The infectious disease is escalating at an R0 (R Naught) value: the question is how many such diseases will we fall prey to?
What is the scariest thing about the ongoing pandemic is not the logarithmic rate at which it is growing, nor is it the complete breakdown of the world’s economy; a war won by a country without a single nuclear weapon. It is the escalation of the conspiracies that have sprung up, often claiming that the virus itself is not to blame for the current situation, but is collateral damage in a prophecy predicted by “The Simpsons”. Till we find a fixed vaccine that will eradicate this deadly disease, let us try to combat another disease preying upon (even learned) peoples’ minds:
- Use your 5 senses and see that 5-G does NOT spread the virus: A rumor so lit that even Reuters had to address it: to prevent more 5-G towers from being set on fire. The effect of phones’ ionizing radiations has always been questionable at best. However, the claims that 5-G (the successor to 4-G wireless) networks are making people sick is a gross and ill-advised conspiracy reminiscent of the protests in Colorada, USA, protesting the lock-down. Several social media sites are flooded with theories relating adverse health effects to the radiations of 5-G but fail to take into account the actual on-ground symptoms. How can a radio wave invoke in humans a dry cough?
2. The Simpsons predicted the Virus and Murder Hornets:
Chuck your daily horoscopes, ladies and gentlemen, for the true clairvoyant has descended to center-stage. A modern day oracle which renders “Paul the Octopus” obsolete. The Simpsons has predicted several mind-blowing incidents over the years: the election of Donald Trump and the invention of smart watched being a few. But, should we abandon all second thoughts and follow the leader? D’oh.
The heavily doctored photo doing the rounds on the internet has lead to this major problem: our minds are really susceptible and make up several connections that we negate as coincidences. The reporter on “The Simpsons’ behind whom the words “Corona Virus are flashing, actually has the words ‘Apocalypse Meow” scrawled for posterity. Also, “the murder hornets” which represent the predatory insects in the USA currently are, in fact, killer bees. Also, if the “Osaka (Japan) Flu” and Corona originating in Wuhan (China) are considered to be the same or ‘close enough’, it is the Xenophobia you should be worried about.
3) Russia and the Big Cat Watchdogs:
Russia does not have lions roaming the streets to prevent people from going out. A news report and several hundred news reports saw breaking news titled: “Putin releases 500 lions on to streets of Russia to keep people indoors”. The photo, which was a still from Johannesburg, South Africa in 2016, did the rounds on the internet ( similar to the rounds that the lions were imagined as taking in the streets) amassing ever-increasing awe. While stringent measures are undertaken by several countries, authoritarian states need not employ the use of wild beasts to scare people into staying inside: in India, we just make them do sit-ups that occupy the fantasies of yoga professionals .
The pandemic is unprecedented, whether you consider it a “plandemic” or something predicted by ACP Pradhyuman in C.I.D. in 2013 (as covered by The Hindustan Times), exercising healthy restraint will prevent it from spiraling out of control. Currently the virus is predicted to grow at a rate of R0, we need to work together to bring it down to naught.
Till then, let us raise the cacophony from the safety of our houses and remember that the ‘ick’ factor of the pandemic will decrease as we practice social distancing.