No easy path with this virulent pathogen

Hans Lovejoy, editor

While New Zealand declares itself COVID-19 free this week, Australia, particularly Victoria and now NSW residents, are bracing themselves for fresh cases of the virus. If there are to be local cluster outbreaks owing to asymptomatic or symptomatic visitors, it will presumably start to emerge shortly.

New Zealand’s strict eradication regime – which even included locking down the construction industry – appears at this stage a better outcome than Australia’s containment plan.

Yet eradication on a smaller island with fewer people was going to be more achievable.

The example no one wants to follow of course is the US, where states such as Arizona and Florida continue to buckle under sharp increases in the number of cases.

And Sweden’s experiment of allowing the virus to run its course ‘has become the world’s cautionary tale’, according to the New York Times.

Any pretence of this pandemic vanishing anytime soon quickly evaporates the more scientists understand about the virus.

Long term immunity after infection could be lost in months, a King’s College London study has recently suggested. 

According to Australian government health, ‘COVID-19 is a new disease, so there is no existing immunity in our community’.

Yet infectious disease expert and Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia, William Petri, wrote in academic website The Conversation that in a ‘tiny percentage of cases – maybe 1 in 100 – the immune system naturally eliminates SARS-CoV-2 from the body [SARS-CoV-2 is the virus; COVID-19 is the disease]. This is very encouraging for vaccine development’.

A vaccine of course, could be years away.

And because it’s all still unfolding, the accuracy of clinical study results may well change over time.

For example, there are early indications that blood types may have a role in the contagion. The risk for individuals for Type O blood appear to be significantly lower than other types, says Columbia University. It’s a similar outcome to a previous Chinese study.

Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark is the co-chair of the World Health Organisation’s Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. She told Dr Norman Swan on the ABC’s Health Report this week that another pandemic could be around the corner. Another coronavirus ‘may not be as far away as one would think’, she said.

So if you prefer science over punditry, you would be suspicious of Murdoch’s media mules, who campaign for complacency.

It’s worth asking whether Australia wants to be like America at this time? Murdoch’s media mules have much more influence in the US than they do here. Every bit of misinformation and seeding of doubt slows down the collective effort to get a handle on this one-in-a-100-year disease.

News tips are welcome: [email protected]

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6 responses to “No easy path with this virulent pathogen”

  1. Not an easy path by any means… Now I’m thinking
    of that aged movie of Peter Weirs “The Cars That
    ate Paris” mixed in with Murdoch mules!!! Science
    is the only answer.

  2. Tried to contact Editor. Didn’t work….. NEWS TO EDITOR

    Siberian Heat Wave / CBC / CBS / Siberian heat wave /
    forests on fire / due to carbon / around 34 degrees

  3. Gordon Balfour Haynes says:

    “It’s worth asking whether Australia wants to be like America at this time?”

    Nope. Not at this time or any other. Why mimic a failed state?

    “Every bit of misinformation and seeding of doubt slows down the collective effort […] .”

    Tell that to the muppets who grab onto every conspiracy theory around!

  4. ida says:

    “Every bit of misinformation and seeding of doubt slows down the collective effort to get a handle on this one-in-a-100-year disease.”
    That claim presumes that our medically and scientifically illiterate government ladder climbers and other careerists actually know and tell the truth, which is naive. It assumes that misinformation is something governments and profiteers could not possibly be guilty of.

    On the contrary, I see this attitude as what I would describe as the Covid War On Intelligence.
    It is no different than any other historical book burning and war on intellectuals.

    Here are some better quotes to keep in mind:

    “The welfare of people in particular, has always been the alibi of tyrants.” Albert Camus.

    “Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist.
    That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down.” Frederick Douglass.

    “It is in the interest of tyrants to reduce the people to ignorance and vice. For they cannot live in any country where virtue and knowledge prevail.” Samuel Adams.

    There is a strong probability that None of this is about a virus. That the virus is the ruse. The virus is a movie, a play, like “War of the Worlds”. That this is about control of people, land, and resources.
    That It is no different than any other war upon people throughout time.
    It is about eroding or stealing from us our natural rights to seek and speak actual truth, rather than merely regurgitating words of government and big business sponsored liars.
    And it is about making us totally dependent on our “masters” via their control of us through purposeful misinformation.

    “Democracy is, among other things, the ability to say no to the boss. But a man cannot say no to the boss unless he is sure of being able to eat when the boss’s favour has been withdrawn.”

    Think about the measures being taken, such as the destruction of cash and small business economy, making everyone a dependent slave of the “boss”.

    All is not innocent here, and it is NOT those investigating the truth, the “conspiracy theorists” as people are called in attempts of condescension, who should be feared.

  5. Liz L says:

    I have a tendency to be long winded so I’ll keep it super brief: FF’sS!

    Sorry can’t do it. I have to offer Ida another quote: ‘The only certainties in this life are death and taxes’.

    It’s true, none of us can be sure that we’re not all in the middle of some giant evil conspiracy. What I would just ask everyone so ready to believe that the 140,000 + death statistic in the USA (the land of the free) is all part of a carefully orchestrated international, world media and WHO backed hoax is this: do you ever have a doubt? Have you ever questioned this certitude and are you prepared to gamble it against the lives and livelihoods of trillions?

  6. We’ve a lot of strange happenings of late — but
    we cannot afford to loose the plot. We are
    being governed by ill equipped individuals who
    [first off] want the ‘best’ for themselves because
    the country is being run as ‘a business only’ &
    profiteers ‘manage’ the public. It will be very
    interesting to see the final outcome of it all.
    We could always try ‘lite reading’ – Political
    Oppression… The Trial, by Kafka.

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