A recent number of conspiracy theories falsely linking the coronavirus pandemic to 5G technology are now having a dangerous effect on the safety of telecom engineers, particularly in the U.K. Meanwhile, scientists continue to emphasize that there have been no demonstrated links between the high-speed networks and COVID-19.
According to the BBC, employees who are working to ensure the wireless technology remains available to the home-ridden population have reported being threatened and attacked by crazed conspiracy theorists.
"We've actually had cases where people have been threatened with being stabbed, threatened with physical violence and in some cases actually threatened with murder," explained Andy Kerr, deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU).
An engineer from North Yorkshire named Mike detailed frightening experiences that include aggressive language and even violence.
"Incidents range from people shouting abuse, videoing, asking us why we're putting up death towers, why we're going to fry everyone," he said.
"We've had objects thrown at engineers. Threats saying they'll come back with groups of lads and stab them. We've had people threaten to shoot us if we don't leave," he added.
Twenty-six year old Sam is another engineer who said that he has felt threatened due to the violence of conspiracy theorists.
"I know of other engineers on sites that have been vandalised -- and they've set fire to masts and the cabins have been smashed up," he confessed.
Even worse, his car was keyed, a small but menacing act that Sam believed only occurred because people knew he was working on 5G technology.
It is not just Sam that is suffering; the engineer added that his friends and family -- including his two young daughters -- are nervous about the potential of violence, and his wife remains in "constant contact" to make sure that nothing bad has befallen him.
A third engineer from Birmingham echoed similar sentiments, showing just how widespread the problem has become.
"Everyone... says they're having issues," he lamented.
There are two main conspiracy theories about 5G technology that have emerged during the coronavirus crisis. The most popular one is that networks are responsible for radiation which in turn "triggers" the virus, per Vox. Another popular theory believes that the tens of thousands of deaths in the U.K. and beyond were actually caused by the new technology, and that COVID-19 is being used as a cover-up.
Though there is no scientific basis for the beliefs, it has not helped that celebrities have helped spread the unfounded claims. As was previously covered by The Inquisitr, one such example was tennis star Novak Djokovic's wife, Jelena.
Fast internet and cell service remains particularly important at this time as friends and families have increased their use of calls, video conferencing, and text messages due to social isolation mandates. In addition, many employees rely on fast networks to work remotely while in lockdown.