Coronavirus myth busted: 5G does not cause COVID-19
The post claimed that there was no such thing as the “corona virus”, and the flu-like symptoms of this new disease were caused by radiation from 5G towers.
Ask anyone who is working from home during the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic or socially distancing from their loved ones, and they’d tell you life would be impossible without a way to stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues. Or, in other words, without cellular networks.
And yet, one of the most popular myths about how the novel strain of coronavirus infection — which originated at a wet market in Wuhan, China — spread to the rest of the world has to do with the next generation of mobile networks, 5G.
The origin of a myth
This myth, popular in parts of the USA and the UK (and slowly making its way to the Indian subcontinent just like the COVID-19 infection did), was started through a Facebook post. The post claimed that there was no such thing as the “corona virus”, and the flu-like symptoms of this new disease were caused by radiation from 5G towers - towers which China apparently has almost a million of.
The post also claimed that the instalment of 5G towers was done by people like Bill Gates to depopulate the planet, and the billionaire apparently even has the cure to this type of radiation at hand. The post was shared widely on Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media platforms, and got quite an endorsement when celebrities like actor Woody Harrelson shared it online and media outlets started covering it.
5G and the rumour pandemic
However, with most governments across the world now combatting both the COVID-19 infection and misinformation about it on a war footing, this type of baseless myth is being countered with strict measures. According to The Guardian, the Germany-based International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is trying to assure people that they have called for a new set of guidelines that will minimize any health risks that the scientific community might assume 5G can have.
On the other hand, British broadcasters have been warned by the government that they will face sanctions if they air such baseless rumours or give airtime to any and all false health advice about COVID-19. With such stringent measures in place, it can only be hoped that people will not fall for rumours about 5G which are not scientifically corroborated.
Despite these efforts, however, it looks like the rollout of 5G mobile networks in Europe and the UK will be delayed. Now, this is not because of the myth about 5G towers causing COVID-19, but the fact that such global installation of new technologies will only be made possible after humankind has fully dealt with this pandemic and its aftermath.
For more information, read our article on COVID-19 Myths and the Truth About Them.
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