Mikhail Makogon, journalist
There is nothing funnier than how people, watching the wave of anti-vaxxers, medical conspiracy theories and pseudoscience, refer to the bright past. Like, it was then that the pre-Internet, and especially the Soviet people believed in science, but did not listen to fools.
My friends. You are not something that you cannot imagine, you simply forgot all that volume of shit that lived in the heads of our compatriots, but was transmitted not via optical fiber, but in oral retelling.
Moreover, wild game on the Internet and physical life is different wild game. When a blogger unfamiliar to you writes about irradiation with 5G towers, it's just some kind of eccentric from the Internet, you never know. When your grandmother's friend is an elderly respected woman with a higher education, an engineer with whom her grandmother worked for 40 years at a factory, says that a child needs turpentine ointment to use his ears, then a Soviet apartment is not a place where you can run away or hide.
Science in 5G and turpentine from otitis media is completely equal, but the credibility of the source is completely different.
Think for a moment: cans, these are the same vacuum cans, from which the back was like leprosy, which were given to Soviet people for any colds, they were not half-mad handicraftsmen who blew them in an underground way. They were made by the Soviet industry. Before the demise of the building, this industry had not mastered diapers and pads, but it did banks. A country that honored scientific knowledge, like that, yeah.
Or “blue lamp”. For several generations it shone in the ears. Do not healers. Doctors. Doctors with diplomas. In real hospitals and clinics. They shone in the ears with an incandescent lamp painted in blue. People in white coats performed a procedure identical to a conspiracy on water, and no one believed that this was not ok.
Mustard plasters, rinsing the nose with salt water, inhalation over boiled potatoes, Chizhevsky's chandelier, wrapping in pork fat, compresses with anything from honey to urine - at least all the time I was growing up, this shamanism, against which Voodoo is evidence-based medicine, lived in popular consciousness and medical recommendations along with antibiotics. And the exclusive belief in garlic, which, like a vampire, can ward off any cold infection, the main thing is to stuff a child with it like a boiled pork - in my opinion, it is still alive to this day.
And if you have never shoved a piece of soap in your ass as a remedy for constipation, then you have not grown at all. Tell me later who touched you there, where touched you and what suffering you experienced as a result.
The very same parents today, in whom every pill is "insufficiently tested" and "little long-term studies of the effect on the child's body" - themselves grew up in an atmosphere of free medical creativity, where absolutely any fantasies of any neighbors, friends, healthy lifestyle newspapers, grandparents, day programs about health and nightlife about the secrets of Kremlin medicine, any substances, including industrial ones, could be applied at any time and to any part, and (especially) the body cavity, as punishment for just snot.
You cannot experiment on children! Seriously? Is that right? With my own eyes, in our kindergarten, I saw whole consultations of parents discussing what else and where to rub, feed, shove to their children in order to see what happened and survive the flu season.
Or you know a lot of older cores who do not always keep Corvalol, Valocordin, and most importantly Validol at hand. For tens of years, tens of millions of people every day suck mint candies, never for a second doubting that this is a medicine.
About miraculous devices for cleansing the energy field, making living and dead water, about the persistent myth of the “Kremlin pill”, which costs a year's pension, but heals everything in the world (it's a pity that the general secretaries who did not live up to 70 did not know about it) - not even a conversation. This market flourished 20 years before the words "influencer" and "instagram" with their "hydrogen water" hit the Russian language. Thrived on pure word of mouth.
Everyday shamanism, occultism, mistrust of the injection and blind faith in the tincture of kerosene on fly agarics - in the head of both Soviet and post-Soviet people, it doesn't matter if he has a medical education and practice, this is the only true religion with continuity in generations. People, hung with honors on the entire surface of the body, as soon as the opportunity presented itself - knitted a loincloth and went to dance at the totem pole.
The only difference with today’s day: everyday madness spread throughout society, in every family, quarter, school, factory workshop, city a little bit of its own - suddenly it became visible to everyone. It is now printed in letters on the screen.
This is what makes our world a better and safer place, although it seems that the opposite is true. Grandma Efrosinya from the third apartment, the healer Martha from the village, whose queue had to be taken as an oncologist, my mother's friend, the broadcast on ORT, the healthy lifestyle newspaper - each time they became monopolists in the field of medical education. There was no Google, no dozen educators for every big obscurantist.
A world where darkness and ignorance are public, and do not live in retelling and folklore, where everyone's foolishness is visible - this is a world in which darkness and ignorance can be fought, where there is an alternative to it.
Original is here.