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Fatalities due to COVID worldwide growing rapidly destroying families and economies, but certainly public in large has not learnt lessons for the past 1 year due to public shallow belief in scientific practice be it public hygiene, trust in evidence-based medicine, information seeking from trusted sources and lastly of being trapped in the cyclone of pseudoscience and misinformation which is certainly now or would be in post COVID world “A pandemic within A pandemic”

India long history of scientific adventure is certainly that one can be feel good about, but this pride has unfortunately led to another diversion as people being misguided and trained in the way science does not go and flourish, rather it becomes a source of embarrassment for the Nation and demotivation of thousands of people who have given their life to bring science to high levels of innovations and discoveries.

You must have received, seen or listened to various messages and calls tagged #SOS people pleading for Plasma, Remdesivir, Tocilizumab etc. Even though their clinical evidence against mortality prevention is thin people queued up in lines, black markets took over resulted in a medical hectic emergency throughout country. Rather their judicious and rational use should be left to treating doctor and not on personal beliefs.

Same goes about many drugs like ivermectin but public shy away from admitting that clinical outcomes of it are thin.

Why I call it “A Pandemic Within a Pandemic“ The answer lies in recent evidences of mucormycosis, which is clear result of overuse of steroids. Overuse of a medicine has deep roots in being a firm believer of quackery and pseudoscience.  Medicine is lot complex than just some ‘mg’ treating a disease. Inter disciplinary research is what makes medicine clearer, more interesting and justifying. Everyone can’t be expected to have a doctorate degree but certainly everyone must have a fundamental duty to inherit a scientific temper within and culture it in societies – ‘to question and find reasons’ – Well if you don’t know this is written in our Constitution Article 51 A (clause h).

Government has contributed equally to the problem – ‘Not channelizing traditional medicines scientific scrutiny in a trusted, scientific and internationally adopted rationality’.
We all have seen how one organization came with a bottle named ‘Coronil’ which they claim to be effective. They claimed it to be WHO scrutinized, which after WHO clarification became a National embarrassment.

Union ministers including health minister, attended their claim announcing press conference. Just to understand the gravity, recall if anyone of you saw #SOS for ‘Coronil’ ? There is a controversial ministry which promotes non verified advices and even treatment options publicly without any data and good publications and trials.

There is a clear principle in science – ‘ Anecdote don’t become reasons to claim any xyz system effective’. It would be in Nations interest if any such claims of long decades of natural treatments could be studied and looked in Department of Science and Technology or by ICMR and prove rational behind such claims. Large section of our population lowered scientific temperament is result of continuous lack of quality education specially science education and low science communications among public. People are literally being oppressed by the logics of anti-science just because quality education and training is not widely accessible.

Over the counter medicine advice by shop keepers is a common phenomenon in India even for that red-taped drugs which can only be taken if you have a valid medical prescription. Certainly, we justify it because of we not having affordable healthcare system but decades of this culture will make us anti-science clustered societies.

Another disturbing fact that COVID pandemic has caught the attention is the certification of anti-science trained degrees by government which flushes mind of students for science.
No country is exception where is there is no anti-science voices. Trump advocating for Hydroxychloroquine and drinking disinfectants, Jair Bolsonaro and Benjamin Netanyahu too joined the club. Pseudoscience phenomenon is global but needs to be restricted and questioned.

Public lack of courage to ask combined with media insensitivity to showcase good quality science talks along with brutal inaccessible and unaffordable education to masses resulted in what we call as anti-science minds.

Certainly with vaccines COVID pandemic will be over but not too soon, but are ready for another pandemic, another health crisis or from another chaos of misguidance of pseudoscience ? We all need to address it today or tomorrow will be worse than today. So read quality literature, build and question rational behind your logic and discus. Science is more crucial than ever before, remember someone is the past had the guts to fund and respect science for virological and vaccine research that helped COVID vaccines being made in record period of 1 year.

Also read: ‘Citizen science’ can help India boost scientific understanding, curb WhatsApp pseudo-science

These pieces are being published as they have been received – they have not been edited/fact-checked by ThePrint.