By *Jomo Sanga Thomas
(“Plain Talk” Oct. 8, 2021)
“All truths pass through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” — Arthur Schopenhauer
On Sept. 13, I tested positive for the novel coronavirus. I took the test out of an abundance of caution. Although I had a mild temperature, I never lost my sense of taste and smell, never suffered vomiting, diarrhoea, a build-up of mucus or excessive coughing. On Saturday, Sept. 11, I popped the first Ivermectin pill. I am persuaded that that early intervention prevented the development of all the other symptoms associated with the illness. As a preventative, the instructions were to take a pill once per week. After the positive test, I took one pill each day.
Ivermectin works. I can testify to its healing qualities because it worked on me. By Sept. 16, a mere three days after testing positive, all symptoms disappeared and I have been fine since.
The day after my positive test, I announced that I was using Ivermectin. All hell broke loose. The mere mention of the drug brought on scorn and disdain. I was ridiculed for using a “horse tonic” or “dewormer”. Those mouthing this nonsense never stopped to consider they were being swallowed up in a massive whirlpool of misinformation and disinformation that was causing millions of lives worldwide.
My cardinal sin, which condemned me to die, was my refusal to take or advocate for vaccines. I have never opposed vaccines. I question the efficacy and safety of those used to fight COVID-19. Vaccines constitute a crucial ingredient in our medicine chest. But must not be sold as the only tool. I remain vehemently opposed to mandatory mass vaccination. It violates informed consent and assaults the bodily autonomy and integrity of citizens.
Ivermectin has a storied history that goes back decades. It was developed to fight parasites. Millions of people were saved from excruciating pain, blindness and death following its development. The drug is on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) schedule of essential medicines. The Japanese and American doctors who pioneered its use were awarded Nobel prizes for medicine in 2015. It has tested safe in other treatments.
Ivermectin is what the pharmacist or doctor calls a repurposed drug. Developed to treat a particular illness, it is found to be very useful in treating other ailments. The best examples of such repurposed drugs are Viagra and aspirin. Doctors and scientists, who know far more on these matters than I, have said that Ivermectin has potent anti-viral properties. It is very helpful in preventing and curing persons infected with the coronavirus.
Therefore, my decision to use Ivermectin was not made on a whim. It came after extensive reading and research. I became disillusioned that from the declaration of the pandemic, no one in the mainstream spoke of treatment. Citizens were simply told to social distance, sanitise their hands and wear a mask, go home and count your blessings.
Many doctors, scientists and virologists bemoaned this reality and maintained that the infection is treatable and need not be a death sentence. They claimed that a strict regimen of exercise coupled with high doses of vitamins C and D, zinc, fluids to avoid dehydration, and sunlight could determine whether you get seriously ill, die or recover. Most of these doctors spoke approvingly of Ivermectin. One doctor jokingly said many of the persons bad talking Ivermectin could neither pronounce nor spell the word. Doctors who disapproved of it never used it and witnessed its healing properties.
Before nightfall on the day of my positive test, news of my infection had travelled far and wide. For dark, vindictive, evil purposes, some celebrated the news as one who had won the American PowerBall Mega Millions lottery. Someone whom I embraced as a friend and confidante for decades is alleged to have said, “Ah whar the f*ck*r ded.”
Some of that flock even fostered the sickening thought that I knew I had COVID-19 and deliberately commingle with demonstrators protesting the government’s move to enforce mandatory vaccination to infect and jeopardise their health and life. The posse wanted me charged and tried for murder.
Further scorn was poured on because the Teachers’ Union and the Public Workers Union retained our law firm as counsel. We were declared strategists and tacticians of the unions even though our roles are limited to offering legal advice.
That’s how vile our discourse has become. Significantly, none attached to the cabal of power offered well wishes to a former Speaker of the House. None publicly signalled that this abuse had gone too far. For them, it was fair Game.
Generally, though, support for me and my health difficulties were overflowing and heart-warming. Many well-wishers called to check on me. Others asked whether I needed anything. Since my return to work, the expressions of support have been overwhelmingly touching. Vincentians are a magnificent people.
The knowledge of my positive status was concerning but not frightening. I had for years taken good care of myself. I prepared mentally and physically to fight whatever attacked me. For the first 24 hours, I was anxious but never fearful. A few weeks earlier, Dr. Dennie and his daughter listed me as a major anti-vaxxer who displayed ignorance of science that could endanger the lives of citizens.
Therefore, my anxiety was primarily because I did not want to offer the vaxxing crusade a propaganda bonanza. Had something untoward happened to me, they would have used me as exhibit A to prove that there must be no questioning of the official narrative during an emergency. Very early, I was ridiculed for saying that COVID-19 was not an existential threat.
The fight against the coronavirus is far from over, but we cannot succumb to the mantra of doom and gloom. I am one of almost 250 million persons who tested positive. Of these persons, 4.8 million died from or with COVID-19. The vast majority of persons who were infected with the virus survived. I am one of them.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Contrary to what we may see, hear or believe, both the infectious rate and the death rate from COVID-19 is trending downwards. Johns Hopkins University public health tracker found that worldwide over the last 56 days, 4,027 daily deaths and 294,003 new infections.
No death or infections are to be sneered at. Everything must be placed in context. Light is always better than darkness and heat.
*Jomo Sanga Thomas is a lawyer, journalist, social commentator and a former Speaker of the House of Assembly in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
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