A video showing a woman’s bizarre conspiracy theory about the hidden code contained in the phrase “COVID-19” has gone viral.
The pair regularly interview members of the public to get their views on controversial topics. In this instance, they were interviewing protestors who are part of the Trucker Convoy now in Washington.
The Twitter video has over 1 million views and the woman has been widely mocked by viewers in the comment section.
She insisted that COVID-19 was a coded message for “see sheep surrender,” a conspiracy theory that was already debunked by a Reuters fact-check report in 2020.
“When it came out it was ‘corona’ right?” the woman said.
“Corona is six letters, when you use gematria and say A is 1, B is 2, C is 3 and you put Corona lined up is 6-6. So that is 6-6-6.
“But we found that out, so they’re saying the right-wing crazies found it out, so they changed it to COVID-19.”
“Corona” was not the official name given to COVID-19, but rather a shortening of “coronavirus,” a group of related RNA viruses.
The Reuters fact-check report also explained how the term COVID-19 came into use during the pandemic.
“The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) gives viruses their names according to their genetic structure and for the benefit of scientific research,” the report said.
“It named the virus responsible for COVID-19 as SARS-CV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) on February 11, 2020, due to its genetic relation to SARS.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also explained the adoption of the name.
“The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona’, ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease,” the CDC said, as quoted by Reuters.
The woman in the video continued to explain her beliefs regarding the word COVID-19.
“[COVID-19] Which is ‘C’, what is this see?” the woman said while gesturing to use your eyes.
“‘Ovid’… look it up. Ovid means sheep.
“’19’, military code for surrender, see sheep surrender.”
The Reuters fact check was in reference to a similar conspiracy theory, except this conspiracy argued that the number 19 meant surrender in ancient times.
The word “ovid” does not mean sheep. In Latin, the word for sheep is “ovis.”
Ovid more often refers to a Roman poet by the name of Pūblius Ovidius Nāsō who lived during the reign of Augustus.
Regarding 19, it is not clear which military codes the woman is referring to.
The Reuters fact-check examined the symbology behind the number 19 and its use throughout history.
“According to the Encyclopedia Britannica’s entry on number symbology, the number 19 was considered unlucky for ancient Babylonians, while in Islamic numerology, the number could be considered ‘an important name for God’,” the report said.
“No search results that point to the number’s significance cite historical evidence to demonstrate that it was indeed considered the “number of surrender” by any ancient civilization.”
The fact check concluded that the conspiracy theory was false and that COVID-19 did not mean “see sheep surrender” but rather “coronavirus disease 2019.”
Newsweek has contacted The Good Liars for comment and more information.
Update 03/15/22, 9:15 a.m. ET: This article was updated to add a new picture.