During times of high anxiety, not unlike the situation we find ourselves in now, there is a rise in conspiracism. Conspiracy theories provide comfort where there is uncertainty.
As author Michael Shermer points out, history has shown that this way of thinking is sometimes warranted, but not in the case of coronavirus. One factor that has helped recent coronavirus conspiracy theories grow, he says, is the shrinking political middle and an increased polarization to the far left and far right.
“The further out you go in the extreme nature of a conspiracy theory the less likely the theory is to be true,” says Shermer. Actual conspiracies happen on a more localized, more narrowly-focused level.