I have just a couple of hates in life, and conspiracy theorists who try to find obtuse explanations for everyday occurrences is one of them.
Take for example one of the latest conspiracies doing the rounds – that the 5G network is giving people coronavirus.
I have had idiots say to my face there is some truth in the link between 5G and COVID-19 transmission rates. I suppose these people also believe in the tooth fairy.
So why do I raise this seemingly modern phenomena? It is because the suspicion and distrust generated by conspiracy theorists does impact everyday life. The best example of this is the Federal Government’s COVID-Safe app, which I have proudly downloaded onto my smartphone, along with millions of other Australians.
Sadly, there are even more than that who have not downloaded the app. Whilst our national effort has meant there is less attention drawn to those not connected (despite the best efforts of Victoria to ruin our national average) I’m still appalled that a senior politician, in Barnaby Joyce, could join the conspiracy theorists and publicly denounce his own government’s initiative.
If we do get a second wave of the virus in Australia, and lack of contact tracing leads to more infections and deaths, then in my opinion it should be on the conscience of those who have refuted science.
It never ceases to amaze me how seemingly sane, well educated people sometimes come up with the weirdest theories of why big business and government are plotting against them.
The best example has to be Donald Trump and his reluctance to accept science during the pandemic, especially in the early days, which has resulted in more than 130,000 Americans (at the time of writing) needlessly paying the ultimate price.
By following science and the advice of our Chief Medical Officer is how Australia, and Western Australia in particular, has done so well these past few months. Politics has generally been kept out of the WA and national response to COVID-19, and we have listened to our scientists and health professionals.
That is why I have supported our closed borders, although maybe it’s time we opened up to our neighbours South Australia and the Northern Territory, provided they don’t open up to states like Victoria.
Can you imagine if we had listened to every conspiracy theorist in the early days of the pandemic, and taken the same path as Donald Trump, just how many more Australians would no longer be with us?