NA: So his first one was that if you live by the ocean you have the coronavirus automatically because people with corona when you go to the bathroom, when you poo, you pee, wash your hands, take a shower it just goes in the water with it and all that water just gets mixed in with the ocean. Then, it evaporates in the air and then it rains on land by the ocean. So, it is just everything is in the ocean. Um, so basically if you live by the water you have corona.
CA: And where did he her that from?
NA: I don’t know, What’s App videos?
NA is a USC student who comes from a Sindhi Hindu family from India. She grew up in Southern California as an active Hindu going to temple and fasting on Mondays. The information was taken from a casual conversation over zoom with two other friends. We were talking about coronavirus and the conspiracy theories surrounding it when she spontaneous told this story about a conspiracy theory her dad told her about.
It is significant NA was telling the story in a context to emphasis how ridiculous she felt this conspiracy belief was and kind of making fun of the fact that her father believed it. I think it represents the broader frustration many people have towards all the different conspiricies that are coming out of the chaos of coronavirus that seem completely ridiculous and impossible.
On the other hand, for the people seeking out these conspiricies it seems to be a source of perceived control over the virus. Especially, since most of them are founded on scientific claims that sound intuitive and makes you feel like you understand more about the virus and how it spreads. If you know all the people and places that are more likely to get it then it makes you feel more secure in your position. In this example, since NA’s father does not live by the ocean it might make him feel that other people will get the virus instead of him and that the belief is based on “science.”