The fear around COVID-19 is largely a fear of the unknown. We’ve never seen it before. There are some ideas we have (that it mostly effects the >60 population, that it is transmitted through coughing, the rate of the spread, etc) but for the most part we just don’t know. For every new revelation, there is another piece of info that is opposed to it. So we feel pulled in different directions.
And it is in this time that I turn to conspiracy theories.
I have grown up around conspiracy theorists, and I find their certainty and their penchant for putting puzzle pieces together oddly soothing. It has nothing to do with believing them (although sometimes I do), it’s more about finding a footing in a disease that is just as much of a mind virus as it is physical (going by that, understanding this thing has two dimensions, we all have some form of it at this point).
I’m going to start doing a little conspiracy theory corner. My father sends me stuff, my friends send me stuff. I’m deep in the community. It is something to take with a grain of salt. Much like magic, it requires a banishing ritual at the end, which clears the air. Phil Ford at Weird Studies recommends saying ‘what a bunch of bullshit’ out loud every time you go down a rabbit hole. Wise words.
Side note: while this soothes me, it might exacerbate your feelings of dread. So this is your warning.
Tonight, the conspiracies are as follows:
1) It’s a bioweapon. This one feels kind of right, but there’s been some research to debunk it. On the Tim Dillon podcast, he states that someone he knows in the CIA says that Wuhan’s bioweapon R&D had ‘a bit of a woopsie.’
2) Along the same lines, there’s the idea that workers at the facility were selling animals that they’d used for testing to wet markets for extra cash. Seems unlikely.
3) It was predicted in a Dean Koontz novel. This is called ‘predictive conditioning.’ These are the most far out. While Koontz does reference a virus called ‘Wuhan-400’ in ‘The Eyes of Darkness,’ I think this is more of an accidental psy transmission rather than some kind of intentional conditioning.
4) From my dad: listened to a 45 minute rant from a woman with 205k YouTube followers who asserts that this is a scam perpetrated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to make a profit. The idea being they have no incentive to cure the diseases they claim to fight (malaria, HIV) when they get $4 billion a year from the government to fight it. https://youtu.be/RSfP8sXtMbk
Again, these soothe me. I’m not currently interested in teasing out what I believe, which is a mashup from things I have read in more respectable sources and also from the dark asshole of the internet. Because, as is the case with most things, the answer is a combination of very rational things AND some batshit fuckery. It isn’t either/or. All I know is that it calms me, to put all of this into a kind of narrative that I can work with.
Stay safe, practice social distancing, and make peace with the idea that one day we will probably all have this. There are treatments being developed, and a vaccine is realistically about a year out. Live your lives and do not succumb to fear. Peace.