In many ways, the world is getting dumber. Sure, we have access to more impressive technology in the history of our species than ever before. We have devices in our pockets that, 24/7, gives us access to the collective knowledge humanity has gathered since basically the dawn of time — not to mention the endless possible means of communicating across the globe.
But that doesn't matter because there are lots of folks who believe the Coronavirus is caused by Corona.
Like, drinking Corona beer will give you the possibly fatal disease. After hearing this, it's hard not to launch into a tirade highlighting that Aldous Huxley is right — and that maybe the vastness of misinformation and endless echo chambers of idiocy, preaching not only ill-conceived, yet comfortable ideologies, is making humanity dumber. Just look at the news cycle and how "fake news" and meaningless stories constantly take precedence over ones with real world significance.
Now, the threat of a global virus spreading and taking out humanity would be big news. And it seems like every two to three years, there's a new scary disease that's popping up on everybody's news feeds — promising to either wipe out our species, cause a zombie apocalypse, or, at the very least, get everyone rocking medical masks. Not too long ago it was ebola. Before that it was avian flu, swine flu, and mad cow disease. The list goes on.
The plague that's all the rage these days is the Coronavirus, which has seen an uptick in search trends. Symptoms for the disease have been at the top of search trends for a while now, and folks are obsessed with finding out how to prevent the disease, how it spreads, and just what causes it exactly.
What is Coronavirus?
World Health Organization (WHO) officials are still discovering more about the disease daily, but many believe it originated from animals and spread to humans from a fish market in Wuhan, China. Symptoms include: cough, fever, shortness of breath, and in very rare instances, respiratory issues, kidney failure, and even death.
At least 2,800 people globally have died from the disease, and it's spread out of China to other parts of the world. There have been confirmed cases of the disease in the U.S., and other areas like the Philippines, Australia, Cambodia, France, and Finland, with people showcasing flu-like symptoms.
China, however, has the most confirmed cases. Again, the exact cause of the illness is unknown, but many think it has to do with folks in China eating animals that carry the disease. A popular theory is that "bat soup" is what caused it, although this has proven to not be the case.
It's still a better theory than "Corona Beer Virus," which is an actual search term people are putting into Google.
Yes, there are throngs of simpletons who actually believe that drinking everyone's favorite lime-garnished cerveza gives you the illness. Two recent surveys showed that more people are avoiding the beverage thanks to the disease.
5W Public Relations published a survey that found that 38% of Americans wouldn't buy Corona "under any circumstances" and another 14% said they wouldn't order a Corona in public. Another survey done by YouGov found that consumers' intent to purchase Corona dropped to its lowest level in two years.
Trolls are having quite a bit of fun at the Corona-avoiders' expense.
Trolls have jumped on this with considerable zest, playing into people's misunderstanding of the disease with sarcastic memes aimed to capitalize on their folly.
Some pranksters have even created fake news and blog articles suggesting that the best way to prevent catching the Coronavirus is by drinking bleach.
They don't put that in so many words, but rather highlight the chemical components of bleach — saying that it's actually a Miracle Mineral Supplement, aka MMS. Sadly, the FDA has had to issue warnings against drinking these agents that contain bleach. Seriously.
Like most health scare news stories, Coronavirus fear-mongering is blown out of proportion. Sadly, there are people who are being killed by Coronavirus, but to put things into perspective, 80,000 people died of the regular old influenza in the U.S. in 2017. So if you're looking for vaccines to take against deadly diseases, just head to your local pharmacy and get protected against that.