A “confidential” document being shared online that seeks to uncover an evil plot at the heart of the world’s search for a coronavirus vaccine doesn’t only distort the truth, it will also add some sick distortion if you plug an electric guitar into it.
That’s because the diagram isn’t for some hi-tech mind control chip being surreptitiously implanted in people lucky enough to get vaccinated against COVID-19: It’s for a popular Boss brand guitar pedal.
Italian programmer Mario Fusco spotted the schematic doing the rounds online.
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“Here in Italy people started to share this figure claiming that this is the diagram of the 5G chip that has been inserted in the COVID vaccine,” Mr Fusco wrote on Twitter last week.
“In reality it is the electric circuit of a guitar pedal and I believe that putting it in the COVID vaccine has been an excellent idea,” he joked.
Online audio publication MusicTech identified the altered schematic as for a reworked Boss Metal Zone pedal, commonly used by guitarists to add effects and distortion to electric audio signals.
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The image appears to have been altered to add the “COVID-19 5G” chip allegation and a reference to “5G frequency” (the actual frequency of 5G differs based on the radio spectrum allocated to providers by the Australian Media and Communications Authority and similar regulators around the world).
Whoever edited the diagram didn’t go as far as removing musical terminology such as bass, treble and volume (which are unrelated to 5G mobile communications technology, the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, and the COVID-19 disease that it causes).
In response many have sought to mock those sharing the phony diagram, a hefty proportion of them through the form of guitar-effect-based puns.
The introduction of 5G coinciding with the onset of a global pandemic has provided fertile ground for conspiracy theorists as people spent more time online due to pandemic isolation and boredom, and despite no evidence linking the two, the theories have persisted.
In some instances they’ve spilt off the internet into what was once known as “the real world”, with occasional protest against and vandalism towards 5G technology and infrastructure.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is yet to approve vaccines Australia has made agreements for, but our vaccination program is expected to begin in March.
Vaccinations from a number of companies including Pfizer and Moderna have begun being administered in the UK and the US, where the coronavirus situation is far more dire than it currently is in Australia.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese has called for the government to bring vaccinations forward, which Prime Minister Scott Morrison has dismissed as “very dangerous”.