Alternative medicine

Alternative medicine, science and Covid-19

Columnists

Alternative medicine, science and Covid-19


bitangendemo-ima

Summary

  • Almost two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, the world is still in mental confusion.
  • The pandemic has claimed so many lives, but no country has suffered economic and social upheaval.
  • The discovery of vaccines has raised hopes that by 2021 everyone will be vaccinated.
  • But, unfortunately, hopes were dashed, with a significant number of people refusing to be vaccinated.

Almost two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, the world is still in mental confusion. The pandemic has claimed so many lives, but no country has suffered economic and social upheaval.

The discovery of vaccines has raised hopes that by 2021 everyone will be vaccinated. But, unfortunately, hopes were dashed, with a significant number of people refusing to be vaccinated.

As we usher in 2022, there seems to be more confusion. There are new variants of Covid-19 that have infected both vaccinated and unvaccinated.

And what’s more worrying is that the scientists aren’t reading the same script either. They can’t even explain why vaccines are ineffective even when boosted.

When Omicron appeared in South Africa, northern policymakers rushed to close their borders only to find the new variant was dominant in their country. Yet they were unaware of this until scientists in South Africa discovered it.

Northern scientists almost immediately disputed Omicron’s findings in South Africa until several other studies confirmed the findings.

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has added more confusion by saying that the PCR test cannot tell the difference between SARS/Cov-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19) and viruses from influenza. So, effectively, it is not known whether Omicron is a new variant or a new flu.

Meanwhile, the mental exhaustion of masking is evident everywhere. Some people mistakenly believe that once fully vaccinated, they have built up enough antibodies to fight on their behalf. Others do not recognize that we are in a serious pandemic.

In the midst of all this confusion, people are developing different approaches to overcoming the crisis.

Despite all these approaches, we have yet to address the impact of Omicron in the lives of many people.

I discovered this when Omicron infected me over Christmas when I was fully vaccinated and had a booster shot. Friends were offering concoctions.

I was particularly intrigued by a local herb registered as a dietary supplement and a similar one from India. So, with my temperature going up to 45 degrees Celsius and oxygen levels dropping below 90s, I decided to take the “dietary supplement”. It worked like magic.

I was well aware that this particular drug had helped many people recover from the original Cov-2 virus.

These alternative medicines, which Western scientists avoid and are referred to as Traditional and Complementary Therapies (T&CT), saved my life.

Indeed, these are extracts of medicinal plants, whose role in health care has never been recognized by traditional health systems. Yet they seem to be working as the world faces medical confusion. A large and growing population has confidence in these drugs, but this fuels further confusion.

We have seen this play out in recent vaccine developments that have become the fiasco of vaccine nationalism. Some of these herbal medicines have been used to treat viral diseases in Africa in the past and today.

The Ebola epidemic, for example, did not end with a new vaccine but rather with the continued use of T&CT. Africa can provide contextual evidence on some of these solutions, or forever the continent becomes a slave to big pharma.

Suppose there was a time when researchers in Africa needed political support to take the continent to another level. If so, now is when their contextual knowledge is required in global conversations about the pandemic. There is confusion in the world of science. Many unanswered questions require answers, especially from local scientists.

The least that can be done is to scientifically explain an emerging phenomenon that puzzles researchers. This might unravel the confusion we currently find ourselves in.