coronavirus hoax

Coronavirus Hoax: Addressing the pandemic of misinformation

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The entire world is facing not just a major health crisis, but also a ‘coronavirus hoax’ crisis!

The COVID pandemic is real and so is the ‘Coronavirus hoax’ pandemic. History is witness to the fact that every time the world suffers at the hand of a global health crisis, a silent pandemic of misbeliefs creeps in. The sad truth is people give in to such news, leading to aggravation of the situation. Currently, the entire world is under the clutches of the novel coronavirus. On the other hand, questions of the virus being a hoax are sprawling around. After all the figures, statistics, death rates, vaccine urges, do we still think coronavirus is a hoax?

During the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, the world saw a circulation of lethal misinformation related to AIDS and HIV. It was gossiped that the HIV virus was created by a government laboratory, HIV tests were unreliable, etc. The fact that HIV was curable by goat’s milk was the talk of the town. These proclamations not only exaggerated risky behaviors but also worsened the crisis. 

As the world tends to get more affected every day by the freshly induced COVID-19 pandemic, a series of misinformation also flows around. It is a serious concern for the healthcare workers and government institutions. While some people are amplifying SOS calls for access to basic healthcare facilities, educated people and even popular world leaders are questioning the very existence of this virus while preaching the tagline of “Coronavirus is a hoax.”

Pandemic Of Misinformation

Coronavirus Hoax

When the COVID-19 virus first originated in Wuhan, people across the globe presumed it as another casual contamination that will be cured in no time. As the number of cases increased, some people started the gossip that COVID-19 is a psychosomatic disease. Eventually, some people spread the misbelief of Coronavirus being a political conspiracy tool. From the outbreak of the virus to its cure using home remedies to its proliferation by the government authorities, the simultaneous chain of misinformation and hoaxes is something that the world is also experiencing along with the ill effects of the deadly coronavirus. From the causes of the outbreak to the prevention of the virus, social media became a hub for freshly brewed coronavirus hoaxes. 

These ideas of battling the virus are harmful to the very core. According to a province in Iran, it was found that more people had died from drinking industrial-strength alcohol, inspired by a false claim that it could protect you from Covid-19, than from the virus itself. Ideas like these lured people because every day wanted to be spared from the horridness of the virus. 

The Infectious ‘Hoax’ Virus

Coronavirus Hoax

A poll by YouGov and the Economist in March 2020 found 13% of Americans believed the Covid-19 crisis was a hoax while 49% believed the epidemic might be man-made. While mankind is expected to differentiate between reality and fiction, it was found that a significant population of educated people had fallen for the coronavirus hoax. 

Writer Kelly Brogan, a prominent COVID-19 conspiracy theorist with a degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Psychiatrist from Cornell University, snapped at the clear evidence of the virus’s ill effects in countries like China and Italy. Interestingly, she even went to a further extent of questioning theories related to coronavirus while preaching falsified scientific ideas. 

Not just writers and theorists, even prominent world leaders have been held accountable for spreading disinformation regarding the outbreak of the virus and promoting conjectural remedies and treatments that may cause more harm than doing any good, resulting in Twitter and Facebook taking the unprecedented step of removing their posts.

Fortunately, psychologists are already studying this phenomenon. They are constantly looking for ways to help people save themselves from misinformation and hoaxes related to the coronavirus. They are also rooting for ways to branch out people indulging in irrelevant behavior and spreading misinformation. 

Recently, a video was shared online that claimed coronavirus is a hoax and it is nothing but a part of a conspiracy to control the general public. The video opens with billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates warning that “we will have to prepare” for the next pandemic. The narrator of the video has used these points to put forth an argument that the entire pandemic was strategically planned by popular faces. The narrator also claims that coronavirus is a hoax as it is being used as a tool to control the general public. 

The video went viral on popular video streaming platforms like YouTube and Facebook. News was issued, later onwards, clarifying that the information provided in the video is instituted solely to mislead the general public and provoke them against some popular faces. It was later taken down for spreading misinformation. 

Nevertheless, the discovery of an antidote to the virus by the health care experts emerged as a silver lining during the darkest clouds, and vaccine drives were organized by government authorities in their respective nations. But the outspread of misinformation did not seem to have stopped there. Recently, as the Indian government gave a waiver to start vaccinating people above the age of 18, a chunk of false news unfurled stating that it was not advisable for menstruating women on menstruation to get vaccinated as the vaccine may cause fatal reactions and lead to death. The government, later, issued a notice clarifying that the news was false and asked people not to get indulged in any such fake news. 

The Wildfire Spread Of Coronavirus Hoaxes

There is no evidence supporting hoax theories related to coronavirus and plenty of evidence to refute them. The false claims against coronavirus tend to spread like wildfire, according to Kathy Lancaster, Ph.D., an epidemiologist and public health expert at The Ohio State University College of Public Health. She added how the miscellaneous spread of misinformation is the most concerning issue for health care workers. This not only affects COVID-19 treatments but also other health conditions as well. Validating the existence of the virus, she stated, “SARS-CoV-2 is a real virus that is highly contagious and can have serious effects on health, potentially leading to death. It is not a hoax.”

‘Is Coronavirus A Hoax?’


A big “NO!” Coronavirus is not a hoax and it is very much real. No matter how many popular and influential faces keep spreading the opposite, the virus is very much real and way more deadly than it was presumed to be. 

Here are some supporting statements that prove the very existence of the coronavirus while busting the fact that it is a hoax:

  • Opinions of frontline workers

Health care experts are posting videos and pictures of themselves and their working environment which are overwhelming. The health care workers have been working on providing treatments since more than a year without any halt.

Dr. Fernando, a health care worker for COVID-19, said that he has been wearing a mask since January 2020. When asked the reason, he said that he has been personally examining the COVID-19 patients from the very onset of the pandemic in 2020. He exclaimed how he has never experienced a disease like Covid and that he has seen young and healthy people die because of the virus. 

  • Worldwide data and death statistics

The number of cases are rising at an exponential rate every single day and it is more than convincing that people are indeed getting affected by this fatal virus. These statistics have been verified by government authorities and global institutions like the WHO and UN.

  • Functioning of medical sector

Numerous coronavirus hoax theories hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable for the pandemic. Some people believe that the novel coronavirus was manufactured to make money through extravagant vaccines and expensive treatments. People also believed that the pharma companies are even paying hospitals to exaggerate lies about deaths caused by COVID-19. 

“This isn’t how the medical system works in the United States,” says Winner. “Hospitals are paid by insurance companies for the treatment they provide, not per diagnosis made.” He clarified that the medical sector has got no financial investment in this entire pandemic. 

  • Covid positive patients

With an exponential surge in the COVID-19 positivity cases, we know someone or the other who has been affected and infected by the virus. Talk to those who have been affected by the virus and have undergone the aftermath of the virus. Many people have reported mild to moderate symptoms. Around 15 percent of COVID-19 patients require immediate hospitalization and an additional 5 percent need intensive care treatment. People with mild symptoms can keep experiencing them for a prolonged period if not provided necessary treatment. 

The above notions prove the authenticity of the virus and establish how genuine and real it is. For informal fact check, one can also consult a friend or an acquaintance who has recently experienced the virus or has lost a loved one to COVID-19. 

Debunking COVID-19 hoaxes


As we are being loaded with dozens of misinformation and hoaxes related to coronavirus on a daily basis, it is essential to understand the nature of the news concerning COVID-19 and learn to differentiate between a hoax and a fact. The current times are not just stressful on health terms but are also mentally stressful. Hence it is important for everyone to keep themselves distant from hoaxes and stay healthy and mentally sound. 

Following are some important tips to keep in mind while checking the authenticity of news:

  • Relying only on government-issued news and notices 

Whenever you receive a fact or related to COVID-19, always check for its authenticity. Rundown some fact checks, search for the same news on different trusted news agencies’ platforms and check on government authorized platforms. You can also seek the assistance of your nearby health care institution or worker asking them about the genuineness of the news and get it verified. Make sure the news is authentic and verified before inculcating your mind in it.

  • Do not run self-diagnosis as per the mentioned news

Until and unless you have received a green signal regarding the authenticity of the news/fact, do not run any kind of self-diagnosis. If the news talks about the remedies to treat the COVID-19 virus, make sure you have got it verified from an expert in the concerned field prior to practicing it.

  • Analyze before sharing

Before you share a piece of information on any social media platform which concerns any factor related to the COVID-19 virus, make sure you have analyzed and scrutinized the piece of information. 

  • Seek healthcare expertise before relying on any medicinal practices

Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has become rampant in some countries. As these nations are running out of Oxygen cylinders, beds and providing ample access to health care facilities, several doctors are advising the intake of certain medicinal drugs to boost immunity against getting prone to the coronavirus. However, it is advisable not to blindly rely on these prescriptions. Consult your physician before using these medicines as they may have some or more side effects on the body.

Also Read: Impact of COVID-19 on Sporting events



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