Category Archives: Health

JOHN CARLIN.-Groundhog Days

Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year, about London’s “Great Plague” of 1665, makes us resign to the fact that we learn nothing from history.

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RAMESH THAKUR. Coronavirus postscript

Two brief comments as a follow up to my article on coronavirus on Monday.

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TREVOR PARMENTER. The new eugenics

Are we about to face the era of a ‘new eugenics’ movement or is it simply a return to the ‘old eugenics’ which we thought had disappeared shortly after the end of World War II? The health crisis may force … Continue reading

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JOHN DWYER. Health care professionals want a lockdown now.

In sharper focus than ever this week is the danger health professionals experience in caring for seriously ill patients infected with COVID-19.

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STEPHEN LEEDER. The ambiguity of herd immunity and the coronavirus

In the US, the first formal clinical trial of a drug to treat coronavirus and  of a vaccine give us a good moment to reflect on the immunology of this illness.

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KERRY BREEN and KERRY GOULSTON.- Further update: An apolitical approach to the Covid-19 crisis – hopes are fading.

In the eleven days since we first tried to make sense of the Federal Government’s approach to the current health crisis, little has changed in its approach.

Posted in Health, Politics | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Coronavirus pandemic: sceptical question marks make for better policy than excitable exclamation marks

When did the world’s media and politicians become collective versions of Lance Corporal Jones in the British comedy series Dad’s Army, screaming ‘Don’t panic! Don’t panic!’? Colour me contrarian, but since the 2003 Iraq war, my working motto has been: when … Continue reading

Posted in Health, International Affairs | 10 Comments

MICHAEL GRACEY. Protecting remote Indigenous people from the COVID-19 pandemic

The current pandemic caused by the virus COVID – 19 is affecting many countries; it is highly infectious and potentially fatal, especially for vulnerable people. Indigenous Australians are especially at risk to this infection and will need special arrangements to … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Indigenous affairs | 1 Comment

SATURDAY’s GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND 

What people in other forums are saying about public policy

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MICHAEL KEATING.- Good health policy is good for the economy

The Government seems to think that it must balance the needs of the economy against the actions needed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. In fact this is not true, and Australia’s future economic capacity will fall if the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Health | 6 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM The land of no social distance

While the Western world thinks staying apart is wise to avoid Covid-19 infections, Indonesians still remain together.

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ALAN TYNDALL. Stem Cell Therapy; Hype or Hope?

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “stem cell therapy”? Miracle cures for wheel chair bound paraplegics? Building new organs to replace burned out old ones? Eternal beauty and youth? Immortality?

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KERRY BREEN and KERRY GOULSTON.- Update: An apolitical response at last to the Covid 19 crisis.

Last week we explored why government responses to the Covid 19 crisis seemed to be tardy and we argued for an expert apolitical group to lead the response.

Posted in Health, Politics | 8 Comments

JOHN TONS. Nature Bats Last

Australia’s summer of discontent has morphed into an autumn of fear as we bunker down to protect ourselves from coronavirus. Nature is reminding us that she is not to be trifled with, that she cannot be ignored.

Posted in Economy, Health, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN DWYER. TRUMP DECLARES THAT HE IS CONVINCED WE NOW HAVE A DRUG TO TERMINATE THE EPIDEMIC

As I write Boris Johnson has just locked down the UK and ordered police officers to enforce the lockdown. Almost simultaneously Donald Trump has declared that there is a “great weariness” among Americans for this social distancing business and he … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. The coronavirus pandemic and the crisis of Australian federalism.

Despite the Prime Minister’s daily press conferences in which he fatuously tries (as is his wont) to reassure “all Australians” that they are “on the bridge to the other side” of the coronavirus pandemic, confusion and fear continue to stalk … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 7 Comments

JACK WATERFORD.- China’s formidable achievement

China deserves credit, not abuse for epidemic management

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MICHAEL KEATING.- The latest economic response to the coronavirus

These are very uncertain times, but the Government seems to be playing catch-up, both with our health and the economy. In addition, there are continuing questions about the structure of the Government’s economic response and the effectiveness of some of … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Health, Politics | 2 Comments

JACK WATERFORD.-COVID-19 mapping must go beyond the sick to the well

Only mass screenings will tell us about the dynamics of the disease

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MUNGO MACCALLUM.-Confusing and often self-contradictory messages on Covid-19

As so often with Morrison, there is no overall strategy – simply a series of reactive measures which, he hopes, will do the job unless a next one is needed. and then another one, and another one …

Posted in Health, Politics | 6 Comments

JOHN TULLOH. Uncle Sam makes it an unhappy Persian new year in Iran.

One can only surmise at the quiet satisfaction among members of the Trump administration at the current distress of Iran regarding the coronavirus sweeping the country.

Posted in Health, International Affairs | 6 Comments

GREG BAILEY. Predictability, Society and the COVID 19 Virus

The economic stimulus must adopt a whole of society approach, focusing on those of lower income, of a kind that it has consistently refused to do. If it does this and, above all, can be seen to be doing it, … Continue reading

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IAN WEBSTER. Too many experts at a time of crisis.

This is a time when advice needs to be considered, balanced, respectful and well-founded.

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

MARCUS REUBENSTEIN: This is NOT an economic crisis!

The global reaction to the consequences of COVID-19 is absolutely warranted BUT its low mortality rate has lulled some in Australia into ignoring the fight against a highly contagious virus.

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JAMES GRUBER. Managing our fears. Some practical advice.

Fear. It’s everywhere and palpable. Fear for the health of ourselves and our families.

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KERRY BREEN and KERRY GOULSTON.-An improved response to COVID-19 will not be achieved with the current approach.

One of the puzzling and troubling aspects of the Australian response to the Covid 19 public health crisis is that the actions taken or advised by government have often lagged behind what many in the community, including people with expert … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 13 Comments

RICHARD HORTON.- Scientists have been sounding the alarm for months. Why did Britain fail to act?(The Guardian 19.3.2020)

On 24 January, Chinese doctors and scientists reported the first description of a new disease caused by a novel coronavirus.

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JOHN CARLIN. The Corona Virus and Camus’ “The Plague”.

Camus concludes that “in the midst of so many afflictions” what one learns is that “in man there are more things worthy of admiration than of contempt.”

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JOHN DWYER. There is still a lot more that needs to be done to minimise harm in Australia from COVID-19.

Australian governments are taking a “measured approach” to minimising the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic adding new tactics/restrictions as the numbers grow. Far better to use all available measures now to minimise that growth.

Posted in Health, Politics | 9 Comments

JOHN CARMODY.- A ‘civil society’ or a ‘competitive society’?

I suspect that the Australian people have never really abandoned their ethical view that people’s lives supersede profits.

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