To search for a fixed string (i.e. not a regex), use:
$ grep -F -- "$query"
$ rg -F -- "$query"
-- tells Bash there are no more options and any further arguments are
positional. This is required to search for queries that look like options, like
-- A -- signals the end of options and disables further option processing. Any arguments after the -- are treated as filenames and arguments. An argument of - is equivalent to --.
I noticed this when doing a quick search for symlinks in my home directory. Using the incorrect:
$ ls -la ~ | grep -F "->"
grep to complain about an unknown option.
grep: invalid option -- > usage: grep [-abcDEFGHhIiJLlmnOoqRSsUVvwxZ] [-A num] [-B num] [-C[num]] [-e pattern] [-f file] [--binary-files=value] [--color=when] [--context[=num]] [--directories=action] [--label] [--line-buffered] [--null] [pattern] [file ...]
For the record, a more robust way of listing symlinks in a directory is:
$ find ~ -type l -maxdepth 1
although that doesn’t show where they link to.