The world might be in the middle of deadly pandemic but another battle is raging in internet communities. Conspiracy theorists have been spreading disinformation that 5G technology is the cause of the coronavirus crisis and it’s gotten enough traction that the NSW government has had to debunk it.
NSW Health took to Twitter to remind residents that the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, is spread by droplets transmitted via coughing or sneezing, not wireless networks.
COVID-19 does not spread via mobile networks or wireless technology. COVID-19 is spread through contaminated droplets by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands, surfaces or objects.
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) May 11, 2020
“COVID-19 does not spread via mobile networks or wireless technology,” the NSW Health tweet read, reminding us how science works.
“COVID-19 is spread through contaminated droplets by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands, surfaces or objects.”
It added that turning off your Wi-Fi won’t do any good at preventing you from contracting the disease.
The actual method of transmission can obviously happen if a contaminated person directly sneezes or coughs into your face but if those droplets land on surfaces you come into contact with, you may also contract it. That’s why regular hand washing is so important to maintain.
“Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days,” NSW Health’s site explains.
“If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with a common household disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.”
While it’s not always a bad idea to question information you’re receiving, it’s important to understand the differences between sources. A trusted, evidence-backed source of information is always going to hold more weight than some random Facebook friend’s post asserting that the world’s leaders are all secretly lizards.
Over the past few weeks there has been an alarming uptick in social media posts linking coronavirus to the 5G rollout. Some draw comparisons between the new mobile network and the spread of the virus itself. Others claim the virus is a manufactured ruse to force people inside while the government fast tracks the construction of more 5G towers. Unlike other 5G theories, these posts aren't merely relegated to the bowels of Reddit and fringe Facebook groups. They're gaining mainstream traction and enjoying pronounced plausibility thanks to celebrity endorsements. They have now gained enough traction to manifest real world violence.Read more