ANALYSIS: BENEDICT TEMBO
IN A crisis like the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) facing the world now, conspiracy theories thrive.
And in this social media age, they are just unstoppable. Some theories are fact, others are half-truths, while others are outright lies.
The latest conspiracy theory links the coming on board of 5G and COVID-19.
The heralding of 5G technology, which has coincided with the global outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, has birthed speculative social media reports, what with some street protests in the United Kingdom and Nigeria amid fears about the harm this technology may cause?
I heard Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, the founder and president of LoveWorld Incorporated, also known as Christ Embassy, said the installation of the 5G was the cause behind the lockdown in Lagos and Abuja, as the Nigerian government was installing 5G towers.
The renowned pastor is on record saying 5G is in fact responsible for killing people rather than the COVID-19.
During his sermon of Sunday, April 5, Pastor Chris was categorical that what killed so many people in Wuhan, China, was not the COVID-19 but rather the 5G network which was installed there.
Pastor Chris claimed that the Nigerian government ordered a lockdown to keep people away from the streets so that they did not mobilise and protest against the mounting of the 5G network.
It is clear that the internationally respected man of God is among the 5G conspiracy theorists who allege that the 5G network generates radiofrequency radiation (RFR) that can damage DNA and lead to cancer; cause oxidative damage that can cause premature aging; disrupt cell metabolism; and potentially lead to other diseases through the generation of stress proteins and viruses.
However, it is difficult to believe 5G is the source of COVID-19 because I do not see the relation between waves and a virus.
My take, though, is that there must be some inherent danger in such strong radiation, and diseases that are likely to emerge down the road are rare cancers, nerve diseases and cognitive problems.
The only relation with COVID-19 is that people with diseases such as COVID-19 could have compromised immunities and therefore much more vulnerable to succumb, thereby manifest symptoms of 5G emissions.
Conspiracy theory at its best is the work of desk specialists hell-bent on confusing the public and, at the same time, earn money from hits.
The real theory is that 5G will exponentially increase internet speed, but one of the side effects is that it is harmful as it emits viruses, one of which is coronavirus. It is believed the major implementation centre or hub is Wuhan, and that China ‘borrowed’ 5G technology from the United States of America, and there is competition on who launches first, hence the fight between Donald Trump and China, but the tech companies are pretending that it is normal flu or pandemic.
The challenge is that COVID-19 cases have been reported in places like Africa where 5G has not been launched, making it difficult to reconcile the theory.
What is feeding into this theory are comments from the likes of Bill Gates, who predicted the virus and also seems to be offering very informed position.
The author is editorials editor at the Zambia Daily Mail.