Monday, May 17, 2021

Some Indians Try Cow Dung for Covid Cure

Every single group of people has some belief systems that are not only not backed up by testable hypotheses and science but also are often flatly contradicted by those processes. It is what it is. 
This is apparently just part of human nature. It doesn't matter whether we're discussing Flat-earthers, white evangelicals who claim that Covid-19 is no worse than the flu, Black people who argue that the vaccines developed to protect against Covid-19 are actually part of a racist population control plan, East Africans who think that albino body parts bring good luck, East Asians who swear that rhino horn cures fevers and impotence, or for that matter Republicans who are convinced that Trump won the 2020 election.
Everyone can believe ridiculous things, regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, etc.
Sometimes a sufficient number of people who accept untrue facts can have a serious deleterious impact on everyone else. As the aphorism attributed to comedian George Carlin goes, "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups!
The problem with Covid-19 is that everyone's safety can be endangered by large numbers of people who refuse to or are unable to engage in best practices.

Doctors in India are warning against the practice of using cow dung in the belief it will ward off COVID-19, saying there is no scientific evidence for its effectiveness and that it risks spreading other diseases.
In the state of Gujarat in western India, some believers have been going to cow shelters once a week to cover their bodies in cow dung and urine in the hope it will boost their immunity against, or help them recover from, the coronavirus.



"We see ... even doctors come here. Their belief is that this therapy improves their immunity and they can go and tend to patients with no fear," said Gautam Manilal Borisa, an associate manager at a pharmaceuticals company, who said the practice helped him recover from COVID-19 last year. 
He has since been a regular at the Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam, a school run by Hindu monks that lies just across the road from the Indian headquarters of Zydus Cadila (CADI.NS), which is developing its own COVID-19 vaccine.
"There is no concrete scientific evidence that cow dung or urine work to boost immunity against COVID-19, it is based entirely on belief," said Dr JA Jayalal, national president at the Indian Medical Association. "There are also health risks involved in smearing or consuming these products - other diseases can spread from the animal to humans." LINK
This sort of behavior, if not the specific belief system, is common during tragedies. The rational part of the brain loses some control. People try to impose an order or pattern on events to protect themselves and make sense from chaos. 
Obviously, as I'm not from the culture/religion, I find this particular example beyond disgusting. But ultimately it's not all that different from American preachers who claim to be able to cure cancer if you send them $25 and your credit card number. Life goes on.
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