Coronavirus was manufactured in Lab- No. - Seeker's Thoughts

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Coronavirus was manufactured in Lab- No.

It’s a rumor that just won’t die. When asked whether the COVID-19 virus was genetically engineered in a lab, scientists have already said “NO” rather firmly, but the manner of the new coronavirus origin is unlikely to be put to rest so easily.

According to a sociological survey to gauge public perception of the COVID-19 pandemic in India. About 3 in 10 people believed that coronavirus was manufactured in a laboratory but most, or 42% believed it evolved naturally.

Rumors can be dangerous and create regional hatred, as well as nationalities, face issues due to that- so such kind of rumors should be condemned. 

Indian Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has stated the virus was “man-made and not natural”.

Not only India but worldwide people believe that corona-virus is man-made.

Rumors were like--

French Nobel prize-winning scientist Luc Montagnier sparked controversy by claiming that the SARS-Cov-2 virus came from a lab, and is the result of an attempt to manufacture a vaccine against the AIDS virus.

Professor Montagnier who co-discovered HIV claimed the presence of an element of HIV in the genome of the coronavirus and even elements of the “germ of malaria” are highly suspect.

However, this was again a rumor, the scientist did not make such a claim.

US President Donald Trump has appeared to undercut his own intelligence agencies by suggesting he has seen evidence corona-virus originated in a Chinese laboratory.

But later on, the intelligence agency said it had determined Covid-19 “was not manmade or genetically modified”.

The conspiracy theory about COVID-19

Immunologist Nigel McMillan from the Menzies Health Institute Queensland explained - All evidence so far points to the fact the coronavirus is naturally derived and not man-made.

He says – “if you were going to design it in the lab the sequence changes make no sense as all previous evidence would tell you it would make the virus worse. Not a system exists in the lab to make some of the changes found.”

Back in late March, researchers investigated the genomic data if SARS-CoV-2 – particularly the receptor-binding domain (RBD) sections of the virus- to try and discover how it mutated into the virulent and deadly version – we are currently struggling to contain.

Two features of the virus, the mutations in the RBD portion of the spike protein and its distinct backbone, rule out laboratory manipulation as a potential origin for SARS-CoV-2."

As a by-product of their research, they were able to determine that SARS-CoV-2 was not genetically manipulated.

“By comparing the available genome sequence data for known coronavirus strains. Researchers can firmly determine that viruses originate through natural processes.

Although it is clear the virus was not created in the lab, there have been ongoing concerns it may have 'escaped' a research facility, with most of the speculation - understandably - focussed on the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). However, it remains just speculation.

What Indians think about this pandemic situation?

About 54% said the lockdown “helped overcome” the pandemic and 30% said the lockdown “created problems” including – a fifth of them saying – that they’d lost jobs and earnings and 3% saying that they faced “hunger and starvation.”

Indian hits by highest cases in early June at 2, 80, 000, India continues to be on a rising-case trajectory.

Indian government selectively unlocked the country when the COVID on its peak. From the opening of religious places to allowing malls to reopen- even as the true extent of the infection is still being ascertained by epidemiologists.

7 in 10 people said social distancing would only retard the spread of the virus and 18% saying that would “eradicate” the pandemic.

64% said they were afraid and 18% responded they weren’t. This was in the first fortnight of May when lockdown 3.0 was in force.

What scientists suggest about social distancing?

People across the globe have been forced to adapt quickly to the social distancing brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. But while the world might be eager for a relaxation of the rules, the restrictions might be around for some time to come.

According to a group of Harvard disease experts, some form of intermittent social distancing may need to be in place until 2022.

That’s because once the initial wave of COVID-19 infections has passed, further outbreaks could occur. If lockdown restrictions are lifted at the same time, instead of in coordinated phases, a surge in new cases could overwhelm healthcare systems.

With social distancing rules in place and strictly adhered to, along with intensive testing and contact tracing of new infections, the simulations show it is possible to contain the spread of a virus. However, with more than 2 million confirmed cases impacting countries around the world, the researchers believe this is an unlikely outcome.

More likely, they say, is that the virus is here to stay, recurring intermittently as the seasons come and go, much like influenza. Until a vaccine is available, this could mean some form of social distancing will need to exist for many months, if not years.

At the height of the epidemic in China, strictly enforced lockdown orders were imposed to slow the spread of the disease.

India has enforced the world’s biggest lockdown, with more than 1.3 billion people confined to their homes. Nationwide restrictions are in place in countries from Europe to Latin America.

Restrictions range from mandatory quarantine orders to stay-home recommendations, and include prohibiting non-essential work or business, along with bans on public gatherings and events.

Social media and pseudo-science

A combination of one or more elements such as the speed and reach of social media and its influencers, viral scientific misinformation, irresponsible news reporting, conspiracy theories, and overnight appearance of non-peer reviewed science has influenced the way coronavirus is impacting global health. As a result, epidemics in this age are becoming ‘misinfo-demics’– the phenomenon where epidemics upscale to become more dangerous due to viral misinformation.

Disinformation, half-truths, and conspiracy theories that have spread virally through social networks. This damages society in a variety of ways.

The recent downgrading of COVID-19 death projections, which reveal the success of social-distancing policies, has been falsely used to justify premature relaxing of social distancing measures. This is the logical equivalent of throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because it’s kept you dry until then.

When people suffer the loss of control or feel threatened, it makes them more vulnerable to believing conspiracies. Unfortunately, this means that pandemics have always been breeding grounds for conspiracy theories.

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