A fresh dose of coronavirus folklore


During the weekend, Propastop reviewed some of the more popular online forums discussing the coronavirus outbreak. We put together a small selection of theories, myths, opinions and rumours that have spread there, the truth of which seems dubious.

Why is Propastop doing this? We believe that awareness of suspicious theories gives blog readers a kind of immunity. We hope that this brief overview will allow suspicious coronavirus narratives to be recognized in other conversations, which may help limit the spread of rumours.

Please note, that Propastop does not claim that all of the statements here are necessarily unfounded rumours. Some of them may be partially true. However, there is no evidence or justification for these opinions in the forums. Needless to say, there is a lot of wise, well-informed information in forums.

So what are the people writing about?

Reports on the situation in Estonia

Võrumaa is locked down. 19.03, Perekool (Family school forum)

There are no e-shops in Rakvere and you cannot order food at home. (March 19, Perekool)

The government and health board say there is no point in testing (March 19, Perekool)

The state of emergency will be over by the end of March (March 19, Perekool)

The inhabitants of Viimsi rural community are being tested because there are a better sort of people living there. (March 20, Perekool)

Family doctors are writing up sick leave for patients only after the symptoms disappear, after which you must return to work immediately. (21.03, Perekool, Anonymous)

Estonia is facing the same number of deaths as in Italy and the same incidence of young people as in Norway. (March 20, Perekool)

Theory, that the virus may have spread from the Italian-Estonian basketball selection game on February 23 in Tallinn (22.03 Soccernet)

Conspiracy theories about concealing information in Estonia

The government does not have the money to do the tests, this is concealed by propaganda, saying it is not necessary to test (March 20, Perekool)

The government wants to reduce the figures on the number of people infected with less testing. (19.03, 20.03 Perekool). This is also the reason for not opening the Kuressaare testing point (March 21, Perekool)

There are in fact many safety resources in reserve, but they are not being used. (March 20, Soccernet)

The number of coronavirus patients in intensive care is being concealed, according to a well-known doctor. (March 21, Soccernet)

Doctors’ recommendations for mass testing are ignored. (March 20, Perekool)

A 38 year old is in critical condition, but official statistics are hiding it. (March 21, Perekool)

Distrust of the government and the health authority

Frustration in the country, because all who want to are not being tested. The country does not care about people. (March 19, Perekool)

The government is stalling; the information is contradictory and does not correspond to reality. (March 20, militaar.net)

The government and the Health board are lying, they cannot be trusted. (March 20, Soccernet)

The Estonian government is not trying very hard to order tests and Defence equipment. (March 20, Soccernet)

Reports of mass quarantine violations

Quarantines are not being monitored in Tallinn, shopping centers are crowded, families with children are moving around and foreign visitors are not being segregated. (March 20 and March 22, Perekool)

In Viljandi, there are shops and streets full of people, coughing in other people’s faces. (20.03.Perekool)

In Viljandi, a support person is allowed during childbirth, where it is forbidden elsewhere. (20.03 Perekool)

People that should and are known to be in quarantine are moving about outside. (March 20, Perekool)

There are many tourists not following quarantine guidelines and moving about outside. (March 21, Perekool)

Covidiots – a term for people who do not care about quarantine (22.03 Perekool)

About the situation abroad

China is silent about millions of infected and hundreds of thousands of deaths. (March 19, Perekool)

The Coronavirus death rate is high because all deaths are currently being attributed to the virus (20.03 Soccernet)

In South America police are shooting people who violate the curfew (March 20, Perekool)

Information about foreigners moving around in Estonia is distorted and comes from unreliable sources. (March 20. Perekool)

The Russian propaganda channel RT states that Italy is disappointed in the EU and plans to leave after the end of the pandemic (March 22, Soccernet)

Theories about the origin and spread of the virus

The coronavirus was created by God to punish people. (19.03 Perekool)

The coronavirus is a laboratory made bio-weapon. (19.03 Perekool)

People have themselves to blame for the infection, their immune systems should have been strengthened years ago (21.03 Perekool)

Photos: Virus graffiti in London. Photo: duncan c/Flickr/CC; screenshot