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The Connection Between 5G and Coronavirus

Looking Six Months Back

This article is part of a series of articles that were written last school year but were never published due to the pandemic. The Norse Code has decided to publish these articles to give insight into how people were feeling at that time.

As technology grows, there is a constant demand for faster internet and data speed. Companies like Qualcomm who are closely involved with the development of the 5G industry standards and have produced technological innovations in millimeter wave technology, antenna technology and other technical areas of 5G development are continuously searching for new advances. As new concerns arise about the negative aspects of 5G, people are coming up with conspiracy theories that connect 5G service to Covid-19.

In telecommunications, 5G is the fifth generation technology standard for cellular networks, which cellular phone companies began deploying worldwide in 2019 the planned successor to the 4G networks which provide connectivity to most current cell phones. 

Qualcomm.com states, “5G enables a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices.” Information like this portrays 5G as being a great technological advance in our data speed and communication overall. 

However, blogs.scientificamerican.com states, “We have no reason to believe 5G is safe,” most likely for the following reasons. 

It is said that the effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well being in humans according to blogs.scientificamerican.com.

Because of the fact that 5G has so many radiation health problems associated with it, some people are quick to jump on the conspiracy theory train. Some assume that 5G radiation is the real cause of Covid-19. Others assume that 5G networks have lowered people’s immune response to the virus; and yet some assume that 5G networks facilitate the spread of the coronavirus. 

One theory states that the Coronavirus is a dangerous biological weapon, designed by human beings in a military lab in Wuhan. To support these theories, reports have claimed it is no coincidence that the world’s first 5G-masts were in Wuhan as 5G was tested in multiple cities, and there have been severe COVID-19 outbreaks in parts of the world without any 5G network according to psychologytoday.com. However, all of these conspiracy theories are proven to be false and 5G networks developed in China by Huawei were tested across the country not just in Wuhan.

“There is no evidence that 5G networks are harmful to health,” states fullfact.org. 

5G uses radio waves just like previous wireless networks. Other technology that uses radio waves includes smart meters, tv and radio transmitters, and radar and satellite communications. This just means they are using a higher frequency, and since radio waves are found at the low frequency end of the electromagnetic spectrum, it only produces non-ionising radiation which cannot damage the DNA inside cells according to fullfact.org. Even though 5G uses a higher frequency of radio waves compared to past generations, it still remains very low.  

Physics teacher at New Berlin West, Mr. Krack states, “While I am not an expert on the topic, I know that one reason for the changes is to open up usage to different ranges of radio waves. If you increase the frequency, you decrease the amount of usage currently in that range. But even as more things join the 5G network, you also increase the size of the bandwidths (the range of frequencies that electronics can pick up) by increasing the frequency.” 

“This means that more devices can use the network without slowing it down. Another positive is smaller electronics, specifically the antennae. Lower frequencies will require a larger antenna (it must be proportional to the wavelength). By increasing the frequency, you decrease the wavelength so that the antenna can be smaller which leads to smaller devices or more room for other things. There are disadvantages though, like high frequencies having trouble going traveling farther distances. This is like how you can pick up AM stations (lower frequency) farther away then you can an FM station (higher frequency).”

Public Health England states that, “The overall exposure is expected to remain low relative to guidelines and, as such, there should be no consequences for public health.”

So overall, there is no real connection between 5G networks and coronavirus.

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