As the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) spread around the world, so did theories, stories, and conspiracy beliefs about it. These theories infected communities from the halls of Congress to Facebook groups, spreading quickly in newspapers, on various social media and between friends. They spurred debate about the origins, treatment options and responses to the virus, creating distrust towards public health workers and suspicion of vaccines. This book examines the most popular Covid-19 theories, connecting current conspiracy beliefs to long-standing fears and urban legends. By examining the vehicles and mechanisms of Covid-19 conspiracy, readers can better understand how theories spread and how to respond to misinformation.
About the Author
John Bodner is an associate professor of folklore in the social/cultural studies program at the Grenfell Campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland. He has conducted fieldwork among tree planters, street kids and illegal marijuana growers to document the relationship between marginalized communities, work, identity, crime, and tradition. Wendy Welch is the author or editor of six books and the executive director of the Graduate Medical Education Consortium of Southwest Virginia where she advocates for social justice and policy planning in equal measure. She lives in Wytheville, Virginia. Ian Brodie is the associate professor of folklore at Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia, Canada. President-Elect of the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research, he has served as President of the Folklore Studies Association of Canada. Anna Muldoon, a former Science Policy Advisor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, focuses on social responses to infectious disease, ranging from conspiracy narratives to religious history to fashion and fiction. She has published on a number of such issues. Donald Leech, an associate professor of history at the University of Virginia's College at Wise, has published articles on the changes in the English urban society and economy in the 15th and 16th centuries as the Middle Ages merged into the modern era. He also wrote about the early process of enclosing and privatizing common lands as part of the same changes. Ashley Marshall serves as chief executive officer of a nonprofit organization. Through her work tackling systemic racism, oppression, and justice she has fought the impacts of conspiracy thinking, rumor, and legend that continue to perpetuate inequalities.