Ivermectin and celebrating deaths from COVID-19

Folks, we really need to calm down. The anger and bitterness that infests our public discourse about COVID-19 helps no one, and the people who are pushing rational public health policy are failing to convince anyone of their positions.

Back in April of 2020, we were seeing vicious fights on social media over the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. That fight is being repeated with ivermectin and “horse de-wormer” rhetoric and memes. Once again, we need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and actually think logically. The best approach to ivermectin is three simple words: “Trust your doctor.”

If your doctor prescribes ivermectin, trust the person who has been treating you for years and knows you and your health very well. If your doctor thinks it will be ineffective or harmful, and refuses to prescribe it, then trust your doctor and stay away from it. But above all else, do not listen to political actors from Right or Left. Do not take your medical advice from social media or political talking heads.

I do not know anything about the use of ivermectin in humans. I am not going to give medical advice. I have a layman’s knowledge of medicine, but there is much I do not know, so I trust my general practitioner. When it has been necessary, I trust a specialist. That is what everyone should do. Yes, ask questions, but your doctor knows a lot more than you do and has an incentive to help you.

But along with the derision and outright contempt for anyone who expresses any interest in ivermectin, there is an even more disturbing trend: Actually celebrating deaths from COVID-19. Let’s be very clear: If you think dancing on the graves of un-vaccinated people who have died of COVID-19 and cackling that they got what they deserved will convince anyone to get vaccinated, you are completely wrong. You do not care about saving lives. You only care about parading your virtue.

Do you actually want to convince anyone or not? Because insulting people’s intelligence and wishing harm on them will not accomplish that goal. If you are overtly hostile, why would anyone trust your medical advice? Why would anyone think you genuinely want to protect their health?

All of this is very sad. COVID-19 should have been a reason for this nation to come together and work to defeat a common enemy. The fact that it almost immediately became a culture war flashpoint with tens of millions distrusting anything the “other side” says reflects very badly on us as a people. Both the people who are for and against expanded pandemic mitigation restrictions have been guilty, and it is even worse when Christians fight with each other over COVID-19.

We need to remember this: Other people are not out enemy. The virus is the enemy.