Category: COVID 19

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, […]

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 […]

Competing as an Olympian is a dangerous pursuit. In the sixteen days of competition one in ten athletes will sustain an injury during the games.  Of these injuries, one in three will prevent the athlete from competing or continuing to compete. Cycling, gymnastics, and weightlifting earn Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for the most injuries at the Olympics. Taekwondo, […]

I have a passport that identifies my citizenship and permits me to enter countries around the world. It has been sitting quietly in my drawer gathering cobwebs as I watch countries open and shut their borders according to the latest knee jerk quasi-public health prompt.  “Covid” and “passport” should not be used together Passports and […]

With the data about COVID isolation and its negative effects polluting our senses, it is reassuring that researchers are turning their attention to interventions to assist people sheltering at home.  Caged humans should start planning escapades Bringing the outside world into our homes is one strategy. Stress is reduced in indoor environments enriched with plants […]

It is human nature to want to name an illness.  This allows patients to come to terms with their symptoms and prognosis.  It also permits physicians to adopt a course of treatment.  In the case of COVID, diagnosing the disease presents pitfalls as well as opportunities.    First, the pitfalls.  As new diseases evolve, many of the symptoms associated with […]

Countries worldwide are racing to vaccinate a significant proportion of their populations against COVID in the coming months. The evidence that vaccination decreases the likelihood of severe disease is promising. What is not so clear is whether the vaccines will eradicate the pandemic. To date there has been very little research into whether the vaccines […]

The COVID context is changing rapidly with the virus mutating and vaccination programs being rolled out globally. The original evidence on vaccine trials still stands. Here is a summary of what we know to date, which is supported by research evidence and not baseless assertion nor media factoid. As always, the primary references are available […]

Now that masks have become common, they also have become big business.  They can be found in a great variety of shapes, patterns and materials, but all masks aren’t created equal. Many factors, including the composition and thickness of the material, and the density of the filter fibres, determine their effectiveness. Non-natural fibres work better to […]

To date, none of the available vaccines prevent transmission from one individual to another. Most focus on decreasing the severity of symptoms. In the short term, that is a very effective strategy. In the longer term it can turn into a double-edged sword.  Evolving new strains of COVID may be more beneficial than detrimental. Consider […]

In one in three primary care consultations more than one problem is managed. The average number of problems managed is two, but as we get older or if we include mental health problems, closer to five problems are addressed per consultation and at least the same number of medications prescribed. COVID has been blamed for virtually anything that can […]

COVID-19 continues to ravage the world in waves and ways that are seemingly unstoppable. Even now, the unresolved debates about vaccination and herd immunity will ensure that the virus will affect us long into the future. And then there is the unspeakable discourse that centres around the possibility that the virus is a Darwinian cull […]

With the advent of antibiotics in the first half of the last century, traditional public health went into hibernation.  Communicable or infectious diseases surfaced only occasionally, and usually only in small outbreaks of old foes such as TB, leprosy and polio. Most of these outbreaks were contained and in relatively inaccessible locations subject to a small […]

Since March 2020, most places in the world have been through several versions of CoVID-19 lockdown. The most extreme level, currently in force in several cities in the USA, prohibits social contact beyond the immediate household throughout the rest of the year. Those who can work from home are expected to do so. Those who […]

Absolute risk is the likelihood an event will occur. Relative risk is the likelihood an event will occur in one group compared to another. In CoVID-19 terms, the absolute risk of dying from the disease is low. However, if we look at very old residents of care facilities who have multiple health problems compared with […]

Over the past two decades, three human coronaviruses (SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2) have emerged worldwide and there is still no approved vaccine for any of them. Greedy nations race each other in a drug-ridden CoVID Olympics, spending billions to find the gold medal vaccine. Yet we are told the greatest elite performer on earth – […]