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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

COVID-19 Fake News Conspiracy

COVID-19 Conspiracy, Connecting The Dots, Or Not
by Gary Hooser
A friend recently posted concerns about her mother being in a nursing home where residents had tested positive for the virus. A commenter quickly chimed in: “They are doing it on purpose. Sending corona people to those homes.”
That commenter, and many others, appear to believe that the pandemic is part of an international effort intended to depopulate the planet while making billions in profits off the vaccine. 
Some versions of the theory end in the total subjugation of the remaining population via “medical martial law.” Others believe the vaccine will contain a microchip allowing government to monitor every citizen’s, every move. 5G cell-phone technology is also seen as a key factor in the overall scheme.
Almost daily, I receive email from people urging me to watch various YouTube videos of interviews with seemingly rational and educated experts asserting with the utmost confidence various scenarios.
The basic premise is that entities such as Bill Gates, the Rockefeller Foundation, George Soros, the Deep State, Jeff Bezos, the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC), and/or (fill in the blank), have individually or collectively, in collaboration with China, Russia, the Central Intelligence Agency CIA), Israel, and/or (fill in the blank), engineered and deliberately released into the world the COVID-19 virus.
The online chatter supporting various theories as to the origin of the virus and the intent of various persons, countries, and organizations, has in my opinion, gone way, way over the top.
The nature of a conspiracy theory is that it connects the dots of known truths, with dots of well, it could be true, it was once true, someone told me it was true, and circling back around to known truths, with the dots accumulating and spreading in an ever-widening ring. The more the cycle is repeated, the more believable it becomes.
It is true that overpopulation is seen by many as a primary cause of much of our planet's problems. It’s also true that many organizations have studied and implemented various strategies over the years, from increased access to birth control to government mandates, in an effort to slow population growth.
It’s also true that there is a segment of the population for whom vaccines aren’t good for, with some people becoming sick, or dying, from adverse reactions to certain vaccines.
Various groups and governments have over the years prepared for a COVID-19 type pandemic and even stockpiled supplies in anticipation. That does not mean they engineered it and made it happen.
The well known right-wing talk radio provocateur Rush Limbaugh is fond to say, “Well it could be true!” He is of course, correct. And also incorrect. This type of empty rhetoric echoed by many around the globe is the fuel that every conspiracy theory relies upon.
The earth could also be flat and, in fact, I could show you a dozen studies and a bunch of YouTube videos by ostensibly credible people to prove it.
But it ain’t true.
To be clear, I have an inherent distrust of big pharma, big healthcare, and big money, and I am fully aware that there are bad people, countries, businesses, and various organizations that do bad and arguably very evil things in the world.
But I cannot imagine or believe a scenario where a virus like this is developed and intentionally released as a strategy to achieve world domination, or as a way to make money.
I do my best to “connect the dots” and come to my own conclusions about life. I look first and again last to those people in my community whom I trust. I also review a wide range of media. When a provocative "statement of fact" is made, I look for the source and do my best to determine if the fact is credible or not.  
I often bounce these columns off of friends for review prior to submitting for publication. I was told by a reviewer today: “You are writing an article attempting to reason with irrational people; I don’t know if you can win”.
Perhaps that is the case. But if true, and I cannot win, at least I can have the last word. Suffice to say in conclusion, that we are all better served by making sure the dots we connect are based upon facts, reason, and an underlying faith in humanity.
A longer version of the above was first published in The Garden Island Newspaper, May 13, 2020.
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