Who doesn’t love to roll their eyes over absurd conspiracy theories? I heard one this week that I’ll share, but only if you promise not to believe a word of it: they’re saying the wire that goes across the nose of your face mask is 5G (wireless technology that’s the subject of a boatload of debunked but persistent rumors). My friend Julie heard one that's equally idiotic: “Don’t let them take your temperature when you go into a store because they’re really going to take your brain.” How exactly does that work? And then there’s the classic blame-the-aliens. “According to Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, of the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology, Covid-19 arrived on earth via a fireball from space that burnt up in China last October.”
Which brings us to the most astonishing thing about the modern crop of silly conspiracy theories: so far nobody has managed to find a link between coronavirus and the lizard-like, shapeshifting aliens known as reptilians. Last month I learned these visitors to our planet are (allegedly) breeding energetically with humans and have already taken over the British royal family, the Rothschilds, the Bushes, and the Merovingian dynasty — which fans of the DaVinci Code will remember are believed to be direct descendants of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. I was staggered to learn this week that 12.5 million Americans are convinced reptilian aliens have infiltrated the US government.
Which members of the government are lizard people seeking to rule the planet, you ask? Where else have these pesky reptiloids infiltrated? Your workplace? Your home? Could you be one? Are you sure? “Scientific evidence” suggests that you watch for these telltale signs, according to Alien Hub (and if you can’t trust a source like that…).
For those of us making a genuine effort to identify whoppers when we scroll past them online, there's the free, downloadable Conspiracy Theory Handbook . Co-authored by Stephan Lewandowsky of Bristol University in Australia and John Cook of George Mason University in Virginia, it offers practical tips like this for investigating suspect claims.
1. Do I recognize the news organization that posted the story?
2. Does the information in the post seem believable?
3. Is the post written in a style that I expect from a professional news organization?
4. Is the post politically motivated?
“Conspiracy theories,” note the authors, “allow people to cope with threatening events by focusing blame on a set of conspirators. People find it difficult to accept that ‘big’ events (e.g., the death of Princess Diana) can have an ordinary cause (driving while intoxicated). A conspiracy theory satisfies the need for a ‘big’ event to have a big cause, such as a conspiracy involving MI5 to assassinate Princess Diana.”
We’re in the middle of multiple big events right now, and you don’t have to be a reptilian psychic to pick up on the fact that we’re all feeling threatened, frightened, and powerless. Our nation’s current leaders have failed to act decisively to protect us from the coronavirus or climate change, and have sewed discord that is feeding public unrest and instability. Nowhere feels safe. Nobody is putting the brakes on the runaway train of 2020.
It’s clear we are in a tight spot. I have no idea what will happen next, but whatever it is, we’re going to need all our reserves of common sense, honesty, truth, and clear thinking. Fantasy can be fun, but I probably don’t have to tell you how dangerous false stories and misinformation can become. A study of the first three months of 2020, published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, identifies 800 deaths and 5,800 hospitalizations due to false information found on social media, mostly involving drinking methanol or alcohol-based cleaning products in the mistaken belief they could prevent or cure Covid-19. Other “remedies” included cow urine, extreme vitamins, and massive amounts of garlic — none of which proved beneficial (except perhaps for warding off vampires).
When the big picture starts to get me down, I focus on the little stuff. “Celebrating the small moments in life is critical when it comes to navigating stressful times,” noted Katie Cline, marketing VP at Bubbies Ice Cream, which recently sponsored a poll asking people to define their top “little joys,” such as being reunited after an absence.
The Little Joys of Summer 2020
1. Seeing a loved one after being apart for a while
2. Sleeping in a freshly made bed
3. Feeling the sun on my face
4. Getting something for free
5. Having time to myself
6. Hugging a loved one
7. Finding money I didn’t know I had
8. The first sip of coffee in the morning
9. The clean feeling after a shower
10. Receiving an “I’ve been thinking about you” type text
These may be modest delights, but connecting solidly with even one of them can boost our sense of wellbeing and help us feel more grounded in our day and hopeful about life.
Another article I read offered such reasonable suggestions as “keep things in perspective … focus on things you can control … unplug.” I was a bit startled by the final bit of advice: a free stress-reduction hypnotherapy program offered by Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Maybe it was all the time I’d just spent reading about paranoia run amok, but I have to admit, the idea of being hypnotized by a machine gave me pause. My mind replayed scenes from a dozen sci fi movies in which robots took over an Earthling’s consciousness; it never ended well. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to eat your brains and make unspeakable alterations to your body. Or as one meme puts it, “Three conspiracy theorists walk into a bar. Now you can’t tell me that’s a coincidence.”
Thanks for keeping me company on the hair-raising journey through 2020. I publish weekly, sharing my best survival tips, loony stories, and comfort food recipes. If you'd like to be alerted when more stuff comes out, just send me your email address. And stay strong, my friends. This thing is far from over.
9/3/2020 05:43:14 pm
Great update, Karen! And what welcomed news! With this revelation that 5G is already pre-installed in the nose wire of my face mask (and for FREE!) I won’t have to update my iPhone this fall!!! With all the extra cash I can buy a HUGE can of crispy insect snacks to munch on. Talk about Comfort Food!! Mmmmm. Yours in the Reptilian multiverse. - R
9/4/2020 01:14:37 am
It so true that being Reptilian has a lot to offer, Richard. You can regrow your own tail, use that projectile tongue to catch flies, and rely on your psychic abilities and alien contacts to keep life interesting. Enjoy those crispy insects. I once had fried flies in Thailand, and all I can say is — yum! They were salty and crunchy, and the only way you could tell they weren't cocktail peanuts was the wings. Bon appetit.
9/3/2020 06:19:07 pm
I married a reptilian and I am telling you guys it just doesn’t get any better!
9/4/2020 01:15:17 am
Paul, I always thought Jean had an otherworldly radiance about her, and now I know why! You are one lucky fellow.
9/3/2020 07:20:52 pm
I made your Aunt Bev's Pie two days ago. Talk about comfort food! WOW! Delicious and so easy to make. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes and your wisdom and humor.
9/4/2020 01:21:16 am
Karen, I'm so glad you enjoyed Aunt Bev's pie. It is one of my all-time favorite recipes. This week Rich seemed a bit downcast that peach season, and this pie, will soon be coming to an end. So I decided to try a new version made with bananas. It turned out great! I used about four medium bananas, and made no other alterations to the recipe. We loved it, and we're excited that we can make it all year round. So when the peaches run out, that's something to consider.
9/3/2020 09:14:29 pm
Green eyes? Check.
9/4/2020 01:24:58 am
Wear your identity with pride, Shéa!
9/4/2020 12:19:44 am
The list of “The Little Joys of Summer 2020” are all about living in the present moment which is so comforting and lovely. The conspiracy theories are all about fear, paranoia, chaos and devisiveness.
9/4/2020 01:29:03 am
So true, Faye. It's up to each of us to stay positive in these turbulent times, when fear, paranoia, and chaos are on the rise. Since I came across the "little joys" list, I've started really paying attention to my first sip of coffee in the morning, the feel of the sun on my face, and fresh, clean sheets. I would add the smell of peach pie baking in the oven to that list!
9/5/2020 06:49:55 am
I almost didn't read this one as I am so tired of conspiracy theories rolling past me on FB. However I should have known you could turn it into something that would make me laugh! Thanks again for a breath of fresh air!
9/5/2020 04:22:33 pm
So glad you decided to read this one, Jackie, and that you enjoyed it as I'd intended. I am constantly gobsmacked by the looney things people believe and spread around. When I heard that thing about 5G face mask wire, I knew I had to speak up.
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TO I'm an American travel writer based in Seville, Spain.
Wanderlust has taken me to more than 60 countries. Every week I provide travel tips and adventure stories to inspire your journeys and let you have more fun — and better food — on the road
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