Letter: Rancher offers medical alternative


Over the past few months I’ve become deeply interested in the trend that has humans using the veterinary drug Ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID viral infections. I have to admit, my curiosity was piqued by the idea that an anti-parasite drug would be effective against a virus. In any case, I decided to avoid the internet and get right down to the heart of the matter and find out what’s actually going on. I stopped by the local feed store to get the straight poop.

“Hi there. How’s the Ivermectin sales going?”

“Great! Except that we’re sold out on the pills. I still have some tubes of paste and quite a few jugs of pour-on.”

“Well, that’s OK, I was just wondering. I have a pretty good supply back at the ranch.”

Now, as someone who has dispensed literally hundreds and hundreds of gallons of Ivermectin products over the past few decades, I think I have enough experience to make at least one definitive statement: Ivermectin tastes terrible. The paste is nasty and sticky and just plain horrible. The pour-on, well, a few seconds after you spill it on your leg you can taste it in your mouth, and that is unpleasant, to say the least.

The pills? Well, I’ve never had River Blindness or sucking ticks, so I guess I’ve never tried the pill form out, but I can’t imagine any horse pill is all that much fun.

My experience, then, leads me down a different path, and here’s my current thinking: Ivermectin is a drug used to kill parasites. Maybe it works against COVID, but it tastes awful. So, I’d like to suggest a different strategy.

A common parasitic disease across much of the world is called malaria. Many people may recognize malaria as a disease caused by mosquitos, but that’s not precisely true.

Malaria is a disease with flu-like (COVID-like) symptoms that is actually caused by a tiny parasitic protozoan (Plasmodium malariae) that is transmitted by mosquitos. The mosquito is actually the vector, not the cause of the problem. In any case, for over 400 years malaria has been treated with a chemical called Cinchona calisaya. The layman’s name for this chemical treatment is Quinine. Quinine actually kills the parasite that causes malaria, bringing relief to millions of patients. And now for the best part: Quinine tastes great!

Here’s my suggestion for using Quinine to battle malaria and COVID:

Place 4-6 ounces of tonic water in a tall tumbler glass. Tonic water, of course, is infused with Quinine. (Personally, I prefer diet tonic water, of a brand that contains no high-fructose corn syrup.)

Add the juice from ¼ lime, freshly-squeezed. After squeezing, toss the lime rind in the glass too.

Pour in two fingers of reasonably good gin. This is a mixed drink, so don’t waste the Tanqueray.

Add three or four ice cubes. Swirl to mix.

I think this potion is best when given due consideration. Drink slowly; sip, sip, sip. After all, drinking this may have multiple benefits: killing off the pesky malaria parasite and (perhaps) killing coronavirus, all while providing a lovely experience for your palate.

One final thing to keep in mind is that there are always side effects to radical treatments like this.

But maybe that’s just fine.


John Marble