People in Canada are gathering in the streets to protest the lockdown
As most Canadian residents continue to make daily sacrifices in order to properly social distance and prevent the spread of COVID-19, some conspiracy theorists are gathering to protest government lockdown measures.
One march that took place over the long weekend in Vancouver has caused outrage among Canadians, as dozens of B.C. residents gathered outside City Hall to protest precautionary measures put in place to protect residents from contracting and spreading COVID-19.
Residents held signs with sayings such as "Fake News" and "Stupid-20 is 1000 Xs more dangerous than CON-VID-19" as they gathered close to one another, purposely and blatantly ignoring social distancing protocols.
Vancouver resident Dan Dicks covered the march for Press for Truth, which is described as an "alternative media outlet." Dicks posted several photos and videos of the protest online in which he encourages residents not to "drink the Kool-Aid."
"Do you support the Vancouver protest to #endthelockdown? Is the cure worse than the disease? That’s a Yes Yes for me how about you?" Dicks wrote online alongside a video of the protest.
Dicks has also pledged to speak in the coming days with David Icke, a retired football player and conspiracy theorist who has falsely claimed that there's a connection between 5G and coronavirus.
In addition to the march in Vancouver, another anti-lockdown protest was held in Calgary this past weekend by controversial group the yellow vests.
The yellow vests in Calgary are rallying today in defiance of social distancing protocols and spreading conspiracy theories about the #COVID19 outbreak. @CalgaryPolice are on the scene. Are they doing anything? pic.twitter.com/6OmG7VGVpD— YVCE 🧛♂️🧛♀️🧛♂️ (@VestsCanada) April 11, 2020
Though they've remained small, protests such as these are sparking outrage among Canadians who are taking health and safety protocols seriously.
There was an “end the lockdown” protest in Vancouver? Why does it sometimes feel like people there live on a different planet?— Nano (@PurpleNaNo) April 13, 2020
And many are pleading with the police to do something about these dangerous gatherings.
"Can the Canadian police please, please, just once, not support these racist wingnuts?" one Twitter use wrote. "Please, this is a pandemic. It would be a good way to start fresh and actually start supporting the non-racist part of our community."
Many people are also speaking out about the harmfulness of conspiracy theories, which seem to be rapidly spreading around the globe, especially at a time like this.
When someone refers to this pandemic as a hoax I always ask when the last time they spent time at a hospital or even spoke to anyone on the front lines. They rarely respond because in reality they don't have a response, because they are completely clueless like this person. https://t.co/jhMe26sy8J— JABO Vancouver (@jabo_vancouver) April 13, 2020
The World Health Organization (WHO) has even created a "myth busters" webpage to try and debunk some of the more common theories.
Has increased family (online) interactions alerted anyone else into the unhelpful #covid19 misinformation out there?— Catherine Trask (@ergo_trask) April 12, 2020
My plan: all lame forwards and untruthful tweets are getting this link to the @WHO myth buster page.
Works for fb posts too! https://t.co/HAY5kEuIMl
"Conspiracy theories can be very harmful for society. Not only can they influence people’s health choices, they can interfere with how different groups relate to each other and increase hostility and violence toward those who are perceived to be 'conspiring,'" wrote researchers Daniel Jolley from Northumbria University and Pia Lamberty from Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in The Conversation last week.
"So as well as acting to combat the spread of the coronavirus, governments should also act to stop misinformation and conspiracy theories relating to the virus from getting out of hand."
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