Health & Medicine

A neoteric’s view

I love the Eurovision song contest. Forty countries celebrating humour, kitsch, high camp, chanteuse and song. Then there’s the voting which tells me more about Europolitics than any news outlet.  Double down disability and religion and you can exclude more This year it was great to see an increase in the number of non-solo women […]

Women are women and men are men – for the most part. Ovaries and testes can be removed, and hormones blocked or supplemented but it doesn’t change the genetic makeup of our cells. Well not yet at least. So, people born with an XY chromosome have different potentials and responses to disease and treatments than […]

There is a level of complexity in determining who is at risk from a serious COVID infection. Prior chronic diseases have a big part to play, and it’s not just based on which organs are affected by the chronic disease.  Is it time to say goodbye to COVID boosters?  For example, not all patients with […]

Now that COVID protocols are easing and face-to-face consultations with our regular physicians are returning, it is a good time for doctors and patients to refresh their commitment to the same vows of care. It is a well-studied adage that patients and doctors are not congruent in their views about what should happen during their […]

It only takes a pandemic to see how countries can use healthcare to reignite flagging nationalism. COVID 19 spawned a new kind of nationalism: vaccine nationalism, the prioritization of the domestic needs of a country over an outlay to others.  Even the policies of countries such as Australia and New Zealand, where nationalism is enforced by […]

There is a new eating disorder coined every decade. Obesity: you eat too much. Anorexia nervosa: you ingest too little. Bulimia nervosa: you do too much of both – but not at the same time. Now, there is orthorexia nervosa (ON): you worry too much about eating healthy food. Maybe we should just stop eating […]

In the acute phase, men with COVID experience more severe symptoms and higher mortality than women. In that way COVID is no different from many of the viruses that have attacked humans over the last century.  The health of women is not just women’s health Men are more attractive to viral infections than women. For example, […]

Viruses can’t die because they aren’t alive in the first place. They are just a bunch of genetic instructions in search of a living organism to hijack.  Become part of the COVID death squad So how is it that the COVID-19 coronavirus doesn’t just disappear as we all get vaccinated? Sure, vaccination decreases the viral load […]

Time to spin some wishes into reality. Here is my top ten, in no particular order. Share yours in the comments box. Science never turns into science fiction, nor medical evidence twisted into medical factoid. COVID vaccination rates globally reach at least 90%.  COVID continues to morph into another influenza – like illness. Public health units […]

Do  booster vaccinations prevent breakthrough infections? Who knows? But is that the right question. Are breakthrough infections important to prevent? Afterall we do know that most breakthrough infections are mild or asymptomatic. Breakthroughs, boosters and severe COVID – are they really related? When we look at deaths from COVID amongst breakthrough cases, they occur at a rate […]

Everyone is worried about our planet. Whether it is the billionaires trying desperately to exit it, the environmentalists and heads of governments trying to manage expectations or the public health pundits trying to minimise the impact of the COVID epidemic. In health care we strive to keep people alive and healthy. In prior centuries, we were […]

Medical evidence is in a state of constant flux. Most of us would feel comfortable if  amassing research evidence was like completing a jigsaw puzzle. Each new piece would add to the greater picture. Unfortunately, that is not the case. When viewing medical research we must learn, as we did as  adolescents, that not everything in our lives […]

For many months now, COVID testing has become a part of everyday life. Beyond identifying if you have COVID, the tests have very little additional use. They don’t provide information we have come to expect from the battery of routine medical tests we are subjected to through our lifetime.  We need global standards for testing, […]

It sounds like a no brainer. Why would you want to further compromise the immune system of someone whose immune system is already compromised? And yet that is what the “expert” committees all around the globe are advocating with their “science-by-committee” advice recommending booster COVID vaccination.   Science-by-committee lacks any proven clinical benefit There just isn’t […]

The way COVID-19 vaccines protect us is still not fully understood. Nor is the level of protection achieved by the various vaccines. Studies are now emerging highlighting the confusion in the community about what constitutes vaccine efficacy. There is a common misconception that vaccine efficacy is measured by the vaccine’s ability to prevent us from […]

Now that the saner populations of the world are reaching a critical mass of  vaccination against COVID, our attention must turn to whether booster vaccinations are necessary. And as with everything emerging about COVID, it is a rapidly changing picture. Choose a different vaccine to boost and only one dose Eleven years ago, US Infectious Disease […]

Vaccines are the best news to emerge from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid and successful deployment of the new vaccines offers a way to limit the devastating effects of the pandemic – for men at least.  Unfortunately, the recent reports of thromboembolic events (clotting) may raise new concerns amongst the unvaccinated. These reports initiated with vaccines […]

Vaccine hesitancy is a real problem in the control of mortality from COVID. It is true that we know very little about the safety of these new generation mRNA vaccines. However, we do know that mRNA vaccines are safer than previous generations of nucleotide vaccines that were based on DNA and therefore could be integrated into our […]

As a public health physician, and as a family physician, I am ashamed. In response to COVID, my colleagues in public health officialdom are losing credibility as they search for politically driven quick fixes and remain silent when individual freedoms are restricted without clear evidence of an enduring relationship to positive outcomes. COVID is here […]