 501 72 98 on WhatsApp
Italian
Send "ciao" to +41 22 501 78 34 on WhatsApp
Spanish
Send "hola" to +41 22 501 76 90 on WhatsApp
Via who.int

Culture

Conspiracy Theories Around The COVID-19 Outbreak

Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, we’ve heard more about bat soup than we would’ve liked. But how many of these stories have any truth to it?

Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, we’ve heard more about bat soup than we would’ve liked, with the infamous WhatsApp university coming up with something new every day to give us reasons for the outbreak. Personally, it has become a point of debate amongst my family after a forward said it was a bio-weapon invented by china to destroy world economies. But how many of these stories have any truth to it?

First off, with the credibility that WhatsApp holds now and fake news circulation peaking like never before the one and only way to curb it is by cross-checking facts with fiction yet somehow these conspiracy theories have still made it big because of their somewhat believable storylines so let’s get into it!

The Bat Soup Conspiracy

This story came to life when “patient zero” allegedly ingested bat soup or pangolin meat at the Hunan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China. (the searches for bat soup on google have blown up) When there is rumor social media is not far behind in their attempt to curate facts and prove it right so naturally, they traced it back to the now-viral pictures of a woman eating what looks like a whole bat in between her chopsticks. Turns out, the video isn’t from Wuhan or even China for that matter. The lady in the picture is actually a famous Chinese blogger who does travel shows and was in the Pacific nation of Palau when she tried the bat as part of her show. To further debunk this theory some of the early patients had no contact with the wet market at all. Even though the virus is found in bats it's still unclear how it has jumped to humans. This theory has also made its way to the source material of many memes but the racism and prejudice it fuels towards Chinese eating habits especially in the western world is far from funny. The infusion of meat in a person’s diet varies from culture to culture and it’s a bit hypocritical to frown upon eating dogs while you normalize eating cows which are frowned upon in a different culture. (I myself have ingested questionable things like octopus tentacles, fried worms, and veg momos).

The Biowarfare theory

To think old literature and Bill gates’ ted talk could spark this particular rumor is almost laughable and some would’ve no trouble believing this due to how poorly the Chinese government handled the situation in Wuhan which makes it look almost intentional to spread it all over the globe. However that wasn’t the main motivation for people to believe the biological war was on the verge, instead, it was a page from what they believed was a fiction novel called ‘the eyes of darkness’ written by Dean Kootz written and published in 1981. In a viral forward the book’s cover is shown along with a page referring to a new biological weapon called Wuhan-400 because it was developed at an RDNA lab outside the city of Wuhan. This claim however believable it may seem is false as in the original publication there was no mention of Wuhan and it was actually called Gorki after a Russian locality which was later changed in 1989 after the cold war ended as confirmed by Google books besides there aren’t any other notable similarities between Wuhan -400 which are said to have a kill rate of 100% as compared to the 2%-4% of the novel Coronavirus.
Now for everyone wondering how Bill gates ted talk fits into all this. Well, it is pretty relevant considering how it was about how the world lacked resources and research when it comes to another epidemic by using examples of previous diseases like Ebola and the flu; he also spoke about bioterrorism to becoming a thing in the future as we had a lot of nuclear deterrents but not many epidemic control measure, this obviously was twisted and turned to be used conveniently by WhatsAppers to back up their claims of bioterrorism by China. Thankfully new research held by Scripps Research Institute has not found evidence to prove that the SARs-CoV-2 is the result of bioengineering ruling out the possibility of it being a bioweapon for now.

The 5G theory

Recently Youtube has banned all conspiracy theory videos relating to coronavirus spreading due to 5G networks after a famous conspiracy theorist David Icke went live and linked the virus to technology by claiming there was a connection between 5G and this ‘health crisis’. Apart from the disease itself, he went as far as to link the cure to technology by saying the vaccine will contain “nanotechnology microchips “ that would allow humans to be controlled and wants Bill Gates- who has donated in COVID 19 vaccine research to be arrested. Regardless of how ludicrous this theory sounds, no one called out his stupidity much rather embraced this idea and made it very evident when cases of telephone towers being vandalized and telecom workers being abused started rolling in the UK, the government shunned this by calling it dangerous and absolute nonsense. The damage this must’ve caused to health care workers and essential services by harming their only way of communication is disgusting thought to think about which raises my next question.

Why were people so quick to believe fake news when it came to coronavirus?

One of the many reasons this could be is famous leaders you could look up to share accurate news have fallen prey to backing up false news. For example, President Bolsonaro posted hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the virus which you can cross-check to be completely false with a simple search on google. Apart from this, there is a lot of psychology that comes into play here as statistically the mere repetition of a sentence can make you believe it and question its accuracy less and in the age where we get the same forward by various sources, it’s hard to not believe it. Research also claims that only a few people have the cognitive skills to override their reflexive response which may help us in understanding why some people are more susceptible to fake news than others. In better news, psychologists are studying this situation already to be better equipped while tackling this in the near future. A lot of social media sites have also made their platforms more fake news repellent by deleting content that isn’t backed up by the WHO or CDC. Whatsapp and WHO has further made it easier by launching helpline numbers that clear doubts people might have by simply texting WHO on a specific number as follows:

Arabic
Send "?????" to +41 22 501 70 23 on WhatsApp
English
Send "hi" to +41 79 893 18 92 on WhatsApp
French
Send "salut" to +41 22 501 72 98 on WhatsApp
Italian
Send "ciao" to +41 22 501 78 34 on WhatsApp
Spanish
Send "hola" to +41 22 501 76 90 on WhatsApp
Via who.int

WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO
WATCH VIDEO