Editorial: Conspiracies about COVID keep spreading

Staff Editorial

As potential COVID-19 vaccines continue to be developed and there is a possible light at the end of the tunnel, conspiracy theories about the virus continue to spread online.

Recently, a selfie taken by a Nevada doctor have fueled communities on social media that claim the COVID-19 pandemic is a hoax or is being overblown by government officials and the media.

The photo shows the doctor standing in an alternate care facility in Reno with empty hospital beds being stored in the background.

People are using the image to claim that hospitals are not actually filling up with more COVID patients.

Of course, the picture does not prove this theory in any way. The photo was actually taken the day the site opened and no patients had been brought in yet.

It was opened to house patients that do not require ling-term care and has treated nearly 200 patients since it opened.

The ease with which this theory spread is concerning, but not that surprising.

Conspiracy theories of all kinds thrive on social media, but theories about COVID are particularly dangerous. The virus is likely to surge in the coming days and weeks following a busy Thanksgiving travel season.

We at the Daily Eastern News want to remind people to be on the lookout for misinformation and conspiracies about COVID and to report the posts so they can be flagged or taken down.

No matter how many people die from COVID, these theories will always exist. We need to do our best to make sure they do not spread uncontrolled online and do even more harm.