The Underground of Ivermectin: 

You hear about this “alternative,” drug that has been touted as “life-changing,” and your conscious mind immediately dismisses it although remnants of what this medication is all about, clings to the walls of your psyche. 

Let’s be frank, every pharmaceutical company boasts about “the wonder drug,” the one that will heal all the sick as if Jesus himself had placed his hand upon the creation of it. We have seen how people responded to Viagra; for men, it was as if they were granted a reprieve from living their lives in sexual limbo. 

The same can be said about Ivermectin. Due to the fear-mongering and the emphasis on becoming vaccinated, you know deep down that should you contract Covid19, your chances of survival is slim, even more slim if you have comorbidities. 

Words such as death, pandemic, hospital, oxygen, ventilator, are what swirls in your mind round and round, like a hamster on a wheel, and all the swirling does is create more stress and anxiety which isn’t conducive to healthy living. 

You eagerly await the Presidents speeches and hope and pray he talks about the vaccine instead of the economy. What good is an economy when there are no people to keep it going? 

Meanwhile, the headlines are filled with stories about hospitals being unable to cope with the amount of positive Covid19 cases, faulty equipment, lack of beds, and oxygen. Stories about corruption, vaccination, lockdown, and deaths all seem to occupy the front page of newspapers and on social media, the grief from people who have lost their loved ones is palpable. 

You pray, you sanitize, you wear a mask in a vain and valiant effort not to be a statistic for having succumbed to the virus. You know death will be painful as will the long road to recovery and healthcare workers are most vulnerable because they work with the patients who have the disease. 

One day you look through a group on Facebook called Sahari, who advocates for the rollout and use of Ivermectin for Covid19 in South Africa. Your eyes skim over words like, “getting better,” “survived,” “not on a ventilator,” and you stop, and like a 1950’s movie reel, you rewind; you go to the very beginning and start to read. 

You read articles, watch videos, hear interviews about this “wonder drug,” and along with hope springing inside you, there is growing outrage; outrage that the government and pharmaceutical bodies are against the use of Ivermectin for humans, particularly in the fight against Covid19. 

Your outrage, coupled with the fear of not surviving should you contract the virus, is heightened by your economic status. Due to the highly suspicious and questionable banning of Ivermectin in late 2020, the black market has flourished with opportunistic so-called business people, who much like during prohibition, seized the opportunity to inflate the prices of this medication, effectively placing it further out of reach from the ordinary citizen. In other words, you are “waiting,” in line like dominoes, all ready to fall and die; one after the other. 

Still, you hope that you could be saved if only the odds weren’t so stacked against you. You feel alone, fearful and resigned to your fate and that of your family. As you go “deeper,” into the group on social media platforms, the weight begins to “lift” from your shoulders. Not only do you find like-minded people but health professionals, journalists, activists and business owners, who advocate for nothing more than the right for you to make informed choices about your health. It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Adults being rendered powerless by a Government, statutory bodies and pharmaceutical companies! 

A Government that considers you old enough to vote on how the country is run and by whom, to be employed and become independent, to have a family, to decide which religion to follow, to apply for credit, to pay your taxes, to legally consume alcohol and cannabis, but not to be able to decide which medication to use to survive during this pandemic.

There must surely be a bigger picture, and as you venture “down the rabbit hole,” the picture becomes clearer- stark in its ugly reality and plays out like a Hollywood blockbuster thriller. 

There are the “bad guys,” aka the 3 mentioned above, the countless victims of crime that have fallen prey to the “criminals-” banning the use of ivermectin is a crime against humanity. Then, like knights in shining armour, modern-day King Arthurs, are the angels who, on an average day, we don’t get to see or hear about. Those that have given their time, (countless hours), their skills and expertise, their finances, energy, and their influence, to advocate for the use of Ivermectin. They do this not for recognition but because its the right thing to do. Because there is supposed to be a Batho Pele principle attached to the services rendered to South African citizens- a “people first, we belong, we serve, we care,” service that has been written into our Constitution. 

Unfortunately, the only ones adhering to this are the heroes in our story, people who don’t agree with injustices, unequal treatment or lack of basic services and advocate for a better life for all of us. 

The quiet, efficient manner in which they deliver advice, support, information, etc, is reminiscent of The Underground Railroad started by people like Harriet Tubman, to free slaves in the USA. 

The system worked because they put people first, their rights and the right to freedom. They have created an “underground” network where everyone has joined hands in fighting for the basic right to make informed decisions about which medication to use. 

These “angels,” have given hope to thousands of people, not false hope (as Government did during lockdown) but a hope that has made your spirit a bit lighter and your smile brighter because finally, we all have a chance to get out of this dark place, away from the path that inevitably led to our demise because of greed and corruption. 

Tonight, we can lift our hands in praise and give thanks to those angels who walk among us, often at great cost to themselves, and while Government and SAHPRA (South African Health Products Regulatory Authority), ban the use of Ivermectin, try and arrest people for using it, or doctors for prescribing it, and make health professionals jump through hoops to gain legal access of it, and propaganda has intensified about the “serious side effects,” of the medication, the underground of Ivermectin is being strengthened by people who are tired of being labelled conspiracy theorists when all they want is to save lives. 

“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” 

– Aesop