The science is in, so that is definitely that. Ivermectin is a really effective paracitecide; I immediately wondered how that might translate into an anti-viral – but the answer is, “it doesn’t.” Like the Hydryoxychloroquine, it sounds like it was probably something some quack pulled out of their ass and decided to promote.
I have a couple bottles of the stuff down on the shelf in my horse-barn. It’s good for bot-fly infestations, which can be a serious problem for your horses. Small doses are good for clearing your dogs of heartworms, so everyone got a little bit of ivermectin paste every year around the holidays. It’s generally a good idea when you have deer wandering about pooping indiscriminately, horses wandering about pooping indiscriminately, and dogs that cheerfully eat whatever they find of either. When people started talking about Ivermectin for COVID-19, I did not run and glub down some of my precious supply of the stuff, don’t worry.
Meanwhile COVID-“truther” conspiracy theorists have been buying the stuff off of amazon.com and leaving weird reviews: [beast]
Not to be deterred, COVID truther types have been buying up ivermectin like hotcakes and it’s so scarce now that many have turned to a version of the drug used by veterinarians on horses, sheep, and even parrots. (In its animal form, it comes as a horse paste or as a jug of liquid sheep “drench.” Yum.)
Of course, all sorts of former hydroxy grifters, hoaxsters, and false prophets have now glommed onto ivermectin, including the aforementioned Demon Sperm Doc. There are Facebook groups where people disturbingly try to figure out how to dose a person rather than an equine. And, in the darkest twist, Amazon’s recommendation engine for ivermectin is recommending you also buy a pulse oximeter, just in case the horse paste doesn’t turn out to be as bulletproof as a vaccine. So, in conclusion, 2021: just as crazy as 2020.
That sort of behavior leads me to conclude that the conspiracy theorists do not actually believe what they claim to believe – that there’s no real COVID-19 or that the vaccine is no good. If there was no COVID-19, why would they be bothering with Ivermectin? There’s no COVID-19, right? Alternately, if the real vaccine is dangerous and untested (I have heard both arguments) then why take something else that is potentially dangerous because it is untested for that purpose? I can calculate the dosage of Ivermectin that is safe for a dog or a horse, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe for a human nor do I know what a safe dosage would be, if there were one. [Disclaimer: I have eaten horse ivermectin, calculation based on body mass, because my area of Pennsylvania was having a heartworm outbreak and at the time I kept livestock].
I know it’s going out of style to point out that anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists are promoting bullshit, but I feel it’s everyone sensible’s duty to periodically point out the bullshit – the media, the guardians of the public forum, are not doing that, and it used to be their job.