By now you’ve probably heard about people using Ivermectin, which is commonly used to prevent heartworms in animals and treat certain parasites. A human, FDA-approved, version of Ivermectin has been used to treat conditions caused by parasitic worms.

But the one thing the drug has never been used for is to treat COVID-19.

Until last week, I hadn’t known anyone who had sought this drug out for COVID, but now that I do it has helped me understand a little bit about why people are reacting the way they are to the pandemic and remedies and safety measures available.

Just in case some people would confuse my empathy for someone who decided to use Ivermectin for COVID as an endorsement for Ivermectin, allow me to reiterate, Ivermectin is not a treatment, cure, or preventive medication for COVID-19.

Please, get the vaccine if you’re worried about catching COVID-19. See your doctor and get treated with approved medications if you catch COVID-19. But whatever you do, don’t try to treat it on your own using Google.

And to drive that point home, here’s what the FDA said about Ivermectin:

“The FDA has not authorized or approved ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 in people or animals. Ivermectin has not been shown to be safe or effective for these indications.

“There’s a lot of misinformation around, and you may have heard that it’s okay to take large doses of ivermectin. It is not okay.

“Even the levels of Ivermectin for approved human uses can interact with other medications, like blood-thinners. You can also overdose on ivermectin, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension (low blood pressure), allergic reactions (itching and hives), dizziness, ataxia (problems with balance), seizures, coma and even death.”

Also, human Ivermectin is radically different from animal Ivermectin.

“For one thing, animal drugs are often highly concentrated because they are used for large animals like horses and cows, which weigh a lot more than we do – a ton or more. Such high doses can be highly toxic in humans,” the FDA said on its website fda.gov.

Now that the 300-word disclosure is out of the way, let me share some of the insights I learned by evaluating how this person, let’s call them subject A, has handled the pandemic.

Subject A had performed their own research, found several YouTube videos that supported what they already thought and then decided that they were in fact right, while the rest of the population was being duped by the FDA and medical community.

It reminded me of a cartoon I saw that had a man sitting at a computer and the caption read something like “Honey, I’ve managed to find what all of the scientists and doctors who have dedicated their lives to studying and combating diseases missed, and it only took me 15 minutes.”

If you asked Subject A to lay out their evidence and research you could easily identify most of the known logical fallacies. And knowing what logical fallacies are and how they’re used is great but it doesn’t answer the question of why people fall into the trap of using them.

In order to answer that question, you have to look past someone’s arguments and dig down to the root of their actions.

That’s when it clicked for me.

For this person, and I’d bet a lot of other people, it all boiled down to having control in a situation where we in fact have very little control.

There are very few things that I have control over in my life. Then you have all of the stuff that I think I have control over, but don’t. And, then you have all of the things that I actually have no control over.

For me, COVID probably falls in the second category. I do things like wear masks and get the vaccine, which lets me think I might have a little control over the situation, but I don’t.

The thing is that the same urge to exercise some control over my life during the pandemic is the same as the motivation that sent this person down the rabbit hole of YouTube and Google searches.

It’s common ground like that, which will get us out of this mess.

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