The crazy COVID-19 conspiracy theories
IT'S possibly a bioweapon being deployed by China, or the US, depending on where you happen to live.
The coronavirus is also caused by radiation from 5G masts or, more intriguingly, does not actually exist but is a global media creation cunningly designed to deflect attention from a looming global economic catastrophe.
It may be a secret weapon to bring down US President Donald Trump or it could be a sinister plot to cull elderly populations to trim aged-care budgets. A personal favourite is that coronavirus was created by Swedish teen and climate-change activist Greta Thunberg to curb emissions-emitting global travel.
Never before have so few conspiracy theorists had so many followers, all courtesy of social media, which allows deranged minds to reach out and nurture one another regardless of what dusty corner of the globe they happen to be residing in.
Once they were slightly odd people who would corner you at parties and explain how fluoride in the water supply is manipulating your Pineal Gland to convince you to support a United Nations push for a one-world global government.
Now they can author lengthy missives filled with impressive annotation about how the British Royal Family are a front for an international drug cartel, or how Queen Elizabeth II is actually a lizard.
Conspiracy theories give us the momentary but intense feeling of satisfaction that comes from being the custodian of secret knowledge that the rest of the ignorant hordes are not in on, or are too stupid to grasp.
In the Queensland regions there are many genial types who will chat happily with you for hours in farm sheds before their eyes narrow and they begin explaining in detail how the Port Arthur Massacre was a Howard Government plot to rob Australians of their guns.
Conspiracy theories are fascinating, they can even be funny, but it is a susceptibility to conspiracy theories that leads people to do the strangest things - from buying 50 rolls of toilet paper to herding people into gas chambers.
This coronavirus is not the apocalypse, but it is dangerous, especially to our elderly and ill.
We have a responsibility to be selective about where we get our information on this virus, and not participate in spreading ridiculous gossip.
Originally published as The crazy COVID-19 conspiracy theories