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COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories Helpful?

It is a long standing notion that conspiracy theories surface after every major development. Whether in local politics or international incident, conspiracy theorists don’t seem to have slept for a very long time. Some are too far to make sense for an average person while some others successfully hit home and might make more sense […]

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It is a long standing notion that conspiracy theories surface after every major development. Whether in local politics or international incident, conspiracy theorists don’t seem to have slept for a very long time. Some are too far to make sense for an average person while some others successfully hit home and might make more sense than the popular explanation for the incident.

  1. One such conspiracy theory surrounded the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York. Documentaries surface claiming that it was well orchestrated by the US government itself. Or at least, they well well aware of it. These documentaries brought together civil engineers, conspiracy theorists and politicians who claimed were close to the White House.
  2. Another theory that caught world’s attention was the one that claimed celebrities worship the Satan. These documentaries were even confident enough to name names: from Michael Jackson, to Jay Z., Tony Mottola, to Rihanna and Beyonce, these documentaries publicly denounce the success of these celebrities.
  3. In Africa, it is not only when you deliver, but also when you don’t, that it is a conspiracy. Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe is one such story. As Zimbabwe’s economy crippled and the President officially failed to feed to the poor, rumors had it that it was because of white people. Mugabe took the opportunity and kept insulting white people, his people poor while his wife kept spending millions in jewelries.
  4. If you are an African politician, to rest in peace could be a luxury. This relates to the death of the former Ethiopian leader Meles Zenawi. As government failed to admit his sickness, they were later forced to bring home his body. His body, that was received with a heroes welcome, was well in the coffin, the media not allowed to show his body. Conspiracy hit. Meles launched the Grand Renaissance Dam over the Nile when Egypt descended into a political crisis. So, they said, that couldn’t have gone unpunished.
  5. In case some events are too obvious to be explained by an average person, religious people might lend a hand to take it to a whole new level- the Divine level, hence, no questions asked. As the world dived into a debate on how to stop the war in Syria, and why it had to take that long, priests were quick to respond. GOD said in the Bible that He would turn Damascus into trash.   
  6. The arrival of HIV to Africa was not free of conspiracy, either. People rumored around that it was not a natural virus, that it escaped from a laboratory experiment. The other one was a little interesting. This one claimed that it was intentionally created by pharmaceutical companies with plans to profit from the drugs. Bush administration’s controversy with pharmaceuticals on availing the drugs for cheaper prices made this one almost believable. As the epidemic continued claiming lives mainly in poorer countries, the media spent as much time on the theories as it spent on teaching the use of condoms.
  7. And today, I am writing this post from home on a week day when I was supposed to be at my office working. The reason? COVID-19, a pandemic which has claimed more than a hundred thousand lives. The pandemic involves another pandemic of conspiracy even if it hit harder the usual suspects- the US and Europe. 
  8. Only this time, the series of conspiracy theories surrounding the pandemic was launched by the white man himself in the White House. President Trump publicly claimed the threat would not have taken its toll on his nation if the WHO Director had not conspired with China in underestimating the threat. Africa and Tewodros Adhanom of the WHO were quick to respond claiming the President’s claim was a conspiracy in itself against the first African WHO Director.
  9. Another theory that has surfaced recently brought in the name of the former US president. In a video circulating on social media, Barack Obama is seen saying there needs to be more investment on public health care infrastructure both in the US and globally as a Spanish flue like pandemic “might and will likely” come 10 or five years down the line. Hence, the US knew this was coming.
  10. The conspiracy was taken to a whole another level when a documentary entitled- Plandemic was released on social media. The documentary featured Dr. Judy Mikovitz who claimed the whole corona virus thing is just a hoax, orchestrated by none other than Dr. Fauci, the head of the White House Task Force against the pandemic. Even though many individuals including medical doctors released a series of videos to discredit Plandemic, it sparked enough rumors as it was removed from Facebook and Youtube.   
  11. The other one blamed China. When the New York, London and other Stock Exchanges are hit hard, the Chinese is doing fairly well. So….. I mean…. they must be responsible. 
  12. Hollywood has never been helping, but fueling it all. When Homeland Security was accused of tapping into civilians’ phones and foreign leaders including the German Chancellor, people didn’t waste time to relate it to Shia Labeouf’s Eagle Eye. COVID-19 succeeded the movie the Contagion, and it got us all talking- the US knew it was coming. In case this is not enough, we even spiced it up- relating the WHO Director to the character played by Laurence Fishburn- Think! Why should both be black responsible of world’s health?
  13. Conspiracy or Not, Who Cares?
  14. Thousands died in that Twin Tower incident. Hundreds of thousands died in Syria while millions were forced to flee. Zimbabwe does not still seem to make it despite a new President. HIV is coming back in some areas, not to say hi during the crisis, but to help it claim more lives. Conspiracy or not, innocent civilians are paying the price every step of the way.
  15. For governments, it is also a waste of time. Whether WHO director conspired with China or not, the US is leading in mortality rate due to the Corona Virus. The UK, whose PM seemed to share the US President’s theory, might follow the same path.
  16. For African governments, it has proved nothing more than choosing between two devils. Using global conspiracy theories for poor response cannot be a way out of this. COVID-19 is a health challenge. But its response could translate into hunger causing social chaos and eventually turning into a political unrest continent wide- to which we all know how soldiers would respond.  
  17. We the people have no power, but to protect ourselves if even that is possible. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Make sure, if you can, you have a plan on how to put food on the table at least for the coming six months. We cannot ban China, nor the US. We just have to march even though it is highly likely some of us might stuck forever and before we see the other side. In a world where the need for the information gathering and sharing is growing far stronger than the potential to control it, conspiracy theories only weaken our response to poverty, pandemics or wars.
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