In these strange and scary times, it never hurts to find a reason to smile or laugh. That ability seems to be one of the first causalities of this viral war.
Yet, science has repeatedly shown how much of a healthy and beneficial effect joy can provide us as humans.
Therefore, to bring a little light and joy to your day, here are some of the best conspiracy theories floating around.
But first, a disclaimer. None of these are real. The following theories and my written analysis is an attempt in jest to bring about smiles. If any of them seems even remotely plausible, stop, go check the locks on your bunker door, take a deep breath, pour some bleach on your computer, and then continue reading.
Here we go!
Changing the Bird Batteries
This is my favorite and is a prevalent theory espoused by a teenager in my own home.
Apparently for those of you who are uninitiated to this particular tinfoil hat club, “the government” has made a huge collection of spy drones to keep tabs on us that we uninitiated sheeple refer to as “birds”.
As these are replete with tweets and feathers, there apparently was no room for such simple things as solar panels to recharge these airborne over watch fiends, so the government has to periodically replace the batteries in them to keep the whole system up and running.
This begs the question — what would happen if there was a global battery shortage?
The theory here is that there is a globally concerted effort to perform wholesale battery swapping and therefore, all people need to stay inside to avoid giving away the secret.
Sure. Why not?
If you are interested in cramming on your own tin foil hat and exploring this crazy idea further, look no further than the BirdsArentReal subreddit. There you can find plenty of supporting evidence, including wiring diagrams. There is also a website and twitter feed for followers of this theory.
The real reason that I don’t believe this one is that as interesting as this is, without the backing of someone like Elon Musk, I don’t see anyone being competent enough to pull this off.
An Engineered Virus?
How desperate are we as a species to have some overly dramatic bond-villain in some obscure lair cackling maniacally while Ozzy Ozbourne is strapped down to a medical bed with some overly engineered stainless steel contraption hovers over him extracting some exotic human-bat-cocaine hybrid disease from his bone marrow that once introduced into a petri dish turns into a potential world-consuming conflagration of disease sweeping the globe?
Yes, there are theories that COVID-19 is engineered:
No, these are not made up.
The best part of this conspiracy theory is how Bill Gates has been pulled into this decaying orbit. The genesis here comes from an actual patent filed in 2015 by the Pirbright Institute from the U.K.
In a very tenuous link, in 2019 this same foundation helped to fund a project for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the study of livestock diseases.
While there was an actual patent awarded for a coronavirus virus to this group, it was for work regarding the creation of a vaccine for avian coronavirus found in chickens.
In a completely unrelated note, in January 2020 the US mint introduced a quarter with a fruit bat on it.
I don’t know why these connections aren’t plainly obvious to every warm-blooded human. Bill Gates used his bat quarters to buy all the spicy chicken sandwiches from Popeyes, and this caused someone to be angry enough to go get a degree in bioengineering and create the coronavirus.
Blame the Simpsons
The Simpsons are the embodiment of the famous quote from The Dark Knight:
“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
At the end of the 31st season in mid-2020, this show will have broadcast a whopping 684 episodes. Yes, you read that correctly. Six hundred. Eighty. Four.
This show has moved from pop culture phenomenon to cultural icon to mythical status. Every time some big event happens, people comb through the wide expanse of jokes and scenarios covered by the show to look for an applicable reference.
With over 20,526 minutes of run time (including movies and shorts), it is no wonder that a show based around cultural references and allusions would grow to become be a prescient oracle for all potential calamities and celebrations that we as a species could endure.
So how did the Simpsons predict the coronavirus?
Well, they didn’t. Not 100% like the tweet shows. The episode is from season 4, episode 80. It references a fictional flu virus that arrives from Japan (not China) in a package for Homer. They give it the name “Osaka Flu” and infects nearly everyone in Springfield.
The images from the tweet are all authentic — except for the added “Corona Virus” on top of the original headline, “Apocalypse Meow”.
Here are the relevant bits from the episode:
The 10-Second Rule for Holding Your Breath
This one even had some backing from none other than Geraldo Rivera, who on March 13 posted this lovely gem:
The theory seems to stem from a viral (haha!) Facebook post that made the rounds with one claim stating:
Taiwan experts provide a simple self-check that we can do every morning: Take a deep breath and hold it for more than 10 seconds. If you do this successfully without coughing, without discomfort, stiffness or tightness, there is no fibrosis in the lungs; it basically indicates no infection. In critical times, please self-check every morning in an environment with clean air.
So— holding your breath is a way to check if you have the coronavirus. It also grants wishes while riding in tunnels. Holding your breath can also help you win at Marco Polo.
Only one of those three is true.
Let me give you a hint — the tweet is a screenshot because it was deleted, probably after the person tweeting realized just how ridiculous that claim really is.
This is almost as cool of an idea as sharks with frickin’ laser beams on their heads.
This one comes from astrobiologist Chandra Wickramasinghe who claims that the virus came from a comet. During a flyby, a small piece of the comet broke off and ended up causing a large fireball over China in October 2019.
Sorry to disappoint anyone who hopes that warm summer temperatures will slow this pandemic down. If the virus really came from space, then it has already lived through temperatures higher than 1,600C during the entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Yeah, why didn’t our shiny new space warfare service branch protect us from this threat? They stopped it in the movie Armageddon, right? This virus is a lot smaller than that little rock that they blew up there. I am sure that Bruce Willis would have been up to the challenge.
Alas, the chances we have missed because we don’t have space lasers…
*Insert Company Name Here* Is Responsible!
Ah, the ever-present blame for any manufacturer or vendor who profits from any public calamity.
Charmin. Purell. Johnson & Johnson. Mask makers.
My favorite is the new evil empire: big TP.
But don’t forget the other big evils:
The fantastic news is that some smart people are offering some excellent advice for life hacks to avoid TP shortages. There are even helpful videos like this one:
As nice as it would be to have one entity to blame for this big mess, it just doesn’t compute.
So what now? The first thing to do is to go wash your hands!
After that, hug your loved ones and then go gargle some bleach because you touched other humans (don’t really do that — that is BAD). Try to relax and take a deep breath (and hold it…8..9..10..safe!). We will get through this. Hopefully, these theories brought a smile to your face and took your mind off of things for a few minutes.
If you need me, I will be in my bunker. Thanks for reading!