Home Opinion and Features Sorcery more saucy than science: The latest comical Covid conspiracies

Sorcery more saucy than science: The latest comical Covid conspiracies

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Scientist studying new variant. File photo

It seems intellectual inquiry has become a suspicious pursuit these days, and it’s easier to believe a half-truth than having to spend time on finding out facts.

READING some of the comments on the article I wrote last week made me realise how disadvantaged some of us are when it comes to information.

It is especially challenging in this day and age to access good information, when there is so much of it floating around, and almost all of it appears credible.

But then there is also a very clear and chronic lack of healthy curiosity, resulting in a painful shortage of understanding that inevitably leads to infuriating ignorance, which in turn leaves people open to believing nonsense conspiracies.

Because when you don’t bother to ask yourself intelligent questions, followed by reading voraciously and widely to try and find logical answers to those questions, then any misinformed fool can sound like a prophet.

And we make their lives easy by our unwillingness, or inability to think critically and deeply about what the crazy stuff they say.

History is full of examples of this.

Last week I wrote that the emergence of the Omicron variant at this point in time, is like the nightmare before Christmas.

One of the hundreds of Facebook reactions came from Enver Symes, who wrote: “… a few months back, government said the fourth wave will hit (in) December. How the hell did they know?”

A few other people asked variations of the same question, and many agreed that it was indeed suspicious.

This is a perfect example of someone not knowing something and not bothering to find out, but instead leading others (who also don’t know) down the conspiracy rabbit hole with him.

The truth is a lot less sinister than deception on a grand scale.

It’s simply the little-known profession of actuarial science that uses mathematical modelling to make estimations.

It’s been around for centuries and is used in a number of ways to forecast outcomes, based on known data. That is how they were able to predict the moment of the fourth wave.

The comments that bother me the most are all similar to this one from Shaakir Abdol: “They’re just looking for something to keep us in lockdown…”

I have written about this line of thinking before. And often the most thought-provoking, debunking question is the simplest one: Why would they want to do that?

Think about how much money is being lost at the moment.

It is billions of rands on a daily basis that is lost in taxes alone.

If government is truly as corrupt as many believe, then why would they kill the goose that’s laying the golden egg?

It is much more likely that they are desperate for as many healthy people as possible to move around as freely as possible and spend as much money as possible as soon as possible.

Can you see how this makes a lot more sense from a social, political and economics point of view?

Lastly, and probably most ludicrously, is the number of people questioning the name Omicron.

Some linked it to an old, Italian sci-fi movie, a video game and even the occult, while another says the name was foretold by a conspiracy website.

Well, here’s the thing, the name wasn’t copied from those sources, those sources copied it from the Greek alphabet, which as you can imagine, has been around for donkey’s years.

It also means that we know the names of some of the variants that may still come.

For example, I can tell you what the next three will be called – “Pi,” “Rho” and “Sigma”.

Now when it happens, some people will ignore this simple explanation and instead accuse me of also being part of the conspiracy.

It seems intellectual inquiry has become a suspicious pursuit these days, and it’s easier to believe a half-truth than having to spend time on finding out facts.

The irony is, the World Health Organisation decided on this Greek naming system to simplify discussion among us common people. Little did they know!

But I can bet you that someone will find a way to make even the Greek alphabet part of the conspiracy.

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