Covid-19 conspiracy theories

Covid-19 conspiracy theories Featured

The lockdown, enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or similar appropriate euphemisms is a correct attempt to contain a deadly pandemic. Other countries are implementing this with varying degrees of success. My medium-sized family with three grandkids (aged 8, 6 and 4), two parents, two grandparents, nannies and kasambahay (househelps) — sequestered in a fairly large house with a modest garden — are enjoying the novelty of it all, at least in the provinces (five others are quarantined in Manila). Forced interaction within a confined space is akin to a prison without bars, armed guards and a bartolina (isolation chamber) and absent corporal punishment although the intermittent shouting and cries and the general ruckus that erupt between unique, dynamic and highly independent siblings are, at least to the lolo (grandfather), analogous to Holy Week penance.

Our home ECQ has unstructured amusements, leisure, entertainment and recreation privileges as contrasted to the proverbial “doing time” or incarceration. At least for a month, the inmates make their own rules, although in the hierarchy of authority — the rankings are confused as to who are the wardens; the adults or the little ones. Discipline is loose and bedtime curfew is unenforceable as the kids, with no school, consider every night a “movie night.”

Social media data overload
But Facebook, Messenger, Viber and You Tube have inundated social media with all sorts of news articles, opinions and warnings against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). But what catch my eyes are the insights of bloggers, pundits, intellectual charlatans and wannabe opinion makers.

The contributions are a witches’ brew of facts, fiction, questionable science and fake news. All these thrown into the cauldron suffused with the overarching fear of the pandemic with daily real time statistics on the spread, survival and morbidity rates. Throw in a healthy measure of a blend of epidemic movies — i.e., the “Outbreak” (1995), “Contagion” (2011), my special favorite “Andromeda Strain” (1969), the recent Netflix film “Pandemic” (2020) and “World War Z” (2013) — and, voila, conspiracy theories are regurgitated which, in some way, alleviate anxieties in the primordial quest for simple answers during times of peril.

One that has gained traction was an account of a paper written by four researcher-scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology based on their study from 2018, anticipating an outbreak. The document was received by the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing for peer review on Jan. 29, 2019. On March 2, 2019, it was published in an open access journal titled “Bat Coronaviruses in China,”10 months before the outbreak. Apparently these new deadly pathogens had similar genomes with other coronaviruses. The suspected cover-up by Chinese authorities was unraveled in December 2019, when the spread could no longer be contained and the lockdown of Wuhan was enforced. By then, 4,000 citizens have already fled the city for other parts in China and abroad.

To deflect these denunciations of the virus origins, Chinese authorities hinted that the United States biochemical weapons agency spread the virus through US soldiers who visited Hubei Province where Wuhan city is situated. US President Donald Trump promptly retaliated by officially tweeting Covid-19 not by its name, but as “the China virus.”

Depopulate the earth
But a compelling conspiracy theory is one expanded from the hypothesis of an 18th century philosopher, Thomas Malthus, whose writings centered on world population and its capacity to consume the earth’s resources: “The power of population is so superior to the power of the Earth to produce subsistence for man that premature death must, in some shape or other, visit the human race.”

I wrote in my column “Malthus and the global peril” (The Manila Times, Feb.12, 2019): “…The world’s resources are finite and technology can no longer mitigate the effects of a disastrous population bursting at the seams. By 2050, at current growth rates, the United Nations predicts the world population could reach 9.6 billion. Demographic experts argue 10 billion is Earth’s maximum population carrying capacity; predicated too on another projection that earth can afford to feed only this much.”

Depopulation not genocide
There are two ways to reduce the Earth’s population. One by nuclear holocaust, with the ensuing collapse of the world’s economy with the resultant possible annihilation of the human species. War is too messy, and nobody wins. The efficient method is by attrition, depopulation spaced over time so as not to inflict too much trauma to the world’s economy. Covid-19 is presumably reengineered to eliminate the elderly with preexisting health vulnerabilities. In Italy, 99.99 percent of the infected elderly died. (Another rich source of conspiracy theory “Why Italy?”

The next round of pandemics may target the 1 billion souls worldwide living in the slums, shantytowns and favelas under squalid conditions.

The theory further postulates that over the past decades, the two remaining competing superpowers have allowed or even caused the introduction of deadly viruses from their arsenals or from “natural causes.” The coronavirus family — the severe acute respiratory syndrome, Middle East respiratory syndrome and now the more lethal Covid-19 have decimated the targeted segment in each other’s population — and at their allies, too. Supposedly vaccines for these various plagues have already been discovered from the blood of human survivors then processed and stored for safekeeping by multinationals, and allocated from time to time in line with the plan for depopulation

Bill Gates, in his TED speech in 2015 declared that the next world war would not be nuclear. It will be virus- and technology-based. Left unsaid is the desired result: eradication of poverty, the healing of the environment, and mitigating the violence to the earth’s climate toward striking a balance between the desired numbers of a depopulated human race and the earth’s capacity to produce; perforce maintain the desired quality of life.

Who survives
The blame game over whether the pandemic is a result of China’s profligate exotic culinary palate or America’s weaponizing biotechnology simply deflects the conversation away from the real issue — that man has long been irresponsible for his ascendency over nature.

I wrote in 2014 an appropriate conclusion: “Human extinction is unthinkable…but this might not be Mother Nature’s intention to wipe out the entire human race. We are [her] best creation, the predator on top of the food chain. She will not destroy her ‘obra maestra,’ but perhaps just intermittently warn us, humans, that we are responsible for ourselves — for each other and our environment. Over the millennia…Mother Nature was there to ride herd on us, letting us be until we go outside the limits of our discretion. Then she steps in to discipline us. More than a hundred plagues…in human history…curtailing millions from the earth’s population.”

We are taxing her resources and her patience. Mother Nature or God or Allah has simply intervened, but is neutral on who are to be eliminated. But man or more particularly the world’s oligarchy and the elite are now playing God, choosing who may or may not survive. Those who are no longer useful and a burden to society will not pull through. This is happening now!000
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