Common people mostly have fickle minds; they are always guided by what they want to believe, often to their advantage. When they are worried, frightened and clueless about the future they are most vulnerable to doubt and conspiracy theories. For the last six months people all over the globe are very disturbed by the COVID 19 pandemic, not so much because of the deadly effects of the virus than the restrictions and lock-downs derailing normal life it has brought in its wake. They desperately need to go back to the sweet normal times and live happily ever after, and therefore they jump to accept and believe fully when some motivated souls offer that ‘COVID 19 is a hoax, it’s nothing more than a ‘annual influenza’. Thus the ‘doubt virus’ is created and the social media as always helps it spread-at times much faster than the killer virus. Perhaps the basic impulses for skepticism stem from the facts that more than 80% of Coronavirus positive cases are mild in nature and recover easily, only the elderly with co-morbidity are most vulnerable and that on average the death rate is low at 1 to 4% except for some countries. However, facts also show that the dead includes young people too and anyone can be infected from this most contagious virus. covid killer
The conspiracy theories originated in the United States, as always, where extraordinarily ‘democratic’ sections of the citizens opposed the lockdown and restrictions from the beginning symbolizing these with the ‘agenda’ of President Trump. Several conspiracy theories linking even the tragic murder of George Floyd started doing the rounds in the US of which we will not make a description here just to prevent vulnerable minds go through and inculcate doubts. We’d only like to mention here that this writer got a social media forward giving a link to an article by some ‘enlightened soul’ who took pains of great arguments to ‘prove’ that the pandemic is a ‘political hoax’. As we mentioned earlier a lot of vulnerable people got influenced by this, and none other than a medical surgeon of the Indian state of Assam who even lodged a FIR alleging that only a ‘annual influenza’ has been labeled as a pandemic and he wanted action against the concerned governments. This, naturally, created a chain of reactions in the state driving news channels asking the hapless common people about their ‘doubts’ on the COVID 19 infections rather than destroying the dilemma.
Now, this ‘annual influenza’ theory breaks down at the basic premise itself: if that is so then this phenomenon must be occurring every year, and why then this year should be so different! Governments need not have gone on an emergency drive to create more and more healthcare facilities including ICU beds just to tackle an annual event of flu. Then come the experiences of various affected countries and governments tackling this ‘annual influenza’ some of which we narrate below as arguments to break such kinds of fake and motivated views: