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Shannon Rose, left, joined other demonstrators calling for Gov. Gavin Newsom to end the stay-at-home orders during a protest at the state capitol in Sacramento, Calif., on May 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

The existential threat we’re facing right now might explain the proliferation of conspiracy theories, extreme political ideologies and #Reopen protests.

People defy government shelter-in-place orders and pandemic-related hygiene practices in response to the terror posed by the risk of death.

Read more: What are the ‘reopen’ protesters really saying?

I research new religious movements and study relationships between death and technology. While it is only one answer among many, anxiety about death can offer some insight into the growing coronavirus culture wars.

Conspiracy theories as risk management

Social psychologist Sheldon Solomon argues that people employ risk management strategies to mitigate the terror of human finitude

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FOX News host Sean Hannity (pictured here in 2018) gave credibility to a tweet he read out lout on his popular syndicated radio show, which called COVID-19 a fraud “to spread panic in the populace, manipulate the economy and suppress dissent.” AP/Julie Jacobson

As the world continues to deal with the life-altering effects of the novel coronavirus, a small but not-insignificant number of individuals have been expressing their fears about COVID-19 through the language of government conspiracies and wild alternative health cures.

Last week, one online conspiracy network suggested that COVID-19 is an act of biological terrorism to attack Chinese trade. Last month, a popular online site said the virus was a hoax manufactured to induce global fear and would therefore be a boon to Big Pharma. …

Lightning struck and I counted: “one, two, three, four…” BANG! — Four Tree Planters in Northern Canada are struck by lightning and live to tell about it

The day started out in the Stum like every other day in the Stum: rainy, cold, and miserable. In fact, the only way we would have felt any sense of impending doom would have been if it had been a nice and sunny day. But it wasn’t and so we didn’t. The Stum is the name given to an area of forest around Prince George, British Columbia, and as my friend Andrew had said, it is an area just about as lovely as it’s name.

Our 10 pack of Tree Planters had been working some muddy trenches for a few…

There is a tree planting dictum that states: “the cook is your best friend“. What happens when the cook turns out to be a psychopath and you end up on his bad side? Thomas: The Cook From Hell

Part One – Thomas the Cook:

There is a tree planting dictum that states: “the cook is your best friend“. This is more so true when one has dietary concerns. Being friendly with your camp cook can mean larger portions, faster seconds and a willingness to make you delicious vegan food. A cooks job is not an easy one: up at 4am, short nap in the afternoon and…

Jeremy Cohen

A Graduate student in Religious Studies, Jeremy studies technology, futurism, conspiracies, and modern death practices.

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