Lifting Masks = Back to Getting Down With The Sickness

Phoenixmgs

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This fundamentally reveals the chronic incoherence of your arguments. Doctors should be able to doctor! Those goddamn doctors caused havoc when they were left to doctor! The only difference, it appears, is whether you favour the treatment based on whichever YouTube vids you've been watching. It is certainly true that US doctors wildly overprescribed opioids. We surely all agree that was a bad thing. This should therefore act as a warning about doctors handing out drugs without due care and attention, not a justification that because they did it once, they may as well do it again for a drug you happen to like.

The other factor you miss here is that one of the big differences between opioids (for analgesia) and ivermectin (for covid) is that opioids have a truly magnificent evidence base - going back centuries, no less - to demonstrate that they work. Despite the harm caused, no-one can doubt that they had a therapeutic value for the relevant problem.
Uhh... remdesivir has been shown to not work. When ivermectin is shown to not work, then I'd agree, it shouldn't be given. Why is a drug that's been shown not to work still given to this day? Here's a study that says ivermectin didn't do much, but it lowered the duration of the hospital stay. Sounds very very very similar to remdesivir, but it won't cost you thousands of $$$ at least. One drug is still being given quite a lot while another drug has been demonized as horse dewormer when both have basically the same shit data.

"Gilead Sciences Inc. GILD, -3.65% said sales of its COVID-19 treatment Veklury soared during the third quarter, driven by the need to treat people hospitalized with COVID-19 during this summer’s surge in the U.S.

Veklury, which is used to treat patients with severe forms of the disease, had sales of $1.9 billion in the third quarter of 2021, up from $873 million in the same period a year ago."

I didn't claim opioids weren't effective. Doctors were told opioids (the new drugs) weren't addictive and the doctors just went with that...? Doesn't sound like some medical professional would just go along with that knowing the history.
 
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Phoenixmgs

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The vaccine doesn't completely prevent infection, no. There is still a chance you'll get infected. There is still a chance you can spread that infection. LOWER THAT FUCKING CHANCE AND STOP BEING A SELF-RIGHTEOUS PRICK.
People gotta stop making the word "infection" a bad word. EVERYONE IS GONNA GET INFECTED. The question is will you get the disease or not, that's what immunity (natural or vaccine) will stop from happening the vast vast vast vast majority of the time. And the faster you fight it off (due to some kind of immunity), the smaller your infectious window is. Getting infected just means the virus got into your body, which it will. If you already got infected by the virus, you have immunity and don't need the vaccine, you're not being a "SELF-RIGHTEOUS PRICK" for not getting the vaccine if you already have acquired immunity. The top US vaccine expert, Paul Offit, has literally said that.
 

Agema

You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver
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Why would you recommend or mandate something for groups where it shows it doesn't work? Masks for those under 50 showed they didn't work. And, the vast majority of people (like the PRESIDENT) wear cloth masks and they don't do anything.
That paper does not demonstrate that masks "don't work". In fact, quite the opposite. Adherence, for instance, has been mentioned multiple times as a key factor in the usefulness of masks, which you perpetually refuse to take into account or engage with.

Most medical professionals aren't scientists and don't really analyze data. His job is literally to analyze data.
And so what?

Systematic review didn't say something I don't like, it just said outdoor transmission happens, which I never said it didn't. Show me outdoor tranmission happening at any meaningful rate and you still have not. It just says a super generic less than 10% where that can mean 9.9% or 0.0000001%. If I said more than 10 people died in car accidents, it could mean 11 or 40,000 or 10 million. It's as meaningless as the improper phrase of "I could care less".
I cannot help but feel you are being deliberately dense. The question is not so much "what is the rate of outdoors transmission" but "what circumstances and behaviours are infection risks"? The gross rates of indoor versus outdoor transmission are in fact extremely poor ways to assess lots of the circumstances and behaviours that pose risk. We know that indoors transmission is significantly higher risk. But we also know that transmission occurs outdoors: it's clear from the studies. This isn't going to be from walking down a street maintaining 6' social distancing, is it? So what are people doing outdoors that puts them at risk? It's not hard to work out. So wear a mask in those circumstances to be on the safe side.

Funny how you purposefully remove the line right inbetween those "Zinc itself is able to inhibit coronavirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) activity."
It's not funny at all: it's completely irrelevant to the fact that Zelenko is citing HCQ as an antiviral.

This wasn't solely Zelenko's paper.
He put his name on it, it should not include anything he does not believe in. That's the way it works.

I prefer to listen to any person speak themselves to get their unaltered opinion.
I prefer to see what someone has published, having spent considerable time been worked on, thought over, written, re-written, reviewed and re-written again to make sure it is accurate as possible. Rather than someone talking off the top of their head with attendant greatly increased risk of error or bullshitting for ease.

Like I said, I my knowledge of HCQ came from it working as a zinc ionophore for the antiviral effect and helping modulate the inflammatory response.
Stop making excuses. You didn't read the literature properly and went off half-cocked. You fucked up: own it.

Just pointing out that if vitamin d toxicity was a thing like you said it was, then where's all these people getting vitamin d toxicity from that protocol? Surely taking 2,000 or 5,000 or 10,000 IUs a day is safe.
It's probably safe, for most people. But it's also an unnecessarily high amount for most people, and there is no good reason for people to take much more than they need considering the potential risk. Basic guidelines should be written to reflect that risk.

Everything has side effects, I guess we shouldn't take any drugs for anything then. Show me ivermectin doing more harm than someone not taking it.
You asked for the evidence ivermectin did harm: I pointed out it has a side effect profile, those side effects being monitored and recorded as part of the drug approval process and post-approval monitoring, thereby indicating there clearly is scientific evidence it can cause harm.

If ivermectin does not treat covid, it instrinsically does more harm than good, because it does no good whatsoever whereas in at least some people it is causing harm.

Uhh... remdesivir has been shown to not work.
Oh, will you just shut the fuck up about remdesivir as if it actually matters a damn. Nothing about remdesivir provides a suitable rationale to defend ivermectin.

We've been through the whys and wherefores of remdesivir a dozen times already, and your refusal to understand what happened and why is nothing but your gratuitous ignorance and deliberate misunderstanding.
 
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Agema

You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver
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Ad. Here. Ants?

What is this?

..?
It's the thing people are supposed to do with their treatment, without which the treatment will not work. Perverse people then declare that as they're not getting any benefit from the treatment that they're not taking, it therefore proves the treatment is useless. And then (in the case of masks) if the government tries to make them use it for their own and everyone else's health, it's indistinguishable from the Third Reich.
 

XsjadoBlayde

Intersectional Multidimensional Pansexual Alliance
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The US nationalists have always love to claim themselves to be the number one nation, chosen by god to genocide their way to the top. So credit where credit is due, for once it might not just be overcompensating denial...


The global death toll from COVID-19 topped 5 million on Monday, less than two years into a crisis that has not only devastated poor countries but also humbled wealthy ones with first-rate health care systems.

Together, the United States, the European Union, Britain and Brazil — all upper-middle- or high-income countries — account for one-eighth of the world’s population but nearly half of all reported deaths. The U.S. alone has recorded over 745,000 lives lost, more than any other nation.

“This is a defining moment in our lifetime,” said Dr. Albert Ko, an infectious disease specialist at the Yale School of Public Health. “What do we have to do to protect ourselves so we don’t get to another 5 million?”

The death toll, as tallied by Johns Hopkins University, is about equal to the populations of Los Angeles and San Francisco combined. It rivals the number of people killed in battles among nations since 1950, according to estimates from the Peace Research Institute Oslo. Globally, COVID-19 is now the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and stroke.

The staggering figure is almost certainly an undercount because of limited testing and people dying at home without medical attention, especially in poor parts of the world, such as India.


Hot spots have shifted over the 22 months since the outbreak began, turning different places on the world map red. Now, the virus is pummeling Russia, Ukraine and other parts of Eastern Europe, especially where rumors, misinformation and distrust in government have hobbled vaccination efforts. In Ukraine, only 17% of the adult population is fully vaccinated; in Armenia, only 7%.

“What’s uniquely different about this pandemic is it hit hardest the high-resource countries,” said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, director of ICAP, a global health center at Columbia University. “That’s the irony of COVID-19.”

Wealthier nations with longer life expectancies have larger proportions of older people, cancer survivors and nursing home residents, all of whom are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, El-Sadr noted. Poorer countries tend to have larger shares of children, teens and young adults, who are less likely to fall seriously ill from the coronavirus.

India, despite its terrifying delta surge that peaked in early May, now has a much lower reported daily death rate than wealthier Russia, the U.S. or Britain, though there is uncertainty around its figures.

The seeming disconnect between wealth and health is a paradox that disease experts will be pondering for years. But the pattern that is seen on the grand scale, when nations are compared, is different when examined at closer range. Within each wealthy country, when deaths and infections are mapped, poorer neighborhoods are hit hardest.

In the U.S., for example, COVID-19 has taken an outsize toll on Black and Hispanic people, who are more likely than white people to live in poverty and have less access to health care.

“When we get out our microscopes, we see that within countries, the most vulnerable have suffered most,” Ko said.

Wealth has also played a role in the global vaccination drive, with rich countries accused of locking up supplies. The U.S. and others are already dispensing booster shots at a time when millions across Africa haven’t received a single dose, though the rich countries are also shipping hundreds of millions of shots to the rest of the world.


Africa remains the world’s least vaccinated region, with just 5% of the population of 1.3 billion people fully covered.

“This devastating milestone reminds us that we are failing much of the world,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in a written statement. “This is a global shame.”

In Kampala, Uganda, Cissy Kagaba lost her 62-year-old mother on Christmas Day and her 76-year-old father days later.

“Christmas will never be the same for me,” said Kagaba, an anti-corruption activist in the East African country that has been through multiple lockdowns against the virus and where a curfew remains in place.

The pandemic has united the globe in grief and pushed survivors to the breaking point.

“Who else is there now? The responsibility is on me. COVID has changed my life,” said 32-year-old Reena Kesarwani, a mother of two boys, who was left to manage her late husband’s modest hardware store in a village in India.

Her husband, Anand Babu Kesarwani, died at 38 during India’s crushing coronavirus surge earlier this year. It overwhelmed one of the most chronically underfunded public health systems in the world and killed tens of thousands as hospitals ran out of oxygen and medicine.

In Bergamo, Italy, once the site of the West’s first deadly wave, 51-year-old Fabrizio Fidanza was deprived of a final farewell as his 86-year-old father lay dying in the hospital. He is still trying to come to terms with the loss more than a year later.



“For the last month, I never saw him,’’ Fidanza said during a visit to his father’s grave. “It was the worst moment. But coming here every week, helps me.”

Today, 92% of Bergamo’s eligible population have had at least one shot, the highest vaccination rate in Italy. The chief of medicine at Pope John XXIII Hospital, Dr. Stefano Fagiuoli, said he believes that’s a clear result of the city’s collective trauma, when the wail of ambulances was constant.

In Lake City, Florida, LaTasha Graham, 38, still gets mail almost daily for her 17-year-old daughter, Jo’Keria, who died of COVID-19 in August, days before starting her senior year of high school. The teen, who was buried in her cap and gown, wanted to be a trauma surgeon.

“I know that she would have made it. I know that she would have been where she wanted to go,” her mother said.

In Rio de Janeiro, Erika Machado scanned the list of names engraved on a long, undulating sculpture of oxidized steel that stands in Penitencia cemetery as an homage to some of Brazil’s COVID-19 victims. Then she found him: Wagner Machado, her father.

“My dad was the love of my life, my best friend,” said Machado, 40, a saleswoman who traveled from Sao Paulo to see her father’s name. “He was everything to me.”
 

XsjadoBlayde

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Gotta love that ivermectin drive. Or drivermectin? *Sigh* everything is failing, even jokes.


When you visit the “COVID-19 Info” page on Austin Compounding Pharmacy’s website, it tells you in no uncertain terms that “taking Ivermectin once a week will decrease your risk of infection and reduce the severity if you do contract COVID-19.” There is no evidence that is true.


The Texas pharmacy also has a special order form that lists 10 COVID-19 medications, none of which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat or prevent the disease. Ivermectin is at the top, followed by hydroxychloroquine (which has been proved to be ineffective against COVID), and a list of non-prescription items to create your own “Corona Six Pack.” The choices include zinc, melatonin and a pulse oximeter because, according to the form, “Oxygen saturation is important.”

Ivermectin as a cure for COVID has proved to be a surprisingly durable myth, with people across the country continuing to jump through hoops to get their hands on it, despite warnings from the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state pharmacy boards that it does not work on the coronavirus. Humans can take the anti-parasitic drug in pill form, and it is available in large, over-the-counter quantities for livestock.

The medicine has been boosted by big names, including controversial podcaster Joe Rogan and Infowars founder Alex Jones. At least two people have died after taking ivermectin instead of being properly treated for COVID, but some brick-and-mortar pharmacies are risking their reputations and patients’ safety by continuing to dispense it, filling prescriptions generated by sometimes-shady practices.


And the right-wing media machine is making sure people are aware that if you want it badly enough, there are absolutely ways to get ivermectin. In September, Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked psychiatrist Mark McDonald to give his audience pointers on how to access human-grade ivermectin. “It depends on where you go,” the anti-vaccine doctor said. “Chain pharmacies: very, very difficult. Small pharmacies, independents, compounding pharmacies have supplies. So you can get it if you look for it. But you often have to make many, many phone calls.”

It actually doesn’t take as many calls as McDonald seems to think. A HuffPost investigation found dozens of independent community pharmacies dispensing ivermectin, and many, as McDonald suggested, are compounding the drug themselves — that is, purchasing ingredients from a wholesale distributor, combining them on their premises and putting the mixture into capsules. Unlike ivermectin straight from the manufacturer, these capsules are not FDA-approved. According to one widely shared list, at least 76 pharmacies in 28 states (including 15 in Florida) and five countries are filling prescriptions.

But the list is by no means exhaustive: Online, people are sharing information on other pharmacies that, they say, have been happy to oblige their ivermectin search. These pharmacies have made the conscious decision to buck the science to meet a soaring demand, cashing in on the drug’s enduring time in the spotlight.


Where And How

By the time the ivermectin craze reached its peak in late summer, “quack telehealth prescribers” (as one pharmacist in Maine put it to Time magazine) were indiscriminately doling out prescriptions to people willing to pay for a consult. The Frontline Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) — which has played a major role in promoting ivermectin, as HuffPost recently reported — created the list of 78 pharmacies to point would-be customers in the direction of businesses willing to distribute ivermectin for off-label use. Most of them are real-life, in-person operations, and most are strictly compounding pharmacies or have compounding capabilities.


Ivermectin that's approved by the FDA to treat parasitic diseases comes in tablets like these, but many compounding pharmacies are making their own ivermectin capsules to distribute to people seeking the drug to treat or prevent COVID-19.

Many of the pharmacies on the FLCCC list confirmed to HuffPost that they are compounding ivermectin themselves. But this practice extends much further: When HuffPost reached out to a random selection of seven other compounding pharmacies across the country, five said they would create ivermectin pills for customers with a prescription, one said it only had tablets and one said it would not fill any prescription of ivermectin meant to treat or prevent COVID-19.

Though one pharmacist was eager to ensure that the powder they use meets regulatory standards, the FDA explicitly states that compounded drugs are not approved by their organization. And a number of the pharmacy sites feature this same warning. But it hasn’t stopped people from seeking it out.


Compounding pharmacies are by far the easiest way to get ivermectin for COVID. Professionals at retail pharmacies can usually tell when an ivermectin prescription isn’t intended to treat parasites (which is its primary governmentally approved use).

“When you look at the dose used for roundworm, it’s usually a single dose, a few tablets max, maybe repeated a few times,” Anne Burns, a pharmacist and vice president for practice affairs at the American Pharmacists Association, told HuffPost, referring to one of the drug’s FDA-approved uses. “The way it’s being dosed for COVID-19 is several tablets or more a day, or over multiple days. There’s a pretty significant discrepancy.”

The compounding pharmacies freely filling ivermectin prescriptions are not shy about it. Austin Compounding Pharmacy offers a $100 one-hour COVID care consultation with pharmacist and owner Tom Schnorr, who recently told local media that the pharmacy is receiving 300 prescriptions per day. “If you treat it when you get infected, you don’t have to go to the hospital,” he said of ivermectin and COVID. (Major medical associations contradict claims like these.) Below their prescription request form, there’s another page with a copy of the FLCCC’s I-MASK+ COVID prevention protocol, which, as HuffPost previously reported, helped popularize ivermectin as a COVID-19 cure in the U.S.


“A medication should really only be compounded because it needs a special dose, a special dosage form or because of an allergy.”

- Kathryn Seelman, owner of Twelve Corners Apothecary in Rochester, New York
Town & Country Compounding Pharmacy in Ramsey, New Jersey, has also gone all in on ivermectin. Its website features a pop-up that asks “Interested in ivermectin?” and directs visitors to a “frequently asked questions” page, which includes a link to the FLCCC’s list of known prescribers. In a YouTube video posted in late August, during the delta variant surge, owner John Herr name-checks the FLCCC and encourages patients to follow its protocol.

Similarly, one Pensacola, Florida, compounding pharmacy on the list has a special ivermectin section on its website linking to a request form. Another in Wichita, Kansas, has ivermectin information on its homepage, including the doses its pharmacists are currently making.


Other pharmacies are also ready and waiting to provide this information to inquiring customers. The recording at one independent pharmacy in Charlotte, North Carolina, features a voice recording instructing callers to “press zero [if] you’re calling about ivermectin,” before patching through a member of their staff. At another in Prescott, Arizona, the hold message encourages callers to ask about ivermectin.

Pharmacies in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, and Jacksonville, Florida, confirmed in late September that they were selling both ivermectin tablets and compounded capsules but predicted they wouldn’t have any by mid-October because supplies were backordered.

And when reached by phone, pharmacies from New Jersey to Pennsylvania to Florida to Colorado all confirmed to HuffPost that they were compounding prescriptions in lieu of the manufactured tablets to allow for customized dosages and to meet demand. The person who answered the phone at one business even said of compounded ivermectin, “Personally, I think it’s better” — because it’s more “pure.”


No Consequences

Ivermectin is manufactured by the U.S. pharmaceutical company Merck as well as other generic manufacturers, and it’s distributed internationally. When asked if the company was aware of compounding pharmacies ordering wholesale ivermectin ingredients to make their own capsules — and whether it had any plans to stop it — Merck referred HuffPost to a general statement about ivermectin use issued in February.

Government regulators are aware of widespread ivermectin use but have not done much to stop it. In a statement to HuffPost, FDA spokesperson Jeremy Kahn said the agency is “aware that some compounders may be advertising or producing ivermectin for uses related to COVID-19. The FDA strongly advises against this activity. At this time, the safety and efficacy of ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 has not been established.”



But when further pressed about whether the agency plans to crack down on the off-label compounding, the FDA wouldn’t comment further.

Kathryn Seelman, owner and pharmacist at Twelve Corners Apothecary in Rochester, New York, has worked in pharmacies for 20 years and has run her own compounding pharmacy for the last six. She said she’s gotten many requests for ivermectin but has refused to compound it for COVID-19, noting that most of the requests have come from new patients she’s never worked with before.

“A medication should really only be compounded because it needs a special dose, a special dosage form or because of an allergy,” Seelman told HuffPost. “There’s really no reason pharmacies are not using commercially available products with doses we know to be safe.”

Though some compounding pharmacies reached by HuffPost claimed they turned to compounding because of a supply issue, Seelman said she’s seen no evidence of an ivermectin shortage and is able to get it directly from manufacturers if needed. “Some pharmacies are more willing to take the risk and make money off it,” she said.


The Grift

The business of prescribing ivermectin has proved to be remarkably lucrative for right-wing medical groups and telemedicine platforms, such as America’s Frontline Doctors (AFLDS). As The Intercept reported this month, customers pay “$90 for a phone consultation with ‘AFLDS-trained physicians’ who prescribe treatments such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to prevent and treat Covid-19.” The meds are delivered by Ravkoo, a drug delivery service that works with local pharmacies.


According to The Intercept’s math, AFDS has made nearly $7 million on consultations alone. And a Time report earlier this month revealed that Ravkoo has made approximately $8.5 million off of filling unproven COVID-19 treatments — chief among them ivermectin.


Meanwhile, the feverish accusations of conspiracies — by the government, by pharmaceutical companies, by the global elite — preventing proper COVID treatment continue. In late September, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) wrote an opinion article headlined: “The Coordinated Attack on Ivermectin Is a Crime Against Humanity.”

“What the globalist elites and the medical establishment won’t tell you is that those who discovered ivermectin and its use to treat parasitic diseases won a Nobel Prize in 2015 — it was the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine’s only award for treatments of infectious diseases in six decades,” Gohmert wrote in the Sept. 29 article on the conservative website American Greatness.


And though there are still only a relatively small handful of pharmacies filling these off-label prescriptions, proponents of ivermectin — mostly conservative political and media personalities — have begun to criticize pharmacists who refuse.

Former Trump administration communications adviser Mercedes Schlapp recently tweeted, “Doctors are finding it more and more difficult to prescribe Ivermectin through the pharmacies. @GOP leaders should do what they can to ensure that patients should not be denied access to prescribed medication. There should be an investigation into this.” Her husband, Matt Schlapp, chair of the American Conservative Union, chimed in a few days later: “Doctors who are prescribing Ivermectin can’t find pharmacies to fulfill it. Any therapeutic that is proven to work is cancelled.


Customers hyped up on ivermectin disinformation are applying pressure of their own. Burns, of the American Pharmacists Association, said, “We’ve heard from many pharmacists pressured by patients and pressured by doctors to fill them.” Though she did not provide specific details about the incidents, she said that patients in locations throughout the country have reportedly been “irate” and have demanded that a pharmacist fill their prescription. One video posted to Twitter last week shows a customer repeatedly telling a pharmacist that not filling his ivermectin prescription is “against the law.” (“No, it’s not,” the pharmacist replies, correctly.)

Aggressive demand for ivermectin will continue as long as organizations like the AFLDS and the FLCCC keep pushing it, and as long as local news organizations keep publishing stories with headlines like “Woman Says Controversial COVID-19 Treatment Ivermectin Saved Her Life.” With doctors readily available to make a quick buck on a simple phone consultation, vaccine skeptics will continue to seek alternatives — and, in many cases, their local pharmacy will be all too happy to help.
 

XsjadoBlayde

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*cough*




(Pictures and links had to be removed to post cause this bloody

How things go wrong with amateur researchers

By now, you’ve all seen the tag line made popular by conspiracy theorists the world over.



DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!



Used in numerous ways by modern conspiracy theorists, the phrase was made even more prevalent by the emerging Qanon movement. This particular group of cult-like adherents followed the conspiracy precedent of rejecting any information originating with the government or the mainstream media. Relying upon alt-right or other fringe sources, thousands of people who referred to themselves as “researchers” put out the largest catalog of incoherent ramblings I’ve seen since going down the JFK assassination rabbit hole.



They didn’t rely just on existing websites for their research. At times, they based their research on someone else’s previously posted research which was often just a Tweet or Facebook post of their thoughts. Using each other as sources, and basing their final reveals on nothing more than their own fever-dreams, the results were shocking as well as comical.



This continues today and may be worse than in previous years. Now many of those “researchers” have websites filled with their own imaginary findings and those, too, become “source material” to be riffed upon by others.



Throw in some fringe websites and the occasional foreign influence campaign and what you get is a bunch of nonsense being presented as “well-researched findings.”



As someone who has essentially been a researcher for more than 30 years, I was lucky to emerge from the last few years without clawing my own eyes out so I didn’t have to see it anymore.



I have contemplated this issue for a number of years now. I tried to give a few insights into how people do incorrect research and how that leads to incorrect findings in my small book, Just Stop. I wanted to give a few examples and perhaps encourage people to work harder. Writing a book solely dedicated to conducting research would be boring and probably several volumes in length. Nobody has time for that. You don’t have time to read it and I don’t have time to write it. If someone was paying me to spend a couple of years on a writing project, I suppose that would be different but they aren’t so I’m not.



Searching online you’ll find quite a variety of books on conducting research that apply to a variety of fields including scientific, academic, literary, and journalistic. You should find a few that apply to your specific, chosen area and study them. You see, that’s what research actually is: Study. And a lot of reading. It takes years to become an actual expert on a given subject, so your goal shouldn’t be achieving that status. A subject matter expert, at least a recognized one in most fields, has spent perhaps decades building a wealth of knowledge that you simply won’t be able to replicate while researching a narrow subject for your college assignment, news article, blog post, or friendly debate over thanksgiving dinner. If that level of expertise was, in fact, your goal, you should be in school right now instead of reading this blog post.



Doeth Thine Own Inquiry



For the layperson, someone who has neither the time nor inclination to become a subject matter expert or officially recognized authority on any given subject, it is usually sufficient to do some general study of a subject to gain a basic understanding of it. In reality, just that light reading and study will be more research than was conducted by the conspiracy theorist with whom you will debate. Perhaps not in duration and depth, but hopefully in accuracy and reliability. That is, if you do your research correctly.



Sources and Search Engines



First and foremost, the largest issue I find within the I do my own research conspiracy theorist world is their rejection of any information originating from an official source. One would think that, when searching for information regarding vaccines for instance, the best places to gather information would be scientific organizations, Centers for disease control, Food and Drug administration, and medical authorities such as research hospitals. Not so, sayeth the conspiracists. Because they believe in the existence of a global cabal intent on keeping the masses ignorant of their plans, official sources cannot be trusted. In the same way they reject news reporting from what they deem the mainstream media, they reject reporting from organizations they are convinced are part of the global cabal, which, of course, includes any official government source, official scientific community, official medical organization, or recognized experts. And you certainly can’t trust what the vaccine manufacturers say about their own products. If the product is designed to depopulate the earth or to target a specific segment of the population through DNA manipulation, they surely aren’t going to tell you. They’re going to lie about it the entire time.



Similarly, Big Tech is also a part of the cabal and spends billions of dollars ensuring that the information you are allowed access to is carefully curated in order to promote the cabal mission and keep the sheep unaware.



“LOL Where’d you find that? Google? LMAO”



Much has been written regarding how search engines present their results. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an industry in and of itself in the modern cyber world. Entire companies exist who’s sole purpose is to embed the correct phrases, keywords, etc. into your website to improve its visibility within search results. Sometimes you can even pay to be placed higher on the list. Some is strictly popularity of the specific item.



I conducted a simple test utilizing the four most popular search engines – Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, and Yahoo. The same phrase was used in all cases: Graphene in vaccine. I settled upon this choice due to the seemingly endless flow of misinformation regarding vaccines, their ingredients, and even their purpose, which has escalated considerably during the Covid 19 pandemic. Conspiracy theorists claim, and incorrectly so, that graphene oxide is a main ingredient in the various Covid vaccines currently available to the public. The origins of this disinformation campaign is a topic for another discussion. Suffice to say, none of the SARS-COV-2 vaccines list graphene in their ingredients. Here are the results, cropped to only show a similar sized result in each engine. You can follow along by doing this experiment yourself using any search query you’d like.



Google



Google hits you with an answer to your question as opposed to letting you figure it out yourself
If you scroll past the first result, in fact scroll through the entire first page of Google results, you’ll find zero vaccine disinformation links. The first page is all official vaccine information or vaccine related research articles, none of which indicate the presence of graphene in the covid vaccines.



DuckDuckGo



DuckDuckGo leads off with the conspiracy theorist’s preferred result – confirmation bias
DuckDuckGo…goes the extra mile. When you scroll through the first page of results, my laptop showed ten results. Of those, eight were vaccine disinformation links. Only two were the opposing view. Only one was a link to an actual scientific study regarding the potential for graphene to be useful in the development and delivery of medicines, including vaccines. Result? DuckDuckGo gave me 80% bullshit and wished me luck.



Bing



Bing seems to attempt to lead you in the right direction but, as the 2nd result, hits you with disinformation
Of the ten results on the fist page of search results, Bing went full-on middle of the road, providing five disinformation links and five links to either real science or debunking articles about graphene in covid vaccines.



Yahoo



Yahoo gives you an ad regarding vaccine information, then a debunk article, and then…yeah, you’ll get the weirdness
Below the ad, which seems to be different depending on when you conduct your search, I was given seven search results by Yahoo. Of those seven, three were outright disinformation links.



Comparison



Regardless of which search engine used, many of the links are the same. You’ll encounter this regardless of your search terms. They are all searching the same internet, after all. In DuckDuckGo’s case, however, I was given much more obvious vaccine disinformation that the others. DDG appeared to attempt to shock me with just how much graphene was in my covid vaccine. Now, does this mean DuckDuckGo is doing this on purpose? No, not at all. It is just giving you results for your search query. Could DDG be actively trying to misinform the public about vaccines? Sure they could. Do I think they are? Not really. Although based on how much disinformation DDG returns, it wouldn’t be hard to convince someone they were. The most likely answer is that DDG is simply returning all results that meet the search criteria. It isn’t really DDG’s fault that the majority of internet sources on the subject are disinformation and misinformation sources. Your search query is what brought them up.



At the opposite end of the spectrum, you have Google, which certainly appears to be taking an activist role in the results they provide. They are obviously intentionally removing what they determine to be disinformation from search results. How you feel about this sort of activism with information is strictly up to you. In a way, it is good. Google being the most popular search engine by far, ensuring the correct information winds up in the minds of our children is pretty important.



And yet, Google’s conduct in this confirms what conspiracy theorists believe – that Google takes an active role in controlling what information you are allowed to absorb. Because they do. The debate over whether we approve or disapprove of Google’s activism will rage, most likely, until Google ceases to exist, which, also most likely, won’t happen in my lifetime. The free access to information – all information – is fundamental to many in modern society. They want to control what they absorb, when they’ll absorb it, and how. So society ends up in the age-old debate of “By banning it, does it make it more alluring?”



Telling a kid, “Don’t touch that” will almost assuredly result in that kid “touching that” as soon as they think they can do it without you knowing about it. Is the lure of disinformation the same thing? Do people seek it out simply because they know the powers that be don’t want them to? I don’t think it is that simple. It is a much deeper question involving distrust of authority, whether that be government, religion, parents, or some massive tech giant that thinks it gets to decide what information is worthy.



What if Google is wrong?



In this case, Google isn’t wrong. Grephene isn’t listed as an ingredient in any of the current Covid-19 vaccines and analysis by laboratories around the world have yet to report the presence of graphene oxide. The only “reports” that do confirm the existence of graphene in covid vaccines are institutions that don’t actually exist or are a figment of a conspiracy theorist’s imagination. But, what if, one day, Google gets it wrong? Or, what if, one day, Google decides it will intentionally distribute incorrect or misleading information? How do we know it hasn’t already? On this topic, the conspiracy theorists have good cause for their distrust. Not because it is known to have happened, but because it could happen, and it is evidenced by their willingness to suppress information that runs counter to the official stance of the organization. Google has gone from providing search results to controlling narratives with their carefully selected results. As someone who has been fighting disinfo for many years, I have to say I have mixed feelings on this topic. I want to prevent false information reaching the masses. I also don’t want some tech giant deciding for me what information is valid or invalid. That’s my job. And I write that knowing full well that most people are not equipped to distinguish creatively crafted disinformation from actually reliable and correct information.



So, now what?



You really want to complete your research on your topic of choice. You want to drill down into a stack of information and glean from it the ultimate truth. You might even write a paper on the subject, get published, and start a SubStack for all of your newly acquired fans. But now you know you can’t trust Google and, really, you can’t trust any of the other search engines either. Where do we go from here? We go…backward.



Start from the beginning



Do you even know what graphene oxide is? Probably not. I didn’t when I first heard about it. Only Bing (first result in list) and Yahoo (fourth result in list) provided information on scientific research on graphene oxide from actual scientific studies. Both articles are from the National Institutes of Health and cover various studies. We will ignore the conspiracy theorist mantra of not trusting official sources and we will rely on actual scientists to explain to us what we want to know. The results we find from scientific sources assumes we already know what graphene oxide is so they aren’t helpful for the layperson. We have to start there.



What is graphene oxide?



Google result
Bing result
DuckDuckGo result
Searching each of our four chosen search engines, three of the four, DuckDuckGo, Bing, and Google, provide a quick reference to the right of the results. Each of these is a link to a Wikipedia article. This can be very helpful if you’re in a hurry and don’t want to read through a bunch of scientific studies. Unfortunately, and you will see this if you look closely, the provided Wikipedia link is…wrong. The reference provided is for graphite oxide, not graphene oxide. Although the two substances are related, they are not the same. You’ve just been sidetracked with incorrect information and if you don’t catch it right away, you may not realize you’re wasting your time. Or worse, you produce an article, social media post, or argue a position at Thanksgiving dinner that is based on poor research into the wrong substance. Bing even provides you links to purchase some graphene oxide if you’d like.



Bing confuses your research by providing both the quick reference Wikipedia link on graphite oxide as well as the correct description of graphene oxide.



As for DuckDuckGo, well, they not only provide the incorrect result for graphite oxide, they also give you a string of results about how graphene oxide is definitely in the covid-19 vaccines and also it will definitely kill you.



Only Yahoo provided a quick reference link to the correct substance.



Yahoo result
But, and there is always a but, Yahoo was not content to just give you the information you actually sought. It decided to give you some links related to your search. Five of them, in fact. And 80% of them are vaccine/graphene disinformation. The “fact check” link showing graphene is not in the covid-19 vaccines gets top billing under the technical description but all of the other links are vaccine disinformation.




This isn’t helping



As you can see, it matters little which search engine you use during your research. Each of them have issues that will sideline your work and each of them provide you with information that is incorrect. As an amateur who is just trying to get correct information so you are well-informed and can debate from an educated position, you’re probably feeling fairly discouraged at this point. You should. You just went through what the conspiracy theorists went through. This is how they develop their opinions. This is how they conduct their research. And if DuckDuckGo is their preferred search engine as many of them claim, as you can see, the majority of the information they encounter, upwards of 80%, is nothing more than disinformation.



Many researchers refute the idea that social media algorithms, which curate information and provide it to you based on your past activities, are to blame for the epidemic of disinformation currently plaguing society. They contend that your own interests, specifically conspiracy theories, existed prior to your descent down the rabbit hole of disinformation. You spent a lot of time searching for information about conspiracy theories so the algorithms are simply giving you what you want. There can be some truth to this perspective but just within these simple search engine experiments, we also see that disinformation is happily provided to you regardless of your interests. “Graphene in vaccine” seems innocuous enough of a search and it isn’t out of the ordinary for someone who heard about a topic and decided to do their own research. And yet, here we are, being handed disinformation upwards of 80% of the time anyway and we aren’t on social media. These are the search engines upon which we rely to bring us useful information on a daily basis and they, too, are handing us plenty of disinformation with which to drag us down a rabbit hole.



On any topic related to science or even opinion, people often accept the viewpoint that is considered a relative consensus. Consensus being a majority of opinion, where does that leave us on the subject of whether grephene oxide is in the available covid-19 vaccines? The majority of the search results provided are clearly on the side of that assertion being true. How much volume of information influences our own opinions is a subject for experts and I’m not qualified to offer an analysis. I can only make assumptions that when someone is searching a topic, if most of the information found on that topic is in agreement, that could, and probably will, influence their own opinion.



Check your sources



First and foremost, we have to ensure we are using sources and resources that are reliable, truthful, and accepted as being scientifically sound. We also can’t be influenced by titles and accolades. For instance, two of the most active vaccine disinformation agents who are frequently quoted and used as sources among the conspiracy theorists are Dr. Jane Ruby and Dr. Andrew Kaufman. They are both frequently used as sources for information about the origins of Covid, vaccines, and what’s really going on. They both hold the title of Doctor. Neither is a medical doctor. That doesn’t seem to matter to conspiracy theorists. They rely on a pair of psychiatrists to explain the intricacies of viral isolation, transmission, and treatment. A few minutes using proper search terms in a search engine easily refutes what both disinformation agents tell us but, again, based on what we have seen thus far, it depends on who you trust to provide you with information.



As real researchers, we have to stick to accurate information and actual scientific studies to gather our information. If you followed my older articles on how disinformation is spread and used, you know that reading someone’s article about a study is not the same as reading the actual study. Often the article about the study does not accurately portray the information within the study. This is a very common tactic. The authors realize most of their readers will not seek out that scientific study and read it for themselves, comparing it to the opinions offered on it by the author. Hardly anyone takes the time to do that. Most often, the person who does is someone who got a weird feeling about the author and questioned their findings so they embark on a quest to find out for themselves. They’ll do their own research. Again, this will be a very small minority but the motivation is the same no matter which side you are on.



The fundamentally flawed approach



At this point, the evidence is pretty clear that doing research online has a tremendous number of pitfalls just waiting to suck you into an insurmountable mound of useless and misleading or outright false information. No true researcher can gather the information needed by following the demands and requirements of conspiracists. The standards set forth by the conspiracist doing their own research are simple:



Don’t use Google.
Don’t trust official sources.
Don’t trust the mainstream media.
Don’t trust science.
Although we see that one doesn’t have to follow these edicts in order to be inundated with disinformation, once you apply the above standards, you are essentially limiting your research to only disinformation sources. As they claw their way through the spiderweb of information it really becomes irrelevant where they end up. They are going to be wrong no matter what. Some directions may be more wrong than others but how much does that matter in the grand scheme of things?



“Graphene is nanotechnology designed to create a link from you to the internet of things, thereby making you a part of the matrix.”



“Graphene is a poison designed for population control and it gets activated by 5G signals creating a ‘kill switch’ for Big Brother.”



Both of the above statements are absurdly incorrect. Both of the above statements are apparently believed by various factions within the conspiracy theorist space. You can find both of the above statements on any given conspiracy theory forum or website today. They’re all wrong. They are just wrong in different ways. When you limit your research to only those sources that intend to give you incorrect, misleading, or conspiratorial content, what do you expect?



Oddly enough, some of the best tools to use for research and to weed out the ever present disinformation is…Suspect Zero: Google.



The cure for Google is Google



For all of its problems and its own decision making, Google has taken it upon itself to compile and make available resources specifically for students and researchers. Google Scholar is a resource you may occasionally hear mentioned by journalists, university students, amateur researchers, and investigators.



You can have a look at Google Scholar at This Link.



When we search using Google Scholar, the results are from scientific studies, academic papers, and explanations of various aspects of both. Simply typing in the term ‘graphene oxide’ you can see that our results are considerably different than our previous attempts.



Results from Google Scholar
And, as you can see from this screen capture of the Google Scholar home page, you can even search through the case law pertaining to your topic. The results are compiled from academic research from a variety of sources within the various disciplines.




Let’s do a simple Google Scholar legal search. To keep within the same subject matter, we will do a Scholar Case Law search about vaccine mandates.




The results from this simple search are very interesting. If you are into reading legal decisions, you won’t be disappointed by what Google Scholar provides. The first case linked, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, was originally heard by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in 1904, decided in 1905, and was heard before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1907. It describes a mandatory vaccination program against smallpox by the city of Cambridge, MA. A citizen, Jacobson, fought both the vaccine mandate and quarantine protocols, and used each and every argument put forth by anti-vaccination activists in 2021. Reading the U.S. Supreme Court decision is fascinating and very informative.



Spoiler Alert: Even in 1907, SCOTUS said, yes, the state can, in fact, create mandates for the public good. The end.



Here’s a link to the decision discussed above. Jacobson v. Massachusetts



For an introduction into how to use Google Scholar for your research, there is a PDF available HERE.



Google Dorks



Another excellent tool to improve your search results and weed out disinformation is the use of something called Google Dorks. This isn’t a program, per se, but rather a method of query input. It allows you to remove links that don’t meet your criteria and to specifically select dates of publication and other details. For old school internet users, some of it will seem very familiar, such as using quotation marks to get results with that exact string of words, using plus, minus, etc. There are many ways of using Google Dorks so it would be impossible to adequately cover the topic here. For a great introduction to Google Dorks, you can start at this LINK from Maltego, an Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) tool. If you look around, you’ll also find search parameter guides for search engines other than Google.



Properly using Google Dorks search operators can save you a lot, and I mean a lot, of time. It is the difference between sifting through thousands of search results and narrowing your results down to perhaps ten or fewer. I ran an experiment just prior to writing this paragraph and the difference was, a basic Google search for a person’s name = 234,000 search results. Using Google Dorks operators, a similar search returned only the information I needed. Google Dorks = 3 results.



I may write future posts on the subject of research and investigations if time permits. The goal being to help people improve their own skills while showing them how the typical layperson may come up with the wrong answers. Until then, don’t be “that guy.”
 

Fallen Soldier

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As someone who had the virus earlier this year. I strongly recommend getting the vaccine and wearing masks. I lm still suffering some nasty after effects of the virus. It is what we call Long Covid.
 

CriticalGaming

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The US nationalists have always love to claim themselves to be the number one nation, chosen by god to genocide their way to the top. So credit where credit is due, for once it might not just be overcompensating denial...
The US is not the number one in anything except military equipment. We used to be awesome. Then politics and greed ruined everything, and it is only getting worse.
 

Buyetyen

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We used to be awesome. Then politics and greed ruined everything, and it is only getting worse.
Yeah, all those politics ruining good things in the past like slavery, Jim Crow, legally being able to beat your wife, gay people knew their place in the closet...
/s

At no point in its history has this country lived up to its professed ideals.
 

CriticalGaming

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Yeah, all those politics ruining good things in the past like slavery, Jim Crow, legally being able to beat your wife, gay people knew their place in the closet...
/s

At no point in its history has this country lived up to its professed ideals.
I mean ok....but there was a reason why america saw massive immigration from all over the world. A country that brings in people from all over the world is going to suffer from tribal issues. That isn't unique to us. Japanese are often very unwelcoming to foreigners, and if you aren't Japanese is is almost impossible to be allowed to own property in Japan. You can point to other countries that don't have a big racism problem, but typically those countries don't have other races living there or it's an incredibly small %.

No country with the population and melting pot size of the US is racism free. Hell even Canada has problems between French Canadians and other Canadians.

And if it isn't racism problems it's communist problems, or dictatorship, or whatever.

No country is problem free. There are just better countries than the US in most general fields these days. I hear New Zealand is very nice.
 

Buyetyen

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I mean ok....but there was a reason why america saw massive immigration from all over the world.
It's mostly because there were jobs here or conditions in the Old Country had just gotten that bad. It should come as no shock that we got a lot of Irish immigrants, for example, when the potato blight struck.

A country that brings in people from all over the world is going to suffer from tribal issues. That isn't unique to us. Japanese are often very unwelcoming to foreigners, and if you aren't Japanese is is almost impossible to be allowed to own property in Japan. You can point to other countries that don't have a big racism problem, but typically those countries don't have other races living there or it's an incredibly small %.
Isn't this a bit like saying that it's black people's fault that you're racist? I use the impersonal "you" in this case. Nativism is a failure of the population to understand that immigrants are not the problem, but the people who exploit them. Don't lose your ability to get pissed off at the correct people.
 

CriticalGaming

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Isn't this a bit like saying that it's black people's fault that you're racist? I use the impersonal "you" in this case. Nativism is a failure of the population to understand that immigrants are not the problem, but the people who exploit them. Don't lose your ability to get pissed off at the correct people.
I think it just stems from a pipedream that all of humanity can ever love and accept each other equaly and we can reach a total state of peace. It can't happen and wont happen. People will always reject other people for sometimes arbiturary things.

I feel like a lot of times people wave away other forms of racism for the more popular and obvious ones, because the obvious ones are "worst" for reasons.

Either way, it's not the topic of this thread so let's not do this here. We can do it in another thread if you want though, just tag me.

On topic:

Are we just going to wear masks forever at this point? I'm just asking because we have the vaccine, we have treatment, we have this thing pretty under control for the 99.9% of people. So when is it going to be enough? When are we going to be "done"?

The masks at this point are completely pointless anyway. We have to wear masks in a restaurant until we sit down, then you don't have to wear them. The restaurants are all at full capacity, so does COVID just not infect people once you sit down or....? It just doesn't make sense because the rules for the masks are just symbolic and nothing more, and I'm not convinced the masks were ever really all that helpful as studies have shown infection rates were much more likely in your own home where you don't wear masks anyway.

Feels like we are still feeding on the fear of this virus, over any actual practical state of where we are with combating the thing.
 

MrCalavera

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Are we just going to wear masks forever at this point? I'm just asking because we have the vaccine, we have treatment, we have this thing pretty under control for the 99.9% of people. So when is it going to be enough? When are we going to be "done"?
When the herd immunity is reached.
 

CriticalGaming

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When the herd immunity is reached.
Which requires what? Everyone vaccinated? Because that wont be immunity as you can still get covid after getting the shot and there is also no regulation as to how often we will forever need boosters to maintain the protection that the vaccine offers.

So what mythical immunity are we trying to reach?
 

CriticalGaming

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Cool. The covid vaccines doesn't do any of that. Nor can I find any information as to what our status of immunity is against Covid. Probably because even if you are vaccinated, you are not immune, therefore our herd immunity must be 0%. So were are trying to reach the unreachable.

Okay cool, masks forever then. Awesome I'm going to start selling masks then.
 

Buyetyen

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Are we just going to wear masks forever at this point? I'm just asking because we have the vaccine, we have treatment, we have this thing pretty under control for the 99.9% of people. So when is it going to be enough? When are we going to be "done"?
Remember that thing I posted a week or two ago explaining to you how vaccines work? Re-read that.

Cool. The covid vaccines doesn't do any of that. Nor can I find any information as to what our status of immunity is against Covid. Probably because even if you are vaccinated, you are not immune, therefore our herd immunity must be 0%. So were are trying to reach the unreachable.

Okay cool, masks forever then. Awesome I'm going to start selling masks then.
And once again, it's all or nothing. Vaccines are risk mitigation, they are not a silver bullet. Stop pretending otherwise. This has been explained to you.