Earlier this month, we told you that vandals in the U.K. and China were trying to destroy 5G cell towers. This was due to a conspiracy theory that holds 5G radio waves responsible for the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Celebrities, including actor Woody Harrelson, have been spreading a report from Washington State University Professor Martin Pall that points out how Wuhan, the city in China that reportedly spawned the coronavirus, was China's first city with 5G towers. The number of 5G base stations in the city was scheduled to rise from 31 at the end of 2018 to 10,000 at the end of 2019.
SkyNews reports today that the conspiracy theories linking 5G to the coronavirus are not true. And to prove it, the news service points out that a country like Iran, hard hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, has absolutely no 5G antennas in the country. Brazil, as one of our readers has pointed out, is in a similar situation with 34,000 people infected, 2,100 deaths, and no 5G antennas expected to be up and running for at least two years.
The WHO says some conspiracy theorists have psychiatric conditions
And while some individuals are claiming to feel the negative health effects of 5G radio waves, the World Health Organization (WHO) debunks this; the WHO says that studies have shown that these individuals, who claim to be more sensitive to 5G, can't detect electromagnetic waves any better than those who don't claim to be sensitive to these signals. In fact, the organization says that people claiming that they can feel electromagnetic waves actually are suffering from pre-existing psychiatric conditions on top of feeling the stress from worrying about their health.
The report accuses the conspiracy theorists of looking up the symptoms of radiation sickness, such as nausea, hair loss, and bone marrow damage, and complaining about them. But these are certainly not the symptoms of someone ill with coronavirus. X-ray and CT scan imaging shows that those infected with COVID-19 have lungs filled with a "sticky mucus" that makes it hard for them to breathe.
U.K. government officials have pushed back hard on the conspiracy theories calling them "dangerous nonsense" and "absolute and utter rubbish."And even Harrelson, who has been known to campaign hard for several causes, admitted that he never fully vetted Professor Pall's report.
5G is the next generation of wireless connectivity and is expected to deliver download data speeds 10 times faster than 4G LTE. At that speed, downloading a full-length HD movie takes seconds instead of minutes. But 5G is about more than just faster movie downloads. The faster data speeds will lead to the creation of new businesses and industries. For example, thanks to 4G LTE networks, the world has been graced with the presence of rideshare companies and two of them (Lyft and Uber) are valued at billions of dollars.
Those in the U.K. who believe that 5G is the source of the current global crisis note that in the U.K., 5G antennas continue to be deployed during the lockdown. They wonder why network engineers aren't staying at home like others are. There actually is a good reason for this. In the country (and in other countries as well), mobile network engineers are considered essential because they are working on important national infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Sky News found posts on Facebook that called for conspiracy theorists in the U.K. to harass the engineers and praised those who damaged 5G tower masts. One post said, "We are being murdered by the world government...time to fight or die."
Any time there is new a technology, you hear about people trying to make connections between it and some health issues. However, in the present situation, we are dealing with a global pandemic that might have started in the same city where China decided to debut 5G. But just like those who believe that smartphones cause brain tumors, there is no definitive proof that it is true.