In times of dire crisis, some people put on their tinfoil hats and jump to some ludicrous conclusions. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, conspiracy theorists have tied 5G technology to the spread of the coronavirus.
According to James Temperton for Wired, there are several unsubstantiated theories that link 5G technology to spread the virus; some say that 5G weakens your immune system and makes the effects of COVID-19 worse, others claim that 5G causes COVID-19-like symptoms, and others go as far as saying that the lockdowns are a cover to install 5G networks.
None of these claims have been proven by science, or anyone even resembling an expert, but that has not stopped believers in conspiracy theories to burn down the 5G towers to remedy the situation.
Anti-5G protestors have been attacking cell towers sites in the UK, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Ireland. A total of nine attacks have occurred since Friday in the Netherlands, including two on Monday night, and at least 20 have taken place in the UK since last week.
Rob Bongelaar, director of The Monet Foundation, which oversees the placement of cell towers, told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, “The availability of a reliable digital infrastructure is essential. The connections are desperately needed for hospitals and care homes…and then there are those who deliberately set radio masts on fire. Incomprehensible and unacceptable.”
Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter seem to have been extremely conducive to the spread of the theories. Although Facebook has vowed to get more aggressive against groups promoting these conspiracy theories, this might be one fire that’s too late to put out.