5G Myths Busted. Did 5G Cause the Corona Virus/Covid-19 As Is Believed by Some People?

From early 2020, Social media was packed with suggestions that the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe is somehow connected to the implementation of 5G technology. In March 2020, as coronavirus cases began to peak globally, conspiracy theories also began to gain traction that linked the outbreak with the development of 5G infrastructure. The claims suggested 5G signals weaken the immune system, leaving us susceptible to illness, or that the symptoms of coronavirus were actually the symptoms of 5G poisoning. Such false claims relate to both the long-term misunderstanding of electromagnetic radiation and common mistakes in general thinking.

What is 5G Technology?

5G is the ‘fifth generation’ wireless data networks and is the new standard for communication technology. It allows for faster communication by using different frequencies and multiple antennas. 5G uses new radio technology which uses a band known as sub 6, from 600MHz to 6GHz, as well as a higher band from 24GHz to as high as 86GHz. These higher frequencies bring with them much higher data rates with higher performance. It is an evolution of communication technology rather than a revolution.

Understanding the 5G and Covid-19 connection

When Covid-19 first became a news headline, the 5G innovation was at its peak in China and around the developed world. Conspiracy theorists started saying that the 5G network has an uncertain relationship with the novel Coronavirus. This theory spread wildly across the internet despite the fact there was no solid evidence behind it. China had some massive installations of the new 5G network as well as it is providing it commercially on a large scale.

As the 5G developed at the same time when Coronavirus emerged in the country, several theories came to existence, telling us and trying to convince us that the pandemic is the outcome of an exceptionally powerful 5G connection and its radiation.

Despite the lack of any supporting facts or even a single clue, many innocent people believed the theory. However, the theory was complete trash. As per the scientific research, 5G has no connections to Covid-19 or the novel Coronavirus.

American singer, Keri Hilson, who has more than 4.2 million followers on Twitter, hinted that that coronavirus is caused by fifth-generation wireless technology. In a series of now-deleted tweets on March 16, 2020, Keri Hilson claimed COVID-19 was not as widespread in Africa because of the absence of 5G. Similarly, many other YouTubers and social influencers claimed the same wrong theories with the users creating an illusion for the new customers who want to use 5G.

It is worth analysing each theory in detail and busting the ongoing myths about Coronavirus/Covid-19 and the relation to 5G.

Myth 1: 5G is Harmful

Just like other cellular systems, 5G also is based on radio waves to transport signals from a mast to your mobile devices. it is true that the frequency rate on the 5G network is far higher than the previous network technologies. The higher frequency rate in 5G helps boost the overall connection speed and aids stability. 5G also uses shorter wavelengths as compared to other ones.

Many people think that the higher frequency rates of the 5G network create a harmful environment for human beings. it is said that it opens the risk to get deadly diseases like cancer, but the truth is that even 2G causes the same effect. The chances of getting cancer from 5G are the same as with 2G, 3G, and 4G.

Myth 2: 5G Will Ruin 4G

Before 5G, each cellular network technology needed what can be referred to as a hard switchover, e.g. 2G to 3G or 3G to 4G. We had to buy new cell/mobile phones to get those new technologies working. For example, when 3G came, people were not able to use 2G phones, and they had to buy 3G enabled smartphones to use it. The same happened when 4G was introduced. The same will apply to 5G. You will need a new Smartphone to access all the %G services. Nevertheless, you will still be using 4G as well. In fact the smartphones will be switching between 4G and 5G. So it will not necessarily ruin 4G because you will still need 4G.

Myth 3: 5G is Only Meant for Increasing Device Speeds

The data transfer will significantly turn real-time. This will unlock access to innovations like IoT, RPA, and AI on a big scale. Whether you take medicine or manufacturing or retail, it has unlocked surprising possibilities for the industries and technology. It is believed that it will improve the next-level innovations that you can only dream of, such as self-driving cars and robotics. After combining cloud services with 5G, remote-controlled robots will be able to work on their maximum potential. So 5G is not just about increasing device speeds

Myth 4: More Covid-19 cases near 5G towers

The claim here was that since more COVID-19 cases were appearing in locations where more 5G towers are present, the two must be linked. After all, doesn’t correlation automatically mean causation?

The answer here is absolutely not. Correlation alone does not mean causation. For example, if you were to map out the number of times people laugh and fart at the same time, which incidentally is called “larting,” you would probably see a similar geographic distribution. Why? Is larting somehow causing COVID-19? Or do 5G towers go up every time enough larting occurs? No, because there is at least one big factor at play here that is driving these three things and that is population density and how people interact.

In a Nutshell

The trepidation around 5G can be traced much further back, beyond its inception, even beyond the creation of the internet. The fear of 5G arises from our fundamental and long-standing misunderstanding about radiation. More specifically about what electro-magnetic radiation is, and the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.

Whilst it would be pretty much impossible to track down the first person who connected 5G and COVID-19, it’s far more feasible to separate out some of the most common claims and analyse them. The first 5G/Coronavirus claim that I came across was the idea that there actually is “no virus” and that all the symptoms are a result of 5G networks. So I think that claim can be completely ruled out.

People’s fear of 5G technology is rational. Such technology does emit radiation, even if it’s at low levels. But 5G is not all that different from 4G, and it certainly does not cause COVID-19 despite such rumours having spread rapidly across the globe that it does.

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Advisory/Consulting. At the forefront of the technology revolution, shaping and contributing to strategy and thought leadership of next generation technologies.

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Patrick Mutabazi

Patrick Mutabazi

Advisory/Consulting. At the forefront of the technology revolution, shaping and contributing to strategy and thought leadership of next generation technologies.

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