[This piece has been UPDATED and flips the original conclusions. See below.]
I don't mean to beat a dead horse. I realize most people are dug-in when it comes to the off-patent treatments for COVID. Some trust the studies that claim they work, and some trust the studies that say they don't. (For a complete list of all the studies on these and other therapies, go to c19study.com)
For example, I made my mind up a long time ago on Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and wrote about it here, here, and here. Most of the countries I had researched that had unusually good outcomes, like South Korea, Greece, Norway, Egypt, India, Israel, and dozens of others, had at times embraced the use of HCQ, often with zinc. More recently many have employed Ivermectin (IVM), which seems to be the most effective to date. [UPDATE 4/26/21 - Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state with 230 million people, is the only state that hands out kits with Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, D3, etc to anyone regardless of PCR test results, and it has been relatively unaffected by the recent deadly spike in India.]
But one country puzzled me: Canada. Canada has been very successful [see UPDATE at bottom!] with Coronavirus but did not use Hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin. Moreover, Canada, if anything would be expected to fare worse than its sunnier neighbor to the South. But that's not the case. Canada is doing almost three times better than the U.S. in deaths per million population. That translates to the equivalent of about 300,000 lives saved!
I finally looked into this and found a possible culprit, or should I say, a possible secret: Colchicine. Colchicine is chemically distinct from HCQ but shares some interesting similarities. Both originated long ago as plant based medicines, and they both have strong anti-inflammatory properties that are not fully understood. Moreover, both seem to benefit Coronavirus infections. Colchicine is not known as an antiviral, but with what we've learned about zinc ionophores, ie chemicals that transport zinc into cells, that may change. [CORRECTION: Colchicine is a known antiviral.]
Canada approved the use of Colchicine for Coronavirus last summer. It is the only approved pill based treatment for early COVID in Canada.
The fact is, outlier countries that have unusually low death rates have at least one pill based early outpatient treatment recommended for Coronavirus. It doesn't seem to matter which one they choose, as long as they choose at least one. India, one of the best performing large countries, has several and makes them available for free. [UPDATE only Uttar Pradesh, India's largest state, does this and they are among the best performing states during India's deadly second wave.] But in the U.S., we literally have NO early pill based approved treatments: not HCQ, IVM, DOX, AZ, Colchicine, Quinine, Artemisinin, Favipiravir, or any of the others being used around the world. None.
In fact, the official U.S. protocol for treating early outpatient Coronavirus and COVID is identical to the protocol for the common cold: isolation, fluids, & rest.
That's why we are dying at a rate that proves we have perhaps the dumbest medical bureaucracy on the planet. But not just dumb, criminally dumb. (Yes, I'm looking at you Dr. Fauci.)
[UPDATE: I used population normalized deaths for this analysis and that may have been a mistake. My assumption was that case fatality rates were so skewed by testing rates that they have lost meaning. That may not be true for a number of reasons. As it happens, Canada continues to have a significantly HIGHER case fatality rate than the U.S. AND is experiencing a current spike in cases (March, 2021). Their lower death rate is entirely due to lower cases and that is changing. Bottom line: at this point Canada is not doing so well, and Colchicine does not appear to be changing much of anything. We'll keep watching though.]