Corona conspiracy theories widely spread

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Conspiracy theories to the emergence and spreading of the Coronavirus are internationally at present far common, reports the German medical journal under reference to a current study, which was published in the specialized magazine Royal Society open Science. Conspiracy theories are by no means a new phenomenon and witches were already held responsible for natural disasters and diseases in the Middle Ages.

The conspiracy theories around the corona virus are various: Bill Gates is behind it and goal is a compulsory inoculation of the population and 5G transmission masts serve for the reinforcement of the COVID 19 symptoms! No explanation seems at present to confuse and in the social networks such theories spread faster, than an objective clearing-up of the facts is possible.

The uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic make many people susceptible to conspiracy theories, some of which are deliberately spread to defame certain persons or groups of persons. This phenomenon is already known from previous epidemic disasters and is regrettably repeated with SARS-COV-2.

Virus from the laboratory?

 

The current study includes survey results from Great Britain, Ireland, Mexico, Spain and the USA and shows, for example, that many people find it difficult to imagine a natural development of the virus, according to the German Medical Journal.

Between 22 and 23 percent of those surveyed in the UK and the US rated the claim that the virus was produced in a laboratory in Wuhan as trustworthy. In Ireland the figure was 26 percent, in Mexico 33 percent and in Spain 37 percent, reports the Deutsches Ärzteblatt.

The conspiracy theory that the pandemic was initiated to enforce a global vaccination fell on similarly fertile ground. According to the Deutsches Ärzteblatt, 22 percent of the population in Mexico considered this to be credible, 18 percent in Ireland, Spain and the USA, and 13 percent in Great Britain.

The Deutsches Ärzteblatt also reports that 16 percent of the population in Mexico and Spain believe that the 5G transmission masts serve to intensify COVID-19 symptoms, 12 percent in Ireland, and eight percent in the UK and the US, respectively.

The research team led by Sander van der Linden of the University of Cambridge has also tried to find out what makes people susceptible to the conspiracy theories about the corona virus. They conclude that a general lack of education and a lack of understanding of numbers are important factors. For example, people who are attached to a SARS conspiracy would often have rated a probability of 1 in 1,000 higher than a probability of 1 in 10.

SARS-COV-2 conspiracy theories spread worldwide

Furthermore, the supporters of conspiracy theories often had little confidence in science and journalism. They more often informed themselves through social media and did not trust the World Health Organization (WHO), reports the German Medical Journal. And while in other areas, older people are more likely to cling to conspiracies, this is not the case with COVID-19. (fp)

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