5G and Coronavirus: The viral conspiracy theory that’s got people setting fire to cell towers and spitting at engineers

5G and Coronavirus: The viral conspiracy theory that’s got people setting fire to cell towers and spitting at engineers

“When I’m on my own I feel a bit cautious, a bit on edge.”

VicesMay 13, 2020 By Will Brendza

Michael was just doing his job, working at a 5G cell tower as an apprentice network engineer in London, when an angry man walked up and spat in his face. It was completely unexpected and uncalled for, but the man’s rage was real; he was furious, angry because Michael was a part of the “5G conspiracy” — a plot to make most of the world ill using cell phone towers.

Since that day, Michael has had to self-quarantine. He’s become ill with what he suspects is COVID-19, and it’s likely because of that incident.

Michael isn’t the only 5G worker who’s experienced something like this, either. Dylan, an Openreach engineer from Lycaster, was sitting at a red light, when someone got out of their car and started screaming at him.

“He put his head against my window, he’s saying, ‘Don't you ignore me, stop trying to cover up what you're doing, 5G is killing us all, you’ve got no morals,’” Dylan said in an interview with WIRED. “You’ve got someone right there and you’re on your own. You wonder if he’s going to smash the window, what’s he going to do if he does get in, is he going to attack me? I seized up and just waited for the light to go green.”

These two and many other essential cell-tower workers have been targeted by conspiracy theorists, who believe that 5G and Coronavirus are somehow connected. And they aren’t just spitting at people, or yelling through windows: they’re making real threats, continually setting fire to 5G towers and generally getting violent and aggressive.

“When I’m on my own I feel a bit cautious, a bit on edge,” Dylan said. “And I can't fully focus on the task at hand because I'm always keeping an eye on what’s happening.”

The 5G/COVID-19 theory all started a few months back, when a general practitioner from Putte, Germany, gave an interview to a local German newspaper in which he suggested that, 5G is unhealthy for people, and causes the same symptoms as COVID-19 (which, at that time, was only just starting to rear its ugly head in China). The doctor, Kris Van Kerckhoven, then went on to theorize (without evidence, he noted) that the network of 5G towers China recently installed in Wuhan, might have caused this outbreak.

Van Kerckhoven made that connection without any evidence to back it up. The German Newspaper that ran the article, actually ended up removing it from their website only a few hours after it was published, realizing that they’d put dangerous and un-vetted information into print.

But the damage was already done. The internet took that idea and ran with it. The 5G/COVID-19 conspiracy theory spread like wildfire: different theories about it have emerged, people are sharing articles, arguing online, and even some celebrities like Amanda Holden and Woody Harrelson have made social media posts supporting the idea. Just in recent weeks there have been well over 60,000 posts shared on Facebook alone, referencing COVID-19 and 5G — posts that have then generated millions and millions of online interactions.

Generally, there are five different theories about how 5G and COVID-19 are correlated, that have spread from that initial seed planted by Van Kerckhoven:

  1. That 5G is, somehow, in and of itself, dangerous to human health.

  2. That 5G worsens the effects of coronavirus by weakening people’s immune systems.

  3. That 5G outright causes COVID-19-like symptoms.

  4. That the COVID-19 lockdown is just a cover to install a massive network of 5G towers everywhere.

  5. That Bill Gates is using this 5G propelled virus to push a vaccine agenda.

  6. That the disease is part of an Illuminati mass-murder plot, to reduce the global population.

And, it’s important to note that, not one of these theories has evidence to support it.

Now, usually I can entertain a conspiracy theory pretty well — at least for a little while. I am a big fan of free-thinking, and questioning the information that’s fed to us by the Mainstream Corporate Media Machine. I don’t trust the government, and I do have a sinking feeling that this COVID crisis is being used in ways we do not understand by the people who are in power.

But the idea that 5G is causing, or contributing to the Coronavirus pandemic? It’s not even a stretch — it’s a fantasy — and it’s one that has apparently gripped people so strongly, they’re being driven to act. They’re starting fires at 5G towers on a daily basis in England. According to WIRED, there have been 77 arson attacks on mobile phone towers in the UK since March 30th, and 13 additional incidents of “sabotage.”

Worst of all, though, they’re lashing out at engineers and other employees who are just doing their jobs, maintaining these cell towers. People are harassing them, threatening them, and generally acting like ass-clowns towards them, for no good reason. Property damage and sabotage are one thing, but targeting workers who are just trying to keep our cell towers running is a step too far.

The energy being poured into this conspiracy theory, would be much better used, if people were digging into real questions like, why are Chinese hackers targeting COVID-19 researchers? Or why has the Department of Health issued instructions to inflate the numbers of COVID deaths? And what in the universe, is happening in the skies over Russia?!

There are a lot of real mysteries out there, right now, swirling around this virus — pertinent mysteries that need solving. Bogging ourselves down with something as absurd as this 5G/COVID-19 conspiracy doesn’t get anyone any closer to the answers that actually matter. It’s a red herring, intentional or not, it’s drawing people’s attention away from the mysteries that actually matter.

And more than that, it’s turning us, The People against one another. Which is the last thing the world needs right now.