Christopher Nehring at Deutsche Welle writes about the surge in conspiracy theories and rumours that circulate during pandemics such as the current coronavirus:

These, and other conspiracy theories, however, rely on arguments that are never weighted in evidence. The conspiracies tend to emerge in the early stages of a pandemic — when little is known about a pathogen’s origin and spread.

The digital revolution, meanwhile, has amplified the dissemination of rumors and disinformation. Online posts are shared much quicker on social media and through messenger apps than any medical or health authority can refute them. The digital age has allowed conspiracy theories to go viral.