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Xrayser: A biblical pharmacy conspiracy theory with mounting evidence

“The vaping and CBD oil lobby have been so quiet during the pandemic”

One conspiracy theory with biblical roots involving the wishes of NHS England for community pharmacy has captured the attention of Xrayser

The moon landings were faked, Elvis isn’t dead, and planes are leaving chemical trails in the sky to subdue the population. Don’t you just love a good conspiracy theory? I know I do.

Except for when they veer away from a crackpot explanation for an unacceptable happenstance, such as the death of a celebrity, and into peddling pseudoscience and ignorance such as quack unproven cures for COVID-19.

After the pandemic broke out, my pharmacy began to receive requests for antimalarial medication, specifically chloroquine, despite most international travel being suspended and my initially naive recommendation of atovaquone/proguanil as a superior prophylaxis. Then came my favourite theory: COVID-19 was being spread by 5G radio signals.

Under the circumstances, I should be pleased that we’ve not yet had requests for a homeopathic treatment for coronavirus. It’s equally surprising that the vaping and cannabidiol (CBD) lobby have been so quiet during the pandemic, since these two can be particularly evangelical about the benefits of their supposed panacea.

This is all typical of theories that eschew evidence-based science in favour of eminence-based claims, such as those from the French health minister that ibuprofen could be harmful to people with COVID-19. This opinion was supported by fake news posts on social media along the lines of “a doctor in the family says ibuprofen has been found in the blood of all coronavirus victims”.

However, there is one conspiracy theory that has interested me of late – and it reminds me of the story of Uriah the Hittite, who was a minor character from the Hebrew Bible. Uriah was a soldier in the army of King David, who was married to a famously beautiful woman called Bathsheba. King David fell in love with Bathsheba, so in order to get rid of her husband, he placed Uriah in the front line of battle before ordering the other troops to abandon him so that he was killed by the opposing army.

Fast forward a few thousand years and here am I, the owner of community pharmacy, and the ruling authority with whom I contract has made known its wish to be rid of around 3,000 such pharmacies.

When a serious disease of pandemic proportions strikes the land, I am placed on the front line. I still see the public and patients at a time when most other primary care professionals, including doctors and dentists, have been withdrawn from the battle. And while these other healthcare providers are receiving grants to help with additional costs, I am simply loaned some of my already reduced reimbursement.

Anyone wondering about NHS England’s intent regarding the continuation and financial wellbeing of community pharmacy might be tempted to give credence to a conspiracy theory.

A long-running C+D contributor, the identity of Xrayser remains a mystery, but his irreverent views are known by all. Tweet him @Xrayser

15 Comments

Leon The Apothecary, Student

What's worse is when people listen and believe unreservedly claims from David Icke about 5G being the cause of COVID despite having no reasonable logic behind it and ignoring everything that proves otherwise.

Not-So-Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

At least David Icke has entertainment value. There was actually someone on one of these pages a while back that believes what he says and provided links to his articles!

The problem with a lot of the conspiracy theories around Covid is that they will actually turn out to be more than theories. This thing already doesn't behave like a regular virus should - I could all too easily believe that this has been tinkered with somehow for the benefit of a certain nation state who shall remain nameless by me but I think everyone knows who I mean. I don't believe for a moment the 'official' figures for the virus (many are far too low, America's have probably been inflated for the benefit of the dumb-as-a-stump Trump 'Chinese Flu' supporters now the election is looming). We were in the middle of a pension crisis and now we have a convenient way of removing a significant state burden (care home deaths will have saved rather a lot of money for the Government). Vaccines will be rushed through on a wave of public panic to give an official reason for sticking a needle into every man woman and child in the country with who knows what inside it. Test and trace apps know exactly where you are and where you've been at all times (and we all know who has access to that data), and don't get me started on the co-incidental benefits to businesses from Covid-related 'restructuring' that has been in the pipeline for ages but they just haven't had the bottle to follow through until now when they have a disease to carry the can.

No, there are more than enough credible theories to keep us going without the 5G nonsense. I may just crack out the turquoise shellsuit.......

Alasdair Morrison, Product Development

OK, starting at the beginning:

"... a lot of the conspiracy theories about Covid... will actually turn out to be more than theories."
They "will"? So you've already drunk the conspiracy Kool-Aid, and confirmation bias is likely to have kicked in. Let's take things in order:

"This thing already doesn't behave like a regular virus should"
According to whom? I'm not a virologist - and I'm going to take a leap here and guess that you aren't either - but my rudimentary knowledge of the subject is that they don't have a rule book which dictates how they're supposed to behave. New viruses might behave in unexpected ways - in fact, surely it would be stranger if a new virus behaved exactly how everyone expected it to.

"I could all too easily believe that this has been tinkered with"
Well, as I said before, I'm not a virologist, so I wouldn't know. However, scientists who *are* qualified to ascertain such matters have stated that "analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus". I reckon their take on it is probably more likely to be correct than any number of xenophobic YouTube videos. Moreover, they add: "conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumours, and prejudice that jeopardise our global collaboration in the fight against this virus."
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0820-9
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/02/scientists-strongly-condemn-rumors-and-conspiracy-theories-about-origin-coronavirus

"America's [virus figures] have probably been inflated for the benefit of the dumb-as-a-stump Trump 'Chinese Flu' supporters"
This makes no sense. Wouldn't it be better for Trump for the opposite to be the case, and for America's numbers to be artificially reduced to pay down the risk of the virus? Indeed, for him to ask for testing to be 'slowed down', for example, like he himself has said? To be fair, he was probably lying about that like he lies about everything else.

"Vaccines will be rushed through... with who knows what inside"
I'm presuming that as a "superintendent pharmacist", even if you haven't worked in manufacturing in any capacity, at least you have some idea of GMP, the regulations and safety precautions involved in pharmaceutical manufacturing, and the likelihood of 'who knows what' turning up in a vaccine. Your statement sounds strangely like one that would be made by any old anti-vaxxer. I do hope I have misinterpreted it.

"... we all know who has access to that data..."
Ooh, sounds sinister. Sorry, I don't know who you mean. Would you care to elaborate?

"... there are more than enough credible theories..."
I don't see any of the ones you've stated or alluded to as being credible.

"I may just crack out the turquoise shellsuit"
It sounds like you're already wearing it.

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

Oh Hello, are you new here? Very convenient time to arrive with your dissection of his post. Almost a conspiracy theory in itself, the timing!?! Recruited by C&D to document the official narrative for pharmacists that may have fallen off that track !?! Ha, I merely jest!
Here's some things I have read and some tongue in cheek thoughts, so please don't dissect!
It was man-made in a lab, as said by scientists who have defected, as a bioweapon by China to cripple the American economy as punishment for Trump's tariffs. But was accidentally leaked too soon, possibly in lab animals that should have been destroyed but were trafficked to the wet market. For those who dispute the official version of events as well documented above, Dr Mercola, on his site, has articles to show how one paper published a story saying it wasn't a natural virus, and this was all quickly changed to the official narrative.
And vaccines take years to develop, none have been found for SARS, another coronovirus. The swine flu vaccine reportedly has narcolepsy as a side effect. The company that has published early phase 1 good results today has Bill Gates involved in it, someone who has no medical or scientific training, is not a Dr. yet is very heavily involved in vaccines. Why, many of the public are asking? And then you are off down the rabbit hole into microchips in vaccines as nano particles to track your every move and 5G waves affecting the body to reduce Immunity. Also Gates is very keen to reduce the world's population. And there is the ID2020 project too which is heavily discussed. Disclaimer..... Just off the top of the head thoughts about reading and watching over the last few months, I am not saying I buy into it all, but as the government is making it up as they go along, as it's a new virus they tell us, one can understand why the public, with no science background, the majority, do start to listen to some of these theories, which is so easy now with the awful social media, then forward them on. And only this morning on the Daily Wail site there is a bruising fight in the comments, on the trial results article, between the people already rolling their sleeves up, and the others who are incredibly sceptical of being injected for something that 99% of people recover from, and with UK deaths on a par with a very bad flu season. Personally I won't be having a vaccine, but if I was say, 79 with COPD and diabetes, then I probably would. But to be honest, probably like most people I will wake up tomorrow, like Dorothy, and realise it was all a dream !

Alasdair Morrison, Product Development

Hi Angela!

No, I'm not new here.

Your post reads like incoherent paranoid gibberish, so I will honour your request not to dissect it.

Thanks!

 

Not-So-Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

And your post reads like pompous, self important narcissism, if we're going to be trading insults.

Not-So-Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

Thanks for the defence Angela!

All I will say to Mr Morrison is that virtually everything we do is on trust. I have absolutely no idea whatsoever if the drugs I'm dispensing are what they say they are and no amount of FMD, GMP, GDPR or FCUK (ok, I made the last one up) can change that. If, at any point during the manufacturing process, something is added (think the nicely carcinogenic ranitidine tablets) we at the sharp end have not the foggiest about this. For all we know, the manufacturer of lactose for tablet filling is in cahoots with Bill Gates or whoever to have the nanoparticles added into the sacks of product. Same with the vaccine manufacturers - if someone at the top has an ulterior motive then the people further down DON'T NEED TO KNOW because they just cook up the batches of vaccine with whatever ingredients they are given on trust - if they are given a bag labelled 'stabiliser' they will bung it on in there if they are told so.

"conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumours, and prejudice that jeopardise our global collaboration in the fight against this virus." - for a virus to which 80% are supposed to be asymptomatic with a death rate comparable to flu, I think the Governments of the world are creating a climate of fear pretty well themselves, but to what end?

Trump - it suits his xenophobic anti-China agenda for America to be suffering at the hands of the enemy. The average redneck American Trump supporter has the intelligence of a newt and an unhealthy fixation with guns so will drink in the Chinese Flu story like it is nectar and vote for him in droves.

Tinkered virus - there is a Coronavirus 'research' facility in Wuhan. The outbreak started in Wuhan. Too much of a coincidence. Coronaviruses are common - we have all probably been infected with one at some point in our lives but this one seems to be attacking things that a SARS (remember the R is for Respiratory, not rhinoceros this time) virus should not, like the internal organs or brain. Yet this one is. A coronavirus infection should provide long term immunity after recovery - this one it appears does not. There have been two outbreaks of SARS type coronaviruses before - the original SARS and then MERS. Neither took off like this one has to become a pandemic. Perhaps they got the recipe right this time? I don't know, and more pertinently, neither do you. And yes, I am an anti-vaxxer when it comes to MMR, Chicken pox, flu etc. The human race has got to pushing 8 billion people without these vaccines - why do we need them now?

The word 'credible' means that they are potentially, and the 'potentially' part is important, believable. There are crackpot theories out there like the 5G one which is too far off the wall BUT there are also other theories that could be true. Can you PROVE that the virus has not been engineered? No and neither can I, yet you accept a government backed scientific paper as total truth. I may be more cynical than you but I don't automatically believe everything I read in scientific journals. There are too many things which science has dismissed as impossible which have actually turned out to be true. Once upon a time, science KNEW that the Earth was flat and the sun orbited around it. I'm sure you're not a Flat Earther are you Mr Morrison.....?

Our data - I don't think I need to elaborate on this one for anyone other than yourself who is just being deliberately awkward, so I'm not going to bother. All I will say is, don't be surprised when random ads related to places you've visited or just driven close to start appearing on your internet.

If you believe, Mr Morrison, everything you are fed by science WITHOUT QUESTION, you are not a scientist. A true scientist believes NOTHING without proof and rules out NOTHING without proof.

I also find it odd that you haven't attacked my own personal conspiracy theory about deaths in care homes - does that mean you could believe that one?

Strangely enough, Angela, there was an article in the news yesterday about falling population rates (which I am all for - there are WAY too many of us for the planet to support) especially in developed countries. Maybe Gatesy's plan is already working! Fertility rates are falling, particularly in the First World, which, how coincidentally, also has the biggest uptake of vaccines - new conspiracy theory anyone?

Differently to Mr Icke, I look GOOD in turquoise.

Alasdair Morrison, Product Development

Quick response:

To quote Carl Sagan, exceptional claims require exceptional evidence.

Can I PROVE the virus was not engineered? No, of course I can't. It's not up to me - or anyone else - to *disprove* whatever theory you subscribe to. If you're making that claim, then it's up to you to provide compelling evidence for it. That's how science works. It may be shown that the virus was engineered, and if that evidence persuades me then I'll accept it and change my mind.

Until then, I'm not going to just go with what you think happened based on how strongly you feel about it.

"I am an anti-vaxxer when it comes to MMR" - OK, at this point I am going to withdraw myself from this conversation before I breach community guidelines.

Not-So-Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

I have seen no proof that the virus was not engineered and therefore I hold, as any TRUE scientist would, an open mind. I know the capabilities of the human race to turn potentially beneficial science to it's own ends. I have, however, seen claimed evidence that the RNA/proteins of the virus could not have evolved by natural means. Apparently, it appeared, allegedly as a zoonotic disease, but PERFECTLY adapted to infect humans without having to go through that tedious evolution business. Therefore, my conclusion is that there is a possibility that the virus, while classified as a standard coronavirus, is in fact engineered to behave differently. The mere fact that it is not behaving in the same way as every other corona-type virus throughout the course of recorded history could be, in itself, taken as evidence of a possible human intervention and given that we, as a species, have the capability and disposition to use disease as a WEAPON (Anthrax, smallpox etc) means that we are more than capable of fiddling with a virus (which, lets face it would not be difficult - it's a strand of RNA inside a protein coat - we can genetically engineer higher mammals so a virus would be a doddle) in order to further our own ends.

The reason I do not believe in the MMR (and did not have my daughter vaccinated) is because it turns a relatively mild disease of childhood (I've had all three with no ill effects whatsoever and know of no-one else who has, she had mumps and had a bit of a sore throat for a week) into a SERIOUS disease of adulthood because the immunity is not lifelong, as is now being proven by outbreaks among students vaccinated previously. There is also scientific evidence that exposure to these viruses in childhood can help to protect against other diseases in later life. Nothing whatsoever to do with autism, just to do with my own scientific knowledge and if that offends you, good. It seems you are willing to accept anything fed to you on blind faith. I'm afraid I am not.

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

You're wasting your time Lucky, the rather rude man lives in 'Wee Krankie' land, and is in 'Production', not lowly community pharmacy, (so no idea why he has stooped to join us here) obviously producing vaccines, haha! 

It doesn't help his cause when YT and FB and TW keep removing 'Plandemic', which although full of lots of junk science, only makes the public more curious, as it has been 'banned'. And as I pointed out, my "gibberish", is what my staff and the customers are talking about. And then you get snooty replies, Ad hom, as above. And he won't dissect because he knows he can't answer lots of the points. There are scientists coming out now saying they think it was released from a lab as a bioweapon. 

My other question is why is a college drop-out, computer programmer turned philanthropist so interested in vaccines and viruses. He is not well liked and many, many are greatly suspicious of him and his motives. The comments on the MailOnline today were full of vitriol. Although I'm sure some of us prefer the Grauniad and won't have seen them!

If governments want to give vaccines, I suggest they keep Mr. Gates well out of the public eye. He is not a Dr, or a scientist or virologist, he has no medical or scientific qualifications or training, and being a billionaire shouldn't give you access to force political opinion or decisions. He can stand for Congress if he wants to do that.  

Oh, and he stated today that a vaccine may need to be multiple doses and annual, so lots of money for him as his foundation holds stock/is involved in all the major pharmaceutical companies. And I won't even go into the whole 'India' incident and dead children. 

I also find it hard to believe that a vaccine can be rushed through in 12 months, when they normally take at least 5 to 10 yrs to manufacture and test for safety, and that we can find a vaccine for this coronavirus but not for the SARS(1) one from 2002, so that's only 18 yrs they've had to produce one. Our friend dragging feet there!

Anyway, IF they do produce a vial of aluminium and mercury and God knows what else, then I'll pass for 5 yrs to see if anyone drops off from narcolepsy like the swine flu vaccine. Hopefully our Scottish friend will be first in the queue. He probably already has his sleeve rolled up! 

Not-So-Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

I most definitely won't be having one at all, nor the flu vaccine which is now so important that EVERYONE more or less is being offered it for free. Unless I'm totally wrong, if we keep the covid security as it is throughout the winter, that should also prevent a flu epidemic so this flu season should be less than normal, with less need for vaccination! If one good thing has come from this coronavirus, which I am more and more inclined to believe has human interference (have you heard about the virology lab in Wuhan which was built with French help then when it was up and running, all the French got kicked out?), then it's the knowledge of how to avoid viral transmission (which was just common sense anyway but then that's always been in short supplywith the public - I don't have Boris's faith in them!)

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I was reading an article the other day, admittingly it hasn't been peer reviewed yet, that suggests that immunity after catching the disease doesn't last very long. I'll link it when I have a chance.

Dodo pharmacist, Community pharmacist

No it's actually 6000

 

Dave Downham, Manager

You obviously weren't watching Matty H's performance yesterday - re the 3,000 "I don't recognise that figure"...

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Oh good, so if we don't recognise something, that means we can ignore it. It's like the political version of sticking your fingers in your ears, closing your eyes, and singing "la la la I'm not listening."

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Pharmacist Manager
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