Illustration for article titled SNLs Michael Che Loses Grandmother to COVID-19
Photo: Dia Dipasupil (Getty Images)

Saturday Night Live head writer and “Weekend Update” anchor Michael Che took to Instagram to disclose that his grandmother lost her battle with COVID-19. In a two-slide post uploaded on Monday, the comedian wrote that he’s still trying to grapple with his devastating loss.

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“I’m obviously very hurt and angry that she had to go through all that pain alone. But I’m also happy that she’s not in pain anymore,” he wrote. “I also feel guilty for feeling happy. Basically the whole gamut of complex feelings everybody else has for losing someone very close and special.”

Due to social distancing restrictions, there is a chance that Che’s family was unable to see his grandmother in her final days. Reports say that since COVID-19 victims are isolated in recovery, Che’s grandmother potentially died alone.

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While he’s not entirely sure, Che blames her death on “5G poisoning,” a reference to the conspiracy that the illness is caused by 5G radio frequencies on devices like our phones, which is believed to depress our immune systems and makes us more susceptible to diseases. While there are several theories floating around, the most widely-believed cause of this particular strain of the coronavirus is said to come from bats (and potentially pangolins).

“I actually believe [COVID-19] is 5G poisoning, and not because I’ve done any research on this, or even understand what 5G really is,” he wrote. “I just refuse to believe that I lost my sweet, beautiful grandma, all because some nigga ate a bat one time. I’m sorry.”

Singer Keri Hilson and rapper YG are two celebrities who are attempting to spread the 5G conspiracy. The “Pretty Girl Rock” singer wrote on Twitter, “People have been trying to warn us about 5G for YEARS. Petitions, organizations, studies…what we’re going thru is the [effects] of radiation,” while the California emcee posted “They telling us stay in the house kuz they don’t want us to see all them new 5G towers they putting up….. – stay woke.” Hilson’s posts have since been deleted at the request of her management.

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Updated: Tuesday, 4/7/20 at 1:53 p.m., ET: While we’re not entirely certain if Che is being facetious about his thoughts on 5G being the root of COVID-19, given the buzz surrounding this particular theory, it’s important to note that it has been debunked.

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Per a recent study from the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, the world operates on various 5G signals, with the two basic types being “sub-6 GHz” and “millimeter wave.” Sub-6 GHz waves have been used for a number of years all over the world and within various applications such as microwaves and cell towers with little to no impact. If something were to happen to us as a result of our use of these signals, it would have happened quite a while ago. The CDC additionally reports that research on the long-term effects of non-ionizing radiation on human health does not provide any clarity as of now.

Music and culture journalist. Pronounced "Jay-nuh."

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