Since 5G antennas were installed near their home in the heart of Geneva, these residents of the same area suffer from various health problems. Are they victims of a technology whose dangers were not sufficiently tested? A doctor and member of parliament speaks out.
Gathered in the apartment of one of the two, on the fifth floor of a building in the centre of Geneva, these residents of the same area look at each other. What they have in common is insomnia, tinnitus, headaches. And a lot of unanswered questions. The youngest, Johan Perruchoud, 29, has lived there for 11 years and is not the type to cultivate any sort of hatred of invasive technology. He is a healthy young man, active and positive, who has just returned from four years in New York and makes finely crafted videos and films for the media or for individuals, often working in his room with his computer.
“Like in a microwave oven”
For him and for his neighbour it all started in April.
“I’ve never had a problem with Wi- Fi or any of that and never had problems sleeping – and then suddenly I had trouble falling asleep. In particular at home I felt – how can I put it? – like I was in a microwave. I didn’t feel good in the house, as if I was surrounded by ghosts.”
When he looked on Facebook and on the website of the Confederation, he saw that three 5G antennas had been put into service nearby and that other people were complaining of identical problems, headaches, tiredness.
“Was it psychological? I don’t know. But for the first time, although I have never had earaches while composing my music, my ears started whistling. It woke me up at night. All of this was unusual.”
He was assailed by the unpleasant sensation of being used, caught up in something not of his own making. So he called Swisscom. Scarcely ten minutes after he had filled out the basic form, a representative called him back sounding all empathetic.
“He was immediately on the defensive. He explained to me that tests had taken place and that everything was fine. At the end, for form’s sake, he wished me a good recovery.”
Today, Johan is a little better, although his sinuses have been blocked for the past two months; an infection he has never experienced before.
Elidan Arzoni, 50, on the Rue de Coutance, in Geneva.
“When they installed 5G, I felt bad from one day to the next.”
The solution: move home?
His neighbour Elidan Arzoni, 50, is not doing any better. On the same day, the actor, stage director and director of the Metamorphosis Company started having the same symptoms, but more acutely.
“It happened overnight”, he says, “My ears started to make very loud sounds, whereas at the time I didn’t even know what tinnitus was.”
At the same time he felt pains on the left side and at the back of his skull. And such violent discomfort in his heart that he thought he was having a heart attack and went to the hospital emergency room two days later. There, after a few tests, he was reassured to be told that he had a “sportsman’s heart”. When he raised the issue of the presence of the antennas, the nurse replied that nobody was trained to provide information on the potential effects of those transmitters. “The only advice I was given was to move. …” To him, there is no doubt: the arrival of the antennas was the cause of his ills. “It is a no-brainer. Even Swisscom confirmed it in terms of the timing. And I’m in very good health, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I never go to the doctor.” He states that his wife and children of 9, 16 and 21 are also newly suffering from insomnia.
More vocal than Johan, the actor does not hide his concern. He wrote to the President of the State Council, Antonio Hodgers (The Greens), and simply got told that everything was legal with this new technology. Dissatisfied, he does not hide his feelings:
“How can we forget that the Confederation is the majority shareholder of Swisscom? As soon as you come up against the financial interests of these people, they go into total denial. Nobody is interested in the citizens. Even the forthcoming report (Ed.: scheduled for the summer of 2019 and produced by a working group in collaboration with the Federal Office for Communication, it was just postponed until the end of the year) will not address the aspect of health. If cases of leukaemia or brain cancers start mounting up, it will take years for them to be confirmed.”
Out of the question to live under an antenna
Since then, he’s coped with his earaches, “but it’s unliveable, it’s very strong”. On Facebook, where he talks openly about his situation, he has to deal with attacks and accept being treated as backward. That said, there is no question of his moving home:
“Why should I leave my home when I’m a citizen of Geneva and I pay my taxes here? That would be totally undemocratic. And where would I go anyway, given that there will soon be antennas everywhere? Right now, I feel like an undesirable. I don’t know where to flee. My work and my children are here.”
Equally disturbing: when he goes to neighbouring France, his pains subside. They come back as soon as he returns to the city. Installed rapidly in Switzerland, 5G antennas raise the issue of the health consequences of electrosmog….