Impracticality turning to stupidity

by Jose Ma. Montelibano

“Stupid Computer!!!” | Photo by f1uffster (Jeanie) via Flickr/Creative Commons

This is not easy to write. It is not easy to remain positive and always see the sun behind the gloomy clouds or see the sunlight while having a nightmare in the dark. Still, I will do my best in keeping, at the very least, civility in my hearts and my thoughts.

The word, stupidity, as I use it, is not meant to be insulting but simply descriptive. It is not my term; it is a noun of the English language. Stupidity means “behavior that shows a lack of good sense or judgement.”

There are many ways to define stupidity, but they are, of course, quite like one another. And they mean the same thing. When I say stupidity, which is also commonly defined as a state of being stupid, it is not to insult or demean a person.

The title I used, Impracticality can turn to stupidity, is the most apt yet respectful as I could go. Other wordsmiths can do better, I am sure. In my case, this is it, that impracticality can turn to stupidity.

There are many impractical things that we do in life. Yet, I am reluctant to call each impracticality we are guilty of as stupidity. In my mind, impracticality turns into stupidity when it is imposed on others. There is a big difference between one’s impracticality and that same impracticality imposed by its owner to others. The term “imposed” is critical, meaning it is done on us without our permission or acceptance.

“The title I used, Impracticality can turn to stupidity, is the most apt yet respectful as I could go. Other wordsmiths can do better, I am sure.”

Let us go to a heated controversy now – Ivermectin. To bring many to speed, may I quote this definition: Ivermectin is a medication used to treat many types of parasite infestations. In humans, this includes head lice, scabies, river blindness, strongyloidiasis, trichuriasis, ascariasis, and lymphatic filariasis. And it has uses for animals, too.

By the grace of God for those who do not believe in coincidences, or by sheep luck for those who do, there is a growing number of people and countries who swear by the efficacy of Ivermectin as protection against, and a cure for, Covid-19. This is not its original intent, just as Viagra was originally intended to be a heart medicine, not for erectile dysfunction. But if it possibly works, then we are grateful.

There is a raging technical debate about the safety and efficacy of Ivermectin when used against Covid-19. The safety record of Ivermectin would embarrass most chemical medicines or drugs, and that is over 40 years of use. How effective Ivermectin is, though, is questionable, not in its potential but its consistency. There are volumes of testimonials from those who have used it or have been treated with it, testimonials from doctors and patients. If we cannot call all of them liars, then we must assume that they told their truths as they experienced them.

“Since medicine is a game of benefits versus harm, anti-Ivermectin authorities and doctors hype the POSSIBLE harmful effects without saying that 40 years of medicine has not had any significant or noticeable harmful consequences for the millions who have used them – human beings and animals.”

On the other hand, there is some sleight of hand going on that is being used by some medical authorities in describing the harmful effects of Ivermectin. Everything that I have read from the anti-Ivermectin officials says that it MAY be harmful. That is all they can say because 40 years of safe use is not easy to debunk or dismiss. I have been taking chemical medicines for various ailments, from common colds to diabetes, for several decades. Practically all of them had warnings in fine print that they MAY be harmful under certain conditions.

Since medicine is a game of benefits versus harm, anti-Ivermectin authorities and doctors hype the POSSIBLE harmful effects without saying that 40 years of medicine has not had any significant or noticeable harmful consequences for the millions who have used them – human beings and animals. All the vaccines against Covid-19 that we are waiting for cannot claim the same safety levels of Ivermectin, not until 40 years later.

So it boils down to the benefits side of Ivermectin. The fact is that there are testimonials, the number of which have been too many to keep count of because nobody tried to count them in the first place. But even here in the Philippines, aside from the countries that have authorized its use against Covid-19 as prophylaxis or treatment, there is a growing number of grateful patients and a much bigger number of believers.

Why are there so many believers when Ivermectin remains largely unknown to most Filipinos? One simple reason. Ivermectin offers hope. The DOH does not offer hope. The doctors who speak against Ivermectin do not offer hope. Maybe even the whole government cannot offer hope as Ivermectin can if word gets around to ordinary and poor Filipinos who cannot afford any preventive medical alternative approved by DOH.

In other words, DOH and its blind adherents cannot measure the fear and helplessness of Filipinos. They are sensitive only to themselves and their libraries of knowledge.

Impractical. DOH-approved medicines to prevent or cure Covid-19. Impose that impracticality and something worse than Covid-19 arises – stupidity.

Stupidity extends elsewhere, direct to the most recommended advice of DOH when impracticality sets in – the wearing of masks. Of the tens of millions of Filipinos wearing masks, how many are wearing masks that work against the spread of Covid-19? Are not masks disposable? Is DOH monitoring disposal cycles? Is DOH monitoring the required replacements of masks that work? My God, is DOH from another country?

“Of the tens of millions of Filipinos wearing masks, how many are wearing masks that work against the spread of Covid-19? Are not masks disposable? Is DOH monitoring disposal cycles?”

Filipinos wear masks to protect themselves even when their masks cannot protect them anymore, even when the necessary protocol about what kind of masks and their replacement cycles is massively violated. DOH denies one practical, affordable hope that Filipinos can afford to cling to. Yet, DOH turns a blind eye to an army of asymptomatic carriers with ineffective masks to spread Covid-19.

DOH should seek the advice of PCSO and ask why Filipinos with hardly any chance of winning keep buying Lotto tickets. Because they can afford it. For their dreams, hope. For their fears, maybe Ivermectin.

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