The Real Deal: Debunking theories about COVID-19


Purchasing produce, these customers visit a market in Wuhan, China, where COVID-19 originated. There is a lot of misinformation about the virus on the internet right now, so make sure you get your news from trusted sources like the CDC and WHO.

Margaux Hunter, Features Editor

  Typically, my articles would try to persuade you into believing in a conspiracy theory, then setting the facts straight at the end, giving you the Real Deal. However, today I think it is more important to explain why some of the conspiracies about Coronavirus are sticking. Misinformation leads to public distrust, confusion, and even more uncertainty. And if you are like me, then you are also tired of hearing everyone say “…during this time of uncertainty…” But that is exactly why these theories are catching on so quickly; there are not a lot of answers to people’s questions right now, and the situation changes almost daily. Alternate theories, and that is what they are, theories which have not been proven fact by evidence, give people some certainty and control. 

  One popular theory is that the Coronavirus was man-made in a lab in Wuhan, China, where the virus originated. This is not true, and the only evidence that believers have cited is the proximity to the local market where the outbreak began. But researchers have inspected the genetic make-up of the virus and concluded that it originated naturally in animals and was then transmitted to humans. If it was man-made, scientists say that the backbone would have resembled other strains of the virus that was known to cause illness; however, the backbone is less comparable to previous strains and more closely resembled other viruses in bats and pangolins. COVID-19 originated naturally; that is the Real Deal. 

  Another popular theory whizzing around the internet right now is that the new 5G cells being installed emit radiation that weakens one’s immune system, making them more susceptible to the virus. 5G is the next generation wireless network that has a faster processing speed, larger bandwidth, and lower lag times between devices and servers. Believers released maps of the US, showing the correlation between places with new 5G cells and the largest outbreaks of COVID-19. However, these areas were also largely metropolitan cities, where on average, people come into close contact with each other more often than in smaller cities and towns. 5G cells are not causing greater susceptibility to COVID-19; that is the Real Deal.

  One will likely find many more conspiracy theories like the ones above, but we must remember to get our news from trustworthy sources like the CDC and WHO, where there are professionals working to understand and stop the spread of the virus. Even though there are many more questions than answers right now, we must stay resilient. We have a duty to stay home as much as possible, to practice social distancing, and to spread information, not misinformation. Stay home and stay safe. That is the Real Deal.