I have, for a long time, wanted to sit down and dispel several conspiracy theories. It just so happens that this weekend, I am recovering from an injury and have a bit more of on my hands.
Shocked at comments in the social media sphere, in shops, conversations with people I otherwise thought rational, and I daresay pubs, before and after lockdown “ended” (it has not), I felt the specific need to focus on COVID-19.
First, we must consider those who are more prone to believing in conspiracy theories. They, of course, say that they are not “brain-washed”. That is a difficult starting point from which to argue, because they are claiming that they can reason in a better way than you and I are. Sadly, it is not true: They just cannot see it.
There is a well-established connection between types of “magical thinking” and believing in conspiracy theories. It is a way to think irrationally and illogically, immediately relying on feelings as opposed to thoughts. As individuals feel less responsible for their lives and have less control over what they think they can affect, it gets worse.
Magical thinking, in this context, would apply where an individual comprehends Event A, such as when Bill Gates warned that there was another pandemic on the way with his Ted Talk, with Event B, such as the outbreak of a pandemic. Magical thinkers would not stop to consider that the man knows this because of his work on Malaria in Africa and his understanding, therefore, of how pathogens begin to spread; instead, he is a wealthy and powerful man with lots of influence, so it must be a plot by Gates and others. Note that he was saying what he and others (largely civil servants) warned governments about for years: We are not ready for another pandemic.
Fortunately, the Internet cannot ever be falsified in terms of anything that has happened in the past (we have Google and WayBack Machine to thank for that). Therefore, this article from 2005 is not some magical science, and instead is – well – science: Specifically, here: “Bats have been recognized as the natural reservoirs of a large variety of viruses. Special attention has been paid to bat coronaviruses as the two emerging coronaviruses which have caused unexpected human disease outbreaks in the 21st century, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), are suggested to be originated from bats. Various species of horseshoe bats in China have been found to harbor genetically diverse SARS-like coronaviruses.”
It gets even stranger for the conspiracy theorists. In 2006, this paper was published. It states in its abstract: “Bats have been identified as a natural reservoir for an increasing number of emerging zoonotic viruses, including henipaviruses and variants of rabies viruses. Recently, we and another group independently identified several horseshoe bat species (genus Rhinolophus) as the reservoir host for a large number of viruses that have a close genetic relationship with the coronavirus associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Our current research focused on the identification of the reservoir species for the progenitor virus of the SARS coronaviruses responsible for outbreaks during 2002–2003 and 2003–2004. In addition to SARS-like coronaviruses, many other novel bat coronaviruses, which belong to groups 1 and 2 of the 3 existing coronavirus groups, have been detected by PCR.”
So now we know that we were warned by science that these were present in bats well before the pandemic. There is now even more science suggesting this, but I have deliberately left out post-breakout research because it is vitally important to try to get people to think as opposed to feel about this situation.
What is prevalent amongst conspiracy theory believers in this matter is, because the wet market was close to a research laboratory in China, it must have been the laboratory and an accidental (or deliberate leak) of the virus, and not the fact that a man purchased an animal and ate it. One of the main conspiracy theories that I have seen about this has the “nub” of the theory in the fact that bats are not found within 500 miles of the wet markets. Given that researchers can access the caves, it strikes me as illogical that traders who do, in China, seek out animals to sell at a profit to those who can afford it in China, would not be able to do the same.
What is not known is whether Patient X (or there may have been several) bought a bat or whether the bats spread it to pangolins, also on sale on these wet markets. Either way, it is difficult to examine because the wet market was cleared soon after the outbreak by the Chinese authorities. But what is known is that the patient did experience the original Sars-Cov-2 virus as a consequence of purchasing something. That is not to imply a conspiracy above and beyond that China wants its own people to think that they care about them – when they do not – and of course made the strategic move to hide evidence from the World Health Organisation, which was then not able to do its job and announce that a pandemic was imminent. Therefore, it is not due to anything but corruption in one state that we do not know for certain where the purchase happened, what it was (bat or pangolin) and who it was.
At this point, scientists can only speculate. There is a fascinating range of differences of opinions here.
It is important to state that the Wuhan Institute of Virology has broadly been cleared, given past studies, of being the source of any breakout. The article to which I link there is, of course, speculation. However, it is speculation from people who possess the ability to think rather than feel about a scenario.
All in all, we have seen people blame the Chinese government for deliberately creating this rather than researching it (which is absurd). I have seen people who say that it is about “population control”, but when I ask them why the population must be controlled, apart from “food” (that would make sense in countries in poverty, but not here), or “there’s not enough room” (5.9% of Britain is built on – allowing for the fact that this article is from 2017, perhaps increase that to 6.1% – and that’s generous given lack of housing supply). I have even heard people say that it is connected to the Illuminati’s plan of depopulation. Correct me if I am wrong, but if this were about depopulation on a huge scale, why was a man-made virus not used which had a greater mortality rate? Ask these questions of yourself.
The final word on this is that 5G cannot possibly have caused the pandemic, nor increase it to speed up. If you are sitting under a lightbulb, or close to one, you are being exposed to more radiation than you will be if you were stood under a 5G mast. You are also exposed to more radiation by radio frequencies, technology which was invented in the last century. I do not see any evidence of a mass pandemic apart from Sars-Cov-1 and, later 2, two in the respective decades post 2,000.
This particular video is a fantastic way to explain your brain on conspiracy theories, and I’d ask that you watch it if you did, or still do, believe in the conspiracy theories.