The conspiracy is still very much alive and is infecting people in a different kind of way, so why is it still active and what’s causing these theorists to perpetuate such rubbish?
A smooth transition from 4G to 5G
For those who don’t know, this particular conspiracy theory surrounds the notion that the Coronavirus pandemic has solely been caused by individuals who have been exposed to emissions from new 5G antennas. It seems that even the most seasoned of journalists have also been caught up with the conspiracy: Eamonn Holmes whilst presenting ‘This Morning’ made a poorly-chosen comment surrounding 5G, which was described by the British television regulator Ofcom, as “ill-judged”.
In the UK, for example, telecom engineers are regarded as key workers and are pivotal in ensuring that our national infrastructure is supported and that we remain connected during this challenging period. Likewise, these same skilled engineers are also responsible for upgrading our infrastructure and ensuring that a smooth transition from 4G to 5G is achieved. The theorists, on the other hand, are calling for these engineers to be attacked and for masts to be destroyed. They are using social media as their platform to spread this dangerous message, making ridiculous claims that governments around the world are systematically killing us.
How do we quash this nonsense?
Now, with this in mind, along with some easement over lockdown, my wife, Sarah and I recently went to a local bar, which was permitted to open, along with a few others in the area. The staff wore masks and obeyed social distancing rules. Anyway, we shared a bottle of red or two, perhaps three – well, it doesn’t matter, with our neighbours who have become good friends over the lockdown period. I was dumbfounded when one of our neighbours, a mature lady, casually threw into our conversation that 5G was responsible for the Coronavirus pandemic. At 68, she has her full faculties, speaks six languages and is a confident lady who, ordinarily, I thought wouldn’t’ve been caught up in the entrapment surrounding 5G conspiracy theorists; she seems well-balanced and always shares with us a good yarn – so, I was somewhat taken-aback by her comment.
But there it was, she threw it into the conversation quite unexpectedly, just like a grenade – BOOM! Not many of our friends were hurt or injured during the explosion but, instead, we were all left scratching our heads and wondering how to quash this nonsense. Naturally, infused with some red wine, I was first to start clearing some of the debris. I reacted quite loudly and said, “What the f…?” – yes, admittedly, I could have been more tactful, but this explosion was not only loud, it had caused psychological bruising. I couldn’t allow this unfounded theory to continue to be spread locally. After all, people were being hurt and private property was being damaged.
We can’t detect electromagnetic radiation exposure
So, for me, it was important to clear the debris and extinguish some of the smoking fires – we don’t want to continue to hurt or injure our key workforce or criminally damage our infrastructure and, as such, it’s terribly important to debunk these conspiracies. Naturally, the introduction of new technologies inevitably brings about some baseless fears where, in this case, the theorists claim that the Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) emitted by antennas are responsible for causing numerous diseases – not just the Coronavirus, but cancer too! However, such emissions are well-understood and are closely regulated by telecommunications service providers.
The World Health Organization (WHO) in their paper, “Electromagnetic fields and public health,” which was published some time ago, noted that studies involving individuals who made such claims of poor health couldn’t actually detect electromagnetic radiation exposure; in fact, the paper reads, “The majority of studies indicate that [Electromagnetic hypersensitivity] EHS individuals cannot detect EMF exposure any more accurately than non-EHS individuals. Well controlled and conducted double-blind studies have shown that symptoms were not correlated with EMF exposure.”
Are you allergic to the environment?
Moreover, there are several psychological factors that may be attributed to the conspiracy theory, namely there are indeed some individuals who might be predisposed to environmental influences, where some may experience unexplainable reactions that cannot be distinguished by any physiological symptom. Let’s be clear here - I’m not remotely suggesting that the 5G conspiracy theorists are right but, rather, that there might be a valid psychological factor that may, in turn, trigger scaremongering just because someone ‘feels poorly’ and their symptoms lack a diagnosis.
In fairness, we may have all experienced such symptoms and just shrugged them off or explained them away, but I’m confident that most of us do not blame 5G as the root cause! These so-called ‘unexplainable symptoms’ have been characterised by something known as, “Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance” where a number of less understood health conditions may have been triggered in response to the environment.
Until next time…
Professor Omer van den Bergh, a Health Psychologist at the University of Leuven in Belgium has undertaken research surrounding Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance. In particular, he has studied genuine symptoms that have occurred when individuals have come into contact with chemical substances, electromagnetic fields and vibroacoustic sources. It is documented and well-understood that these factors don’t actually cause illness but, instead, the psychosomatic attribution by the sufferer is sufficient to cause insurmountable belief that these environmental influences have caused the person to be unwell.
In Western society, we can longer accuse these sufferers of “it’s all in their head” and Professor van den Bergh suggests, we should take these people more seriously to better understand alternate reasons, as to what might be causing such illnesses (Engadget.com). For me, the science is absolutely clear: 5G has not caused the Coronavirus pandemic but, alas, people’s ignorance will continue to fuel those theorists who are not only grossly ill-informed but dangerously confused.
So, this is where a ‘mostly well-balanced and often red wine infused’ Dr G, signs off.