Methylene Blue

By Ray Wilson

It’s still early; I am walking the dog; it’s the day of the carnival in my dad’s village; lawns are cut, gardens are manicured, and expectancy is in the air. I notice a small, slightly faded handwritten plaque with the words,

“They wanted to keep my grandmother safe. I just wanted to spend more time with her. She is no longer here.”

As I walk up Hollow Lane, the mercury is rising. I think I hear a distant rumble of thunder.
Outside a house, there’s a large pillory and stock in the front garden, and on either side, huge cacti are standing as watchful sentinels. There are helpful suggestions of various personalities who could occupy them, from banksters defrauding the innocent with their Ponzi schemes to politicians who stand accused of mass murder. In the past, stocks and pillories were punishments for crimes like swearing and drunkenness, using wooden frames, and locals throwing rotten food or stones—not severe enough penalties for the crimes committed by those in power today.
The zeitgeist is changing; it’s more Bob Moran; there is a distinct “You gave us a vaccine—we made you a play swing” vibe. This shift in the zeitgeist reflects a growing disillusionment with systemic corruption and a lack of accountability among those in positions of power. People are demanding justice and seeking creative ways to hold these individuals accountable for their actions.

“Are you not doing anything for the carnival, Rich?” I asked my brother.
“No, not this year; I have been too busy, helping Dad and whatnot,” he replies.
“We didn’t have carnivals on the common back in the day, did we?” It was the fair; that was the day we eagerly waited for when the fair came to town.”
The smell of diesel and summer grass, sizzling hotdogs, and candy floss. Children ran around with sticky fingers, laughter filling the air as they rode the bumper cars, the Chris Montez song playing excruciatingly loud to the point of distortion but not loud enough to dampen down the screams and whoops of joy.

“Hey baby, won’t you take a chance?
Say that you’ll let me have this dance.
Well, let’s dance. Well, let’s dance.
We’ll do the twist, the stomp, the mashed potato too.
Any old dance that you wanna do
But let’s dance. Well, let’s dance.”

“Remember the goldfish?” Rich asks.

I am not sure if I do, but neurons fire and memories percolate up through my mind. I had won a goldfish on one of the stalls. I was super proud and showed it to my chum Peter.
“It’s infected,” he tells me. Look at the white stuff; it’s the fungus.”
The next day Peter comes round, and he shows me the “blue stuff” his dad uses.
We put a big squirt of it in the water, and everything turns blue. Peter howls with laughter: It’s fine, don’t worry, and it was fine in the end.

“I remember,” I say.
“That bloody fish lived forever,” Rich says.
“That’s all a coincidence, really, I wonder Rich; we all learned something about methylene blue when we were at the health talk in Hove.”
When methylene blue is added, it is reduced from a blue to a colourless form by an alkaline solution of glucose acting as a reducing agent. Shaking the solution increases the amount of oxygen present in the mixture, which causes methylene blue to oxidize and return to its original blue state.

This reaction is commonly used in biology labs to test for the presence of glucose in a solution. It’s interesting how methylene blue can change colour based on its chemical interactions.
The Victorian era, or more specifically, the second half of the 19th century, one of the most colourful periods in history, is the setting for the methylene blue story. Literally. It was characterised by the introduction of a variety of synthetic dyes that, in large part, replaced the traditional plant-based natural dyes. The young William Henry Perkin accidentally created the new colour mauve while attempting to create the anti-malarial drug quinine from chemicals found in coal tar, which led to the start of the dye revolution. Even though the attempt to make quinine failed, Perkin understood the importance of mauve and, with the assistance of his father, set up a successful dye factory. Beyond colouring garments, synthetic dyes were used for other purposes. Medical researchers found that they could also selectively dye various cell and microbe types for simple microscope observation. Plasmodium malaria and Plasmodium falciparum, the parasites that cause malaria, were stained by methylene blue, according to Polish doctor Czeslaw Checinski’s discovery in 1887.

Paul Ehrlich, a scientist and physician from Germany, later observed that methylene blue might not only stain the parasite but also kill it. It could be produced at scale as an effective antimalarial. Ehrlich began treating malaria patients with the dye in 1891, making methylene blue the first synthetic medication used in medicine. This was a significant advancement considering that methylene blue could be made on a large scale, but quinine, the traditional anti-malarial, had to be isolated from the South American cinchona tree.

“It was explained to us that methylene blue is still used to successfully treat cyanide and carbon monoxide poisoning; it was called the first antibiotic and used to treat septic shock, anaphylaxis, memory loss, and depression.”
“Of course, we were told this for informational purposes only and if you need medical advice to please talk to your doctor, but that’s more easily said than done, anyway, apparently methylene blue and exposure to red light therapy at the same time gives additional benefits and a mitochondrial boost,” I say. “They, the powers that should not be, wouldn’t want you to know about it, then,” Rich points out, “like ivermectin discredited by the MSM as a horse dewormer, methylene blue would be the fish fungus equivalent.”

As Bob Moran said, “Sounds very much like all we needed to do was give people some Ivermectin and get on with life as normal. But we decided to try this freedom-crushing witch doctoring instead.”