Guest Blog; Written by Akeem Bundu-Kamara (@AkeemBK)
Before jumping on this blog, I was slyly tempted to create a global petition removing the “forward” button from WhatsApp after getting another stupid text explaining the “secrets” about COVID. The doctor who invented email at the age of 14 has information that the government doesn’t want to tell us? “Let me just switch off my 5G connection real quick before I watch this video Aunty Priscilla” would be the wise response the family group chat would agree should be made. It’s *muad*. The number of videos with similarly exaggerated headlines genuinely have me questioning how easy mind control is. Coming from a West African household; lemon, ginger and heat can pretty much disintegrate any sort of virus. The doctors and those high up just don’t know it yet. Twitter has been on a roll with the most bizarre theories rising faster than Swarmz’s Instagram follower count. All this shows to me is how the truth is based on what you want the truth to be and how we always need an answer to our problems.
How, for example, Bill Gates became a bad guy still puzzles me. Telling my mum that he, himself, isn’t making the vaccine shouldn’t be something I should be wasting my time on. It’s like arguing with a brick wall at times to convince someone that just maybe, some rich guys care about humankind. For some reason, all of these elite people and governments are planning something evil behind our backs. Funnily enough, half of my family work within the NHS so I think I’ll take my mum’s own advice and watch them closely from the side of my eye. Sometimes I wonder what causes this level of distrust because I’m baffled when I see some of the intricate explanations online for how the NHS wants to use my Samsung phone to track me. To watch me move from my living room to the balcony? For all my guys doing fraud out there, watch yo’ back, but for unimportant people like myself, nobody wants to know where you go. As I said before, the NHS is literally made up of our neighbours, friends and family. Sometimes we have this weird imagination that these people are inherently selfish, but we need to seriously start believing these people if we want to get out the house. I for one have downloaded the NHS tracing app; you lot who don’t trust the experts must be loving this lockdown… or you’re joining one of those “Outdoor HIIT Sessions” being held in South London. Dress wear being strictly Nike Tech and neon fishnets.
After many arguments and browsing Reddit, I realised that people have their own truth of what works, what doesn’t work, who’s right and who’s wrong. I’ve seen Trump supporters claim that the ‘P*ssy Grabber’ can’t be racist and all sorts. Then you have people like the owner of this blog betting on Arsenal in games where Djourou and Senderos sit behind Coquelin. Different types of people believing in different types of fantasies and it all stems from us being biased and wanting to protect our identity. Nobody likes to be told that they’re wrong and if they are, people double down on their incorrect beliefs on a ‘wrong and strong’ vibe. Everyone wants to seem correct so coming up with some level of rationale that makes sense to them and something that they’ve grown up with is easiest. It’s the same reason why my mum believes a quick splash of lemon can evaporate the virus – something she was told from young and explained with the scientific language of a villager.
Society’s blind trust in people and concepts they believe in is what keeps bringing life into the most stupid conspiracy theories. Poor Trump supporters out there considering downing bleach, that’ll sure stick it to the Dems. We’re only gonna get through this global pandemic if we start trusting the right people, the right sources and are OK with being wrong. A tough challenge for you big-headed guys who struggle admitting your loss on FIFA to a 10-yr old from Stoke. I personally am going to start playing the same game other these aunties are by sharing the advice my health expert mate at the ministry of health provides me. However, this time – it’s gonna lead those suckers straight to the WHO website. Trust experts, your scientists and the medical health professionals. Don’t be too pushy on family and friends if they are misinformed. Try to be patient so we make sure everyone does the right thing – I’ve got a boys trip to Portugal and social distancing whines just ain’t the same.