COVID-19 conspiracy theories, are they just myths we should ignore?
Although I’m not a great believer in conspiracy theories, but an eagle’s eye view into how the government and its agencies particularly the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) are handling the COVID-19 pandemic is increasingly suspicious, to put it mildly.
However, right there in the middle of it all, at our respective strata on the “inglorious pyramid” (I sincerely hope the reader understands) are the rest of us obviously with very little or no clue at all as to what is indeed going on except of course for whatever “fabrications” we are allowed to swallow hook, line and sinker.
Don’t take my word or suspicion alone for it. Recall that in the past couple of weeks, in Nigeria and indeed the world over; hashtags such as #Covid-19isascam, #Covid-19Scam, #Covidiots, etc have trended and still are on major social media platforms triggering a backlash of not just the way the pandemic is been handled by respective governments the world over, but more importantly issues surrounding the origin and very existence of the COVID-19 itself.
The hashtag underlined a number of quite interesting conspiracy theories associated with the COVID-19 and I am going to share a few here.
Some Conspiracy Theories
“The COVID-19 conspiracy is a Scientific corruption.”
“It’s a ploy to separate us from our freedom rights and liberty, to instill a dependence on the government; to separate us from each other and to cut down descent, to guarantee that we won’t and can’t fight back when they install the ONE WORLD TOTALITARIAN GOVERNMENT.”
“Governments are tripping over their lies on lockdown and virus daily! Its fucking bonkers to think people still follow these dickheads blindly when they just make the rules up as they go. Hypocrisy, lies and false news to feed and confuse the sheeple.”
Here are the more insightful Conspiracy Theories
While there may be no evidence to suggest it, there is quite an increasingly wide perception that hospitals especially in worst stricken countries such as in Europe, Asia and the USA and more recently even here in Nigeria are following very strict instructions with juicy strings attached to inflate COVID-19 death counts. In other words, the peddlers of this theory are claiming that “the state” has ordered that “anyone who didn’t die by a gunshot wound or car accident” should be listed as a COVID-19 victim.
Similarly, playing out here in Nigeria is a related theory making the rounds which not only suggests but has even accused the NCDC of inducing medical workers at various hospitals to if possible ensure they test and diagnose any patient who visited their hospitals regardless of the ailment as COVID-19 positive. (Follow this link to listen to an audio testimony as forwarded to Citizens Newsroom: https://soundcloud.com/user-72806170/audio-covid-19-biz)
The theory further suggests that by reporting more covid-19 figures, governments and by extension the hospitals make more money by receiving additional financial support to help handle the health crisis.
In another breadth, there is this angle of the conspiracy theories tied to the billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates in connivance with the World Health Organisation (WHO) which has to do with some planned COVID-19 vaccine designed to implant a location-tracking microchip in billions of recipients the world over expectedly.
As a matter of fact, according to a widely reported study in the United States, “44% of Republicans believe that Bill Gates is plotting to use a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign as a pretext to implant microchips in billions of people and monitor their movements. Of course as with all conspiracy theories, this one in particular has been widely debunked as having no basis in fact.
By the way it may interest you to know that Bill Gates is second only to the United States government in terms of the biggest single donor to the world Health Organisation. As a matter of fact, some have argued he (Bill Gates) literarily owns the WHO.
What about the so-called Chinese government’s conspiracy which has been spearheaded by no less a personality than President Donald Trump himself? Recently he has even succeeded in getting an overwhelming global support of over 100 countries including African countries and even the WHO for a global inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic.
To this end, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne did lead a bipartisan call for a global inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus, noting Australia will insist on an independent review, not one conducted by the World Health Organisation.
This bold “call” by Australia obviously didn’t go down well with China and the result is an ongoing diplomatic and trade row between China and Australia. Just read an article in the Economist that China is actually placing a ‘punishing tariff’ on Australia for them demanding an inquiry into COVID-19.
But what has China got to hide? The Chinese government even recently set aside billions of dollars as aids to “assist” other countries. Like seriously, what is China trying to cover up?
Still on Donald Trump, not to mention the theory on the other hand that COVID-19 is a conspiracy to engineer his (Trump) defeat. The theories just go on and on in their different shades.
Here in Nigeria amidst all manner of conspiracy rhetoric is one that stands out; the controversial bill seeking to replace the Quarantine Act with a Control of Infectious Disease Act that quickly passed first and second readings at the House of Representatives in April. The bill, ‘Control of Infectious Disease, 2020’, sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, seeks a penalty of between N200,000 and N5m as well as jail terms for violators, rather than the N500 fine from the previous Quarantine Act. The bill was purportedly said to have been sponsored by Bill Gates himself with an inducement package of $10 million, a claim which has since been officially debunked by the Bill Gates Foundation here in Nigeria.
Enters another big one – the so-called Chinese doctors and their “unknown” mission to Nigeria. While I’m yet to lay my itching fingers on any substantial evidence yet to this effect, it’ my candid opinion that Nigerians jettison all those fables so far from the Federal Government and its agencies on who the so-called Chinese doctors really are or what their mission truly is here in Nigeria.
I too have got my own conspiracy theory about those Chinese guys and you are free to dismiss it – it’s just my theory after all.
“Those so-called “Chinese doctors” are here in Nigeria to install 5G masks or some kind of engineering infrastructure and that’s what they are doing right now particularly in Abuja and Lagos. And until they are done, they are not going to go anywhere no matter what anybody says.
“And need I mention that you don’t have to blame President Muhammadu Buhari for complicity in this whole arrangement. Yes, he may be complicit but beyond that; he is totally clueless. But even if he is not as clueless as you may want to believe, there is clearly very little or nothing he can do about it other than to simply take orders and do exactly as he is told. Those calling the shots here are way beyond his parameter enclave of the nasty local game of political rascality that excites him so much.
“Beyond other things, the lockdown is a good cover up away from public view while 5G installations and other nefarious practices and government propaganda hold sway. If you are in Abuja and Lagos or even just about any part of the country, you would do well to look out for any sudden appearance of some technological infrastructure in the form of masks or anything else – you just might be looking at a 5G installation.”
In the final analysis amidst all the conspiracy theories and the truth or otherwise in them, the certainty is that we need an exit route from either the conspiracy or otherwise of COVID-19.
In the words of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who recently tweeted what he believes to be that much needed exit route for COVID-19 at least for his county:
“Were making vast progress in testing and tracing, and I have great confidence that we will have a system very soon that will help us defeat this disease.”
But do you honestly see us here in Nigeria defeating the virus any time soon? Here is what I think, it’s very important for Nigeria and indeed the world to be clear about one thing – the way forward if we must prevail against COVID-19 is to accept the fact that this virus has come to stay and for much longer than it has already been welcomed. Therefore, all we need do is put the necessary precautions in place and move on with our individually and as a nation. No amount of continuous lockdown will deter the virus which has continued to spread in any case.
Thus, our best bet is to learn to live with this virus and control it the best way we can while not totally dismissing the surrounding conspiracy theories. We may not necessarily be able to defeat it given the fact that we cannot simply just dismiss with a wave of the arm either the gravity or magnitude of anyone of the conspiracy theories surrounding COVID-19 for the simple fact that just about anyone of those so-called conspiracies stands as much a chance to be true as the COVID-19 itself.
By this I mean while COVID-19 may not all together be one huge conspiracy, there is nonetheless a conspiracy angle to COVID-19 that must not be totally ignored.