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Debunking The Alleged Relationship Between 5G And COVID-19

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There has been a lot of furore surrounding the emergence of 5G technology around the world. A lot of parallels have been drawn with the emergence of the 5G technology, which is not even widespread yet, and the COVID-19 pandemic by numerous conspiracy theorists.


As more people stay at home to contain the spread of the virus, some, armed with unverified information are intent on causing hysteria.


The spread of the coronavirus has led to some questioning it’s timing with the rise of 5G technology. Videos and all manners of baseless texts are spreading, alleging the technology is responsible for the spread of COVID-19.


Consequently, people who loudly speak matter-of-factly about topics they are not experts on are often at risk passing on unfounded fear. We will put to bed these claims by looking at the science behind the technology.

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of mobile technology. The previous generation includes 1G which enables analog voice; 2G delivered digital voice (CDMA) and; 3G delivered mobile data while 4G brought in the era of the mobile internet.


So 5G is just an improvement on existing technology. The technology employs electromagnetic waves like radio and microwaves to deliver the network reception to areas where needed.

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5G and electromagnetic radiation

Electromagnetic waves are waves that can travel through a vacuum, like space. It is a form of energy that is all around us and takes many forms.  Examples of the forms it can take include radio waves, microwaves, X-rays and gamma rays. Radio waves which the 5G technology utilizes also has the lowest frequency and the longest wavelength.

The Electromagnetic spectrum showing high and low-frequency waves. Photo:


The radio and microwaves sit at the low-frequency ends of the electromagnetic spectrums. Although their wavelengths are long, they are way less harmful than Ultraviolet rays from the sun.


It is important to note that radio signals are split into two categories known as the sub 6GHz millimeter wave. It is called sub 6GHz because its frequencies are below 6GHz, specifically 2.4GHz and higher. Interestingly, China, where the coronavirus started uses 5G radio signals that are in the sub-6 GHz classification.


Sub-6 GHz radio signals have been in existence all over the world for years for a wide range of applications with no health impacts. All existing 4G cell networks use the sub 6GHz frequency, for example, WiFi operates at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. If the arguments of conspiracy theories are true, we would have felt the effects of this technology long ago

Microwaves? isn’t that for cooking?

Microwaves and radio waves are utilized in communicating with satellites. Microwaves travel through the atmosphere and help in communicating with distant geostationary satellites. Radio waves, on the other hand, are suitable for communicating with satellites in low orbits.


Microwaves are also used in heating food. However, it works by water in the food absorbing the radiation and in turn heating the food. Unlike ultraviolet and X-rays, microwaves do not damage or change the structure of chemical compounds.


Several studies have shown isolated portions of the electromagnetic wave (called photons), in microwaves, cannot change the structure of any molecule in a living organism because they carry too little energy.


Phones operate with radio frequencies, which in the electromagnetic spectrum is between FM radio waves and the waves used in microwave ovens, radar, and satellite stations.


Cell phones, however, do not emit ionizing radiation, which is what damages DNA. Non-ionizing radiation is a form of radiation that doesn’t have the potential to influence atomic-level changes to cells. For example, X-rays or Ultraviolet rays can cause serious atomic changes if you are exposed to them for long periods of time


A 5G Mast. Photo: Reuters

5G, COVID-19 and what’s in between

The first loophole in the conspiracy theories is that 5G isn’t at the moment in wide circulation. Iran one of the worst affected countries doesn’t even have a single 5G mast.


China with its 100,000 5G masts has reduced its number of coronavirus cases and is seeing a surge in human activity after successfully battling COVID-19. Apart from the Wuhan region, other Chinese regions were not as badly shaken from the virus.


How is the disease able to spread to cities without 5G technology if 5G causes it is, perhaps a question to consider?


COVID-19 is a virus that attacks the immune system. It causes respiratory illnesses with symptoms like cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. Viruses have been in existence way before the advent of communications technology. They are parasites, smaller than bacteria which cannot reproduce on their own but can when they get a host.


A seven-year-long scientific study on the topics concludes that 5G is in no way detrimental to the general health of humans much less causing COVID-19.

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According to Adam Finn, a professor of paediatrics at the University of Bristol:


“The present epidemic is caused by a virus that is passed from one infected person to another. We know this is true. We even have the virus growing in our lab, obtained from a person with the illness. Viruses and electromagnetic waves that make mobile phones and internet connections work are different things. As different as chalk and cheese.”


Perhaps it would be different and worth considering if some scientists, credible and with experience in their field are the ones raising alarms backed by research.


At this time there are only faceless social media rabble-rousers circulating conspiracy theories with no research to back their claims. You are better off disregarding and ignoring their alarmist messages, after all, medical advice should be sought from health care workers, the same should apply to science.


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