No, 5G is not causing the coronavirus pandemic

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Okay, good readers. Apparently we’ve come to a point where people look to reputable news sources to debunk conspiracy theories. And following recent reports that 5G towers are causing the recent COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve decided to do the honourable thing and show you the real facts. Not the YouTube facts, Karen. 

On that point, YouTube has announced that it will start limiting the number of videos that spread rumours about the 5G/COVID-19 conspiracy. Good on them. “The company said it will remove videos that violate its policies. It may allow other conspiracy-themed content about 5G which doesn’t mention the coronavirus to remain on the site as ‘borderline content’,” The Verge reports. 

This is not the time to spread false information on a pandemic plaguing the world. It is more important than ever to have the public understand what the issue is, how to mitigate risks and stay healthy. Burning down 5G towers is definitely not what we need right now…

Burn it to the ground

Oh, what’s that? People have started burning down 5G towers in Britain? It looks like we’re too late friends… The UK has already lost at least seven cell towers thanks to conspiracy theorists setting them alight. What are they thinking? They’ll singlehandedly cure corona by burning down one 5G tower? Good job Dave, you managed to destroy a harmless tower and corona is worse than ever. 

According to The Verge, one of the towers set alight wasn’t even a 5G tower. Get your facts right, YouTube PhD-holders. 

But it looks like YouTube really is taking a stand this time (kind of). Its policies prohibit “…videos promoting medically unsubstantiated methods to prevent the coronavirus in place of seeking medical treatment.” So it will now reduce any 5G/COVID-19 recommendations to users, which is… something. But we would vote to remove all of ’em. Or don’t allow the content on the platform. But that may void the ‘free speech’ clause or something. 

Let’s not forget that this is the same platform that anti-vaxxers use to debunk legitimate medical studies. So we’re not expecting a drop in viewers on these videos. If people wanna search for it, they’ll still find it. 

The actual science

If you’re still not convinced, let’s lay down some hard truths right here. The misinformation being spread on our oh-so-lovely internet mentions that either 5G can suppress the immune system, thus making people more susceptible to catching the virus, or the virus can somehow be transmitted through the use of 5G technology. Do you hear how that sounds?

Anyway, the BBC spoke to an associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading called Simon Clarke. And this dude straight up says that these claims are ‘complete rubbish’. Good man, that. 

“The idea that 5G lowers your immune system doesn’t stand up to scrutiny,” Dr Clarke said to the BBC.

He continues by explaining that the human immune system will lower due to a number of things, like eating rubbish or not going outside enough. Something as small as not eating breakfast can lower your immune system and make you more susceptible to catching a virus. 

The radio waves emitted by 5G are not close to strong enough to heat up a human (like, do people think 5G is turning the world into a massive microwave?). Most of the lower-spectrum radiation emitted by these towers aren’t focused on one point or strong enough to have any meaningful impact on the human body, nowhere near strong enough to heat people up enough to have any meaningful effect.

“Radio waves can disrupt your physiology as they heat you up, meaning your immune system can’t function. But [the energy levels from]5G radio waves are tiny and they are nowhere near strong enough to affect the immune system. There have been lots of studies on this,” explains Dr Clarke in the interview with the BBC.

If you’re interested in learning more about the science behind 5G, and the zero risks it poses for human beings, The Infographics Show (ironically on YouTube) has a great explanation. Also: please don’t burn down cellular towers, we kinda need those.

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Deputy Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.

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