There are a lot of conspiracy theories going around about Covid-19. We've seen people claim there was a patent filed for the coronavirus in 2015 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, snorting cocaine can prevent it, drinking silver or injecting disinfectant can cure it, and the virus came from space on an asteroid. Spoiler alert, no the coronavirus did not come from space.
One of the most pervasive and dangerous conspiracy theories related to the pandemic though has been the idea that 5G causes or spreads the virus. This is like saying Wi-Fi causes gonorrhea or radio waves cause bruising. There is, of course, no basis for it, but that hasn't stopped people from launching arson attacks on phone towers and abusing telecommunication workers, in extreme cases purposely trying to infect engineers with Covid-19, an act charged as a "terror threat" in the US.
Now, a company is offering a solution to this non-existent threat. For just a few hundreds of dollars, you can get protection in the form of a USB stick with a sticker on it. The company, 5GBioShield, has revealed its "first to market full-spectrum protection" system for "remediation against all harmful radiation, electro-smog, and biohazard pollution", also known as a data stick that's a bit shiny.
The product, which purports to project a wearable holographic layer once plugged into a phone or other radiation/electrical-emitting device, "restores the coherence of the geometry of the atoms, which allows a perfect induction for life forces, by (re-) creating a cardiac coherence, via plasmic support and interactivity". If that word soup doesn't wow you, the company also promises "the 5GBioShield USB Key with the nano-layer is a quantum holographic catalyzer technology for the balance and harmonization of the harmful effects of imbalanced electric radiation," adding "The nano-layer operating diameter is either 8 or 40 meters."
Nice. No need to shop around, you won't find any nano-layer operating diameter bigger than that.
The device, being sold at a cool £283 ($346) for one or £795 ($973) for three, is apparently the result of research of "several decades in multiple countries". 1G was first introduced on January 1, 1985, so it's impressive they have the foresight to conduct research on how to combat 5G way back then, but lack the due diligence to link to that research on their website.
If you're wondering what this awesome 5G protection looks like visually, it looks like your house is under the bubble from The Simpsons Movie or the force field in Doctor Who (or Under the Dome or The Truman Show, it's not an original idea).
It's obviously a scam to get worried people to part with money they should be spending on things like anti-tiger rocks to keep the tigers away. However, people who should know better have been recommending it, like Glastonbury Town Council, southwest England, in its 5G Advisory Committee Executive Summary.
Pen Test Partners – a British company that tests security devices – decided to take a look at the device. It turned out the USB stick didn't even have much memory on it, just 128mb, which they were surprised were still being made at all.
When they took it apart to look for that much-hyped “quantum holographic catalyzer technology” they found a sticker.
"Now we cannot say this sticker does not have additional functionality unused anywhere else in the world," they write in their review, "but we are confident you can make up your own mind on that."
To be thorough, they checked and found that there was no electrical connection between the USB and the sticker.
"In our opinion, the 5G Bioshield is nothing more than a £5 USB key with a sticker on it," they concluded. "Whether or not the sticker provides £300 pounds worth of quantum holographic catalyzer technology we’ll leave you to decide."
Anyone who decides that it's worthy of their money, please send your wallet to me, the wallet inspector.