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Born in London, schooled in Sussex and Wales, migrated to Sydney in 1988. Career in mental health, nursing, health care management and education. Currently retired but not brain dead. Occasional writer for the AIM Network, touch of critique and sociopolitical satire, creative writing and publishing poetry. Family man with grown up daughters and grandchildren. Interests ranging from humanities and social justice to climate change, protecting the planet from reckless destruction to a more than idle lifelong fascination in astronomy and palaeontology. Found sanctuary in the Blue Mountains, a place that reminds us we have a mortal responsibility to inspire in each other good stewardship - this place is our only home in the cosmos to hand on to our children's children. Truth in the morning light we cherish, wings in the cloud that lift our courage.

Website: https://allpoetry.com/Barddylbach

Road map to Bondi – fresh air is the safest place to be, Hazzard easing outdoor restrictions

Yes, we have a ‘roadmap’ all the way out of Covid NSW and Health Minister Hazzard is sprouting thought bubbles just like Morrison, now that we won’t be listening to him and Gladys every day – Less bags of wind and heaps more sun and fresh air. That will sort everything out all the way to Christmas. Hell let’s not wait till mid-October, we can start opening up right now – Hunger games are just getting started.

Boofhead Hazzard wants to open up Sydney and NSW at the peak of NSW and Australia’s pandemic (announced yesterday in the Sydney Morning Herald); Despite 1,599 cases reported in NSW, over 2,000 nationwide and before we are anywhere near 70% vaccinated (44.5% to be exact – not even half of the adult population). Hey boofhead how about more surfers and beach-goers on Bondi tomorrow where it all began, there were not nearly enough flouting the rules yesterday, police caught with their pants down and not a bad word said about it. Yeah, let’s roll it with seaside fanfare and beach ball, and bugger it let’s have a festival to celebrate, just as long as we keep Southwest Sydney, Western Sydney and few other unimportant regional and rural suburbs locked down out of sight.

Since the start of the Delta outbreak, there have now been 42,000 COVID-19 cases. A total of 1,164 people are in hospital with the virus, 221 in intensive care and 94 being kept alive on ventilators. Eight people died today taking the total dead for NSW to somewhere around 150 since the Delta outbreak began, can’t be absolutely sure on that one because it’s hard to find the figures on the NSW Health and government websites and they are not going to be updating us every day now.

Asked if he was concerned people will flock to the beach in Sydney amid temperatures pushing 30c, Boofhead Hazzard said “no”. Can you believe this guy? So let’s all have a party down on Bondi because boofhead isn’t going to let anyone in the Blue Mountains or rural NSW, where we have all followed the rules and haven’t seen a live case in our district since the Delta outbreak began. But hey, let it all hang out on Bondi because they are all so damn special in Liberal fields of downtown suburbia, where the sun, sea and surf meet to play with angels (the ones with wings not fins).

There are now 14,536 active cases in NSW and about 441 of them are in Eastern Suburbs. But boofhead said, “The most important thing is to stay alive” he said, “Please, please, please, do not run the risk of dying.” So let’s all party down in the fresh air, where it is safest, down by the sea. “Perhaps you’d like to swim with a few sharks on Bondi,” he said at the press conference, “because it would be a whole lot safer than standing around here with me every day at 11 O’clock in the morning”, he said with a wry smile. Nah I’m joking, he didn’t say that but I am certainly thinking it. But heads up, if you see boofhead in a coffee shop in Manly or The Rocks, don’t mention the Ruby Princess, he’s likely to let it rip.

Brad Hazzard press conference

As we enter the hardest phase of the current outbreak on Friday, the Premier announced the daily 11:00am COVID-19 press conferences would cease from Monday and that she and the Health Minister would only address the public on a “needs basis.” So all good here, no worries, don’t call us we’ll call you, needs not urgent we are told. NSW Health system is expected to see a surge in hospital cases and need for ICU beds and ventilators over the next few weeks, but don’t worry boofhead Health Minister and Premier have it all under control, confident nurses and doctors will cope, slave it away in their PPE to the dulcet tones and pep talks from 2GB radio and Sky News. So boofhead Hazzard says let’s get on down and boogie on the fresh air in Bondi. Sorry guys, Hawaii just a little too far away right now, and Sydney revellers not welcome on the Gold Coast or anywhere else inter-State right now.

Boofhead Hazzard acknowledged there was a supply problem with Pfizer that could delay the vaccination uptake for those under 18, bugger everyone else though from 18-40, especially if you are in Newcastle, Hunter, Wollongong or rural NSW, you’ll have to wait till Christmas before you get fully vaccinated, first appointments are running well into November and early December. Your allocations have all come down here to Sydney so the party down here can continue.

Just wondering though, is boofhead looking for an Australian nomination from Morrison for best NSW Health Minister ever or perhaps for his performance rebuffing and de-railing the Parliamentary enquiry last month speaking to the Public Accountability Committee into the NSW Government’s management of the Covid pandemic? Did you see his Oscar winning star performance, his spat, his magnificent temper tantrum before the Parliamentary Committee – If not you can see it here. Apparently the Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant works 18 hours a day and so, as her boss he admits to overwhelming and working her into the ground, what a misogynistic spotty nosed hyena! She couldn’t get a word in edgeways, in fact from where I was sitting it looked to me like she had been served with a NSW Health and Government Non-Disclosure Agreement, because he sure didn’t want her to answer any questions.

But whatever you do, whether you hang out on Bondi, sing the national anthem or hymns on a park bench or beach in Wakehurst with your hands high on a hill far away, tongues wagging with Morrison, don’t mention the Ruby Princess, because that will make boofhead real mad; and for heaven’s sake make sure you are wearing a mask.

NSW Health’s Jeremy McAnulty said the bulk of new infections were still emerging in Sydney’s west and south west, in particular the suburbs of Auburn, Greenacre, Merrylands, Liverpool, Punchbowl, Granville, Bankstown and Guilford. So they’ll be keeping them well locked down and policed and as far away way from the parties on the beaches of NSW. We’ve been told they are sending in food parcels, but nothing like Menulog or Uber Eats, God no, can’t have the private sector supply chain entangled and compromised from the leper colonies in the west, regardless of where it came from.

In response to news that former Prime Minister Tony Abbott was fined yesterday for not wearing a mask in public, boofhead Hazzard said the rules were for everyone, with no exceptions, well unless you are the current Prime Minister, an Olympic athlete or mining magnate, and of course a few exceptions apply to the Berejiklian Government surely, but Abbott wasn’t really a local hero, was he? “It does not matter who you are, whatever station you have in life, there are orders. Nobody likes to have these orders but it is to keep everybody safe and I hope people will comply with the orders,” said boofhead Hazzard. NSW Police said Mr Abbott was fined $500 for breaching the public health orders at the Manly Beach promenade after he was photographed by a bystander, who probably wasn’t his best friend. But Tony Abbott, just smiled in his boxer pants, shrugged his shoulders and said, “what the hell for the price of a few cups of coffee and a little more misogyny.” Nah I don’t think it was a police woman and he probably didn’t quite say that either.

So there you have it, all the news as it happens and a wide open road map to Bondi – Let the sharks out to join us in the public swimming pool. “Make NSW great again” said boofhead, “if only you’d let me finish… yes you I’m talking to you, you clown. I’m a busy man and I can’t stay here all day talking to you”. No, he didn’t say that, well yes, he did, but not yesterday, I mean ‘making NSW great again’, he didn’t say that… What was that you mentioned again, ‘The Ruby Princess?’ – No mate that is not part of the roadmap out of lockdown, that was something to do with Hillsong as I recall, nothing to do with us, we let them out a long time ago, talk to the PM on that one.

References

‘Fresh air is the safest place to be’: Hazzard raises easing more outdoor restrictions – Sydney Morning Herald, 11 September 2021 https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/fresh-air-is-the-safest-place-to-be-hazzard-raises-easing-more-outdoor-restrictions-20210911-p58qsr.html

NSW Covid crisis: Brad Hazzard defends end to daily press conferences as cases and death toll worsen – The Guardian Australia, 11 September 2021 https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/sep/11/nsw-covid-crisis-brad-hazzard-defends-end-to-daily-press-conferences-as-cases-and-death-toll-worsen

Roadmap to freedom unveiled for the fully vaccinated – The Premier, Deputy Premier, NSW Government, 9 September 2021 https://www.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/roadmap-to-freedom-unveiled-for-fully-vaccinated

Brad Hazzard throws temper tantrum for six minutes straight – Remix Matrix, YouTube, 12 August 2021 https://youtu.be/SlZgvY-zHIc

Ruby Princess inquiry blames NSW health officials for debacle – The Conversation, 14 August 2020 https://theconversation.com/ruby-princess-inquiry-blames-nsw-health-officials-for-debacle-144512

 

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GG Picking his Spots Oblivious to the Crisis in His Own Backyard – These Common Threads of Office

The GG Buffoon is a do-nothing Liberal backer and military general hand-picked by the Prime Minister, and unlike a predecessor 46 years ago who turned on Gough Whitlam for far, far less – then, there was no crisis in the population, no monoliths of government corruption, no gross government incompetence, and no threat to the people they governed, but a progressive and popular Labor government.

Today we have all these serious constitutional transgressions and existential threats and this GG buffoon sits on his arse installing more corrupt politicians like cowboy beetroot water-rort Barnaby Joyce and sports-rort lying cowgirl Bridget McKenzie.

Meanwhile Delta spreads due to poor and negligent border management, quarantine, vaccine supply, botched rollout and absence of public service infrastructure putting our entire population at risk, all courtesy of the Liberals and Nationals in Federal Office and the one NSW State that has been responsible for both major national outbreaks last year (cruise ships border farce) and this year’s Delta variant (flight crew transfer/hotel quarantine and delayed/ambivalent lockdown).

The two arrogant recalcitrant corrupt LNP governments in Australia (NSW and Federal) are destroying the Australian way of life, our freedoms, our health and our economy and totally clueless, authoritarian and hypocritical when it comes to management of the pandemic, public health, lockdowns, civil freedoms, quarantine, vaccination choice, supply and rollout – blaming anyone that moves other than themselves.

Both these governments should have long since been turned over to the people for early general elections with strict electoral and media information protocols, guidelines, donation caps and public declarations that cannot be manipulated and interfered with by the gutter corporate press monopoly, particularly News Corp, Sky News and extreme right wing bully boy radio shock jocks with their snap liberal bum-licking ministerial interviews.

The Bulletin: Australia’s Defining Moments, Digital Classroom, National Museum Australia – https://digital-classroom.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/bulletin-established

But no, the GG is too busy minding his own business picking his spots oblivious to the crisis in his own backyard, and has anyone even heard of the unbeknown NSW Governor in hiding? And why, because he was hand-picked by the Prime Minister to do as he was told, not by the people and unlike a controversial predecessor 46 years ago, sits at home protecting only his own arse and government during lockdown, while Australia burns and chokes again, this time in its veins and arteries.

Alas what can a common (silent) juror do other than be directed by the judge? It took a rebellion of the troops in 1808 to send the only governor of NSW packing, Captain William Bligh… aye remember him! But now we get our governors, generals, judges and premiers all mixed up in the same palette, fancy that!

And these common threads of office – No heavy national bushfire fighting equipment and infrastructure – still; no national climate change policy – still; no national quarantine infrastructure, no coordinated national pandemic plan – still; no fundamental public service administration and expertise to defend and coordinate a national public crisis response; and effectively no vaccine (failed national supply and rollout) – The true plague behind these life threatening existential crises are the Liberals – still. After all these years so little changes, their spotty nosed bum-picked ideologies, pathologies, entitlements, arrogance, incompetence and corruption; and of course, our appointed judges and generals… Governors, no Freudian slips here.

If you are not for the people, you are against them – But you can man the stills with a ration of rum!

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Can I Gladys at 11 O’Clock

An hour a day keeps the doctor away!

‘First of all can I… can I say in my defence…’ as we announce the numbers on the NSW bingo scorecard, here’s what we can do today (complete with behind the scenes extrusive thoughts).

‘Hello everyone (Gladys glances around with a poodle grin and lollipop eyes, followed by an anticipatory heavy pause). Sorry no Pfizer this week (gotchya moment). So please please stay at home unless you have an elite get out of jail free card – But please be aware we only issue them to uniform on horseback (momentary pause for private thought bubble of a few Liberal cabinet ministers floats off and bursts backstage), and yes we will be covering the surrounding regional areas outside metropolitan Sydney, where I can confirm the good news, they have no signs of outbreak yet, but we love locking them up too (FFS if Sydney goes down, so will the neighbours, think big, big bubble, other States too, but we will hide that thought from view). We have a very mobile population you know and that is why we are asking everyone to stay at home. More good news, we are extending the lockdown to the 30th (can’t believe I said that) for two more weeks to keep you safe and I and the treasurer have fought so hard for these very generous business packages (fake subscript: Josh and Scotty, so very hard to do a deal with, hidden smirk of sarcasm, even when there are no Labor Premiers in the room, elephants included with a snip of random association to paint the picture blue) – Treat yourselves, see it as a holiday, our gift to you’, says Gladys.

‘Can I say, thank you to all you suckers, we have your backs, the Commissioner and I (lollipop Gladys, now stop that! This isn’t helping). We have the best horse riders in the country, the best men and women in uniform, best roads for them to ride on (not to mention those wonderful tolls inner city, out west and southwest on the King’s Highway, along with stamp duty and land tax), and the very best boots and batons to chase you down (private thought passes, hmm.. this is getting a little confusing). Let’s be clear, we have the best doctors, health advice and business recovery packages a loyalist Liberal can buy, and we are the premier State, premier State (repeat that thought) for getting a vaccine into your arm sometime soon, so please please stay at home, breathe easy and we will get through this together. I cannot stress how important it is for you to stay glued to your commercial TV (we love adverts, campaigns too) with your microwave popcorn, so we can continue our show live – The very best show the world can offer (Foxtel shaking in its boots, Sky News and 2GB spitting on over cooked chips to silent listeners on empty rim of the Pacific Ocean). We are the best at this, locking people up (not down, which I meant to say) without vaccination is our business, we’ve been doing it since the arrival of Captain Cook (fuck, that was Morrison’s line). Can I assure you we know what is best for you, your home is the safest place and we are deeply deeply grateful for all you fabulous listeners out there (turds high in the sky), this is our best defence (image of a major general stepping out of a cigar box, or was it a commander from an Austro-French submarine, hell it looks like my ex-boyfriend… you really can’t make up this shite, please leave my accent out of this)’, thinks Gladys.

… and the questions keep coming from the media crowd, the journalists with their box office ring seats and soulless questions, to fill the hour with hot unending government advice and wisdom. Ping to the left, pong to the right, ping pong (is there anyone out there who hasn’t asked a question yet, did I just think that), ‘I’ll take one last question’ (and add for good measure) ‘And can I… can I say based on the very best medical and heath advice in the world today…’ Health Minister nods passively against the background wallpaper of the Waratah flower, ‘an hour a day, what a treat, can I say keeps the doctor away… so please be patient, thank you all for coming’ (pesky little mongrels). And that’s where we will leave you except for all our Sydney viewers (‘cos we’d love to go over it all again and again), from the ABC.

Back stage – Gladys turns to Arthur, flutters her eyelids in dark tones of mascara and a shy but very private smile, ‘Is this enough to get us through to the next election?’ (Champagne sounds nice) ‘Shall we do lunch?’ But the reply was coy and compliant, silent as a pimple on a judge’s cheek.

‘There’s a bug in my microphone,’ claims an anonymous reporter from News Corp, ‘God must be on her side since she ditched the last one.’ (News Corp subscript: Morrison’s lines are highly infectious, but we have a few more thought bubbles and announcements to report, and a cure for that one in our entertaining puns, slogans and sensational headlines, just to steer everyone off the scent, which we do so well). Well let’s face it, we hear nothing from NSW Labor anyway (fancy that, we love their scandals). Seems like the mainstream media and god have stitched that one up too (just like the cruise ships). ‘Shut the fuck up’, says the Health Minister with an irritable swagger uninvited (I’ll get my own lunch then).

City Bay, Bondi Daily lookout there’s a turd in my eye and the Willoughby Courier beat the pants off the Daily Telegraph and Australian for our virtual reality show, satire, fascination, insight and entertaining value added, prefabricated news (Trump’s never heard of us). And let’s be clear, we need to ensure our young Liberal supporters are safe and have had the very best jab money can buy from our government muzzled like a dead public anchovy NSW Health Service; because everyone else under 40, the best thing you can do, if you don’t have symptoms is stay at home (anchovies included). ‘I cannot stress how important it is to stay at home, that is the recommendation, do not go out unless you really have to’ (but I can’t remember if Gladys said that or the Health Minister in answer to the one and only question he stepped up to the microphone for and removed his free NSW Health mask the police have been handing out in the streets of Fairfield and Southwest Sydney… Yes I hear you, that was without the penalty notice of course – Go home). ‘And I just want to say, if you have any more questions, please go to Service NSW (to get all that wonderful information and a whole heap more, Gladys did float that one for sure) – Camera, lights, curtains.

Do not be fooled – Behind the scenes, behind that lollipop face of hers you can be sure is another Liberal triple test vaccine ice cream rant and can I at 11 o’clock – Coming to you live tomorrow from the ABC and any other channel you believe in (if you want to watch the mighty riveting band-aid advert and masterly performance of breathless woman in a public hospital 101 times – Did that come with subtitles in a foreign language for the people of Southwest Sydney?)… (Got it) she replies in dutiful belligerent thought (I can).

An hour a day keeps the doctor away, and the exposure piss poor is better than none at all. Berejiklian’s name in fading purple lights on the 2023 ballot paper (yes that long hence), take note for all of Morrison’s lies, gaslighting and turds in the sky, ‘Can I… can I say, I think this one’s a wrap in wholesome gospel brown Christmas paper’ (I wish) says a voice in the crowd (which way?)

‘Okay, so what’s Dan thinking right now, Gladys? (Fly on the wall, flies undone, bugger the lies and hypocrisy, that stream of consciousness burns a hole right through them. Shame so many Sydney voters won’t notice despite her predictable bombshells and eyelashes hanging from their living room walls)… ‘Incoming at 11 o’clock!’

 

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Turning fibs into gold, everything he touches – you do have a choice right now, choose your vaccine wisely

UPDATE – AstraZeneca or Pfizer? Clots, serious illness, hospitalisation and the waiting game. Consider a vaccine mix or go for broke, if the Federal government ever comes to the party with a real choice for all.

People of all ages allegedly who have had no serious blood clotting symptoms of dubious or unknown origin (past or present), not tested positive for, had no past family history of TTS (Thrombocytopenia with Thrombosis Syndrome) or underlying rare autoimmune clotting disorder, may be advised to consider AstraZeneca in the absence of availability or access to Pfizer, than face the highly infectious Delta variant if it is not successfully contained in the community in Australia. The health risks are more prevalent from COVID-19 than AZ itself, we have been clearly told. The difference is of course, avoidance of AZ extinguishes the rare clotting risk altogether from AZ (the choice), but not from the same clotting risks and very serious illness which are far harder to avoid unvaccinated from direct exposure to the Delta variant, if it spreads (an important caveat). In such a scenario, waiting until adequate supplies of Pfizer are available towards the end of the year is a calculated risk. Clearly Pfizer would be a safer and more effective option allegedly for all ages if you had a genuine choice, the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) though sticking with under 60. But if you have been diagnosed with, vulnerable to or troubled by TTS and/or an underlying rare autoimmune clotting disorder, there is little doubt surely, you would be best prioritised for Pfizer regardless of age. So why the Federal government and TGA don’t get this when a GP, specialist haematologist and immunologist do, beggars belief.

People under 60 have been told they now have a choice of AstraZeneca or Pfizer, in truth people under 50 always did. The TGA and Federal Government’s messaging was always ‘preference for Pfizer’ (the wording here is both critical and deceptive). If that was not the case because of how the rollout was organised, then that messaging was a lie. Pfizer is in short supply because the Morrison government failed to order and procure an adequate supply last year, that’s a fact, and now we face the consequences till September when we are ‘promised’ it in ‘more abundance’. It is a promise from Morrison, take it and believe it as you see fit, he has a history of announcements and no delivery.

It is suggested that younger people are more at risk of blood clots from AZ, the figure we are given is 3.1/100,000 for <50yrs compared with 1.8/100,000 for 70+ and 1.4/100,000 for 60-70 or 2.7/100,00 for 50-59. This appears to be based on statistics not causation or medical science.

Examine carefully, not a lot of difference, there is only a 0.4-1.7 people/100,000 variance by age, that’s not even statistically significant. Hardly a reason to be making age the reason for the Federal government splitting AZ and Pfizer at 60yrs or indeed ‘preferencing’ and ‘forcing people down two separate pathways. Good for younger people who are at minimal risk of serious illness or death from Covid-19 maybe, but just so marginal. The TGA’s decision was based on this almost insignificantly small statistic of clotting against the far higher risk of older people to serious illness and/or death if left unvaccinated and exposed to Covid-19. The younger you are the less risk of serious illness and hospitalisation, it is this latter age-related reason that is one of two operant factors here, thus priority of vaccination was always the real issue by age, not which vaccine and/or clotting, the lie. It became an issue only because the Morrison government failed to procure adequate supply of alternative vaccines, putting all our eggs in one basket. It is argued they were not to know at the time last year, but no other OECD country has made this blunder with such blatant disregard to the obvious, hence the cautionary proverb over ‘eggs’ and not the only one ‘faced’ by the Morrison government – It’s basic common sense, risk mediation and planning. Given these facts, there is no doubt in my mind that the TGA’s second operant factor in their decision (not clearly publicly disclosed and little to do with medical science) rather it was about dodgy interpretation of statistics and supply and demand of vaccines, emphasis on supply, specifically the scarcity of imported Pfizer and abundance to be of home-produced AstraZeneca; and they knew this. But the Morrison government, this maladministration has done its level best to suppress this fact over time as ‘gold digger’ Morrison puts out his own unending bluffs and arbitrary advice. The Morrison government has in part mythologised and utterly obfuscated age, clots, health risk and vaccination to the point that too was a bag of lies that sent us all in different directions.

The Morrison government also initially declared that the ‘preferred vaccine’ for people over 50, later changed to 60 was AstraZeneca, the converse of the ‘Pfizer preference’ for under 50. Again, older people were denied access by the government online App and phone booking system to Pfizer by locking them out of the private vaccination centres (hubs) which the government contracted out, but not to GPs or the Public Health system. GPs only had access to AZ and the rollout to GPs was a farce. State Health departments had both, but were directed, coerced or chose to select their limited supplies of Pfizer for health care and frontline staff in group 1A. But why would they do that if both vaccines were equally safe and effective other than the interval period between doses?

People over 70 in Aged Care (group 1A or was it 1B?) were managed also by private companies contracted by the Federal government initially for Pfizer, and look what a mess they made of that. Many still are not vaccinated and now, quietly they get AstraZeneca not Pfizer, no announcement changes over that. So go figure – this messaging of ‘preferencing’ was grand lie to the whole population (under 60 and over). It was a mandated operation carried out in an autocratic almost military fashion; and make no mistake there is a reason why senior military personnel have been involved in the rollout. Draw your own conclusions of course, but I suggest it was to soften the public to military involvement in public affairs now and in the future. There are too few public servants and infrastructure remaining thanks to neoliberal ideology, privatisation, public sector extinction and avoidance of using all but the States’ public health system which they would have banished also if they could have. Involving senior military personnel helped them save face politically, saving the Morrison government’s electoral and collective arses. The rollout bungle was morphed into a rescue effort through the perceived efficiency of a military mission, hence also the operational names being assigned to components and phases of the national rollout, mostly mere thought bubbles – Ad hoc or planned, who knows but certainly not ordained by God or tinkering military generals well beyond their expertise and station?

So back to the beginning, where to from here? Everyone has a legitimate choice and they need to weigh up the risks and waiting times for their preference. Consult your GP of course but do not rely on what the Morrison government or Morrison and Hunt are individually telling you, and few in the mainstream media will give you a true and honest picture, grinding their own axes too – Apart from the ABC’s Dr Norman Swan, he is practically the only sensible one among them; even the AMA (Australian Medical Association) and a bevy of specialists have been all over the shop, probably protecting their institutional research grants and reputations.

It should be noted that the first dose of AstraZeneca and Pfizer provide about 33% protection from the Delta variant according to latest data analysis. But the difference comes in the protection afforded by the 2nd dose. For AZ you will have to wait 3 months between doses with 33% protection and after your 2nd dose you will emerge with around 60% protection. For Pfizer you wait 3 weeks following which you can expect 88% protection from the Delta variant and no comparable rare risk of clots whatever figure we choose to run with 1.4-3.1/100,000 (by age separation) or closer to 3-4 in the general population according to Nordic countries, and not so long ago we were told it was far less and rarer… Hmmm!

But this is a statistical phenomenon, we don’t know the true science behind it yet. Now if I were a scientist or betting man, or just an ordinary person who critically examines the evidence and asks relevant questions, my hypothesis would be that the clotting issue is more to do with how the virus and AZ vaccine interact with those who have a predisposition to rare autoimmune clotting disorders and TTS, and less if anything to do with the blunt and deviant crux and instruments of age. The real age factor here is the consequence of exposure to the virus itself, serious illness and hospitalisation, and an ageing or compromised immune system which might deliver the same consequence as those who carry the risk of TTS and related syndromes; not to be confused with more common clotting problems associated with trauma, ischaemia, surgery, pregnancy or contraceptive pill.

Mix and Match or Go for Broke

There is another consideration and option the Morrison government and TGA have not yet floated. In Germany, Canada, Spain and South Korea, and from current research out of the UK, if you have had or choose to go with AZ now rather than wait (there are clear undisputable benefits individually and to the community), choosing Pfizer or Moderna 4-12 weeks later for your second dose, affords almost as much protection from the Delta variant as double vaccination with Pfizer (around 88% cf 60% with AZ alone) and with minimal adverse risk outcomes, and a much better result for the community. At least four countries have already implemented this strategy, alas not Australia and I suspect many more will follow as alternative vaccines become more readily available and/or affordable.

If I were over 70, had significant comorbidities or carried risks of TTS whatever age I be, I’d seriously be considering and advocating this path. If I were young, I’d consider it too – gets me on the ladder earlier like now and mediate the best outcome later on my 2nd dose. But if you are over 60 and seriously troubled by TTS, then you could go for broke – That is to magically assume let’s say the age of 59 to get past the government App, and if that doesn’t work I fancy a little younger maybe at 49 (I am not sure if they have adjusted the age guillotine yet) – A momentary lapse of memory, a typo perhaps, which you can correct by entering your true date of birth later once you are through to the other side – The Pfizer side; I’m sure we can all remember that!

A younger person with TTS or indeed of any age should in my view be given priority access to an mRNA vaccine like Pfizer and bugger the age guillotine altogether – Simply not relevant in the face of Covid-19 and Delta variant on either safety or efficacy. And of course, these life-saving individual medical considerations should be decided by GPs and patients, not politicians, insensitive policies and IT Apps, the TGA and/or consequence of gross government error, incompetence or negligence – outside your jurisdiction and scope of practice.

Ask yourself what would Morrison have done if he weren’t Prime Minister and don’t be fooled by what he imagines Jesus would say? How old is Morrison anyway? The answer is 53, so how come he got past the door to Pfizer in March, 4 months ago when <50yrs was the magical age we were all told by divine decree we could access Pfizer? Do as I do not as I say.

Whatever people decide right now, whether you are over 60 at higher risk of serious illness from the Delta variant or any age with a ‘very rare’ un/diagnosed autoimmune blood clotting disorder (and you can have blood tests for these) or other potential comorbidities, Pfizer clearly delivers the best protection with least risk, as do other alternatives such as Moderna and Novavax when they become more widely available. The real issue is when will that be and what are the risks in the meantime? For many however AstraZeneca now and a mix and match option later is worth considering. Talk it over with your GP and if still you are not satisfied go for broke.

Transparency, facts and truth are not a hallmark of the Liberals or the Morrison government, and Morrison fudges and lies about everything he touches. The king of tourism and economic geography turning fibs into gold, for himself of course. The pandemic like quarantine, border control, refugees, robodebt, the Indue cashless welfare card, bushfires and global climate change are among the many critical topics in his coal bunker of precious lies. Even other Liberal bimbos like Simon Birmingham, Minister for Finance insist in having their say on public record outside of their ministerial portfolio, blowing off at Labor State premiers on this pandemic and public health, politicising anything that moves, and like Morrison, what the fuck would he know about it!

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So Now We Can All Join in The Fray

Now even SBS has joined the populist throng of mainstream media journalism, reflux and regurgitation on COVID vaccination.

How to talk to someone who is hesitant about the coronavirus vaccine’ by Jennifer Scherer, SBS News, 13 June 2021.

It seems all of us have a duty to perform in how we approach the COVID vaccination topic with others, suggesting we should be talking to those who are ‘vaccine hesitant’, de facto counsellors. Ask not what you need from your nation but what it needs from you, roll up your sleeves boys and girls and open your mouths, pass it on!

But here’s how to do it humanely, gently, kindly, what would a bleating journalist or politician know of that? Table for two in the news room when you don’t even get to hear the question, even if it is the wrong one repeated over and over again.

Well, some of this may make sense if you read and follow some of the latest advice from SBS News, although it’s not news is it, it’s an opinion piece, a soft call to arms from Jennifer Scherer, her editors and the SBS. Not news but advice to steer us all in Morrison’s prickly beastly call and rollout, be a do-gooder article backed by a little bit of psychology.

There are four critical errors of judgement and overriding presumption here (in my view) – ‘An unwanted bullet’ versus ‘vaccine hesitancy’, I too shall not mince my words. I’ve read ‘yours’ and I am saturated every day on news hour, the incessant ministerial briefings and silly little breakfast fests and gossip on the other channels, the opinions of celebrities and constant trickle of invited real and pseudo-academics – now hear me out.

1) See the title of this latest SBS article is a problem in itself – How to talk to someone who is ‘hesitant’.

Despite the fact that the article states that it is not about who is right and wrong, this label conflicts with that advice by calling both people who are ‘hesitant’, and assuming the issue is ‘hesitancy’ which carries a stereotyped meaning. At the very least it conveys someone needs to talk to such a person and that assumption carries the weight they are wrong, irrational and a problem in society. It does not distinguish between vaccination and a specific vaccine issue with AstraZeneca. There are many reasons why some have declined AstraZeneca and completely different reasons why some decline vaccination in general and some of these reasons are entirely valid, particularly with the former.

It should not be assumed therefore it is ‘hesitancy’, for that is a stereotype and you start off on the wrong foot if you are motivated by this narrative and approach. For example, some people over 50 have diagnosed systemic autoimmune (genetic) clotting disorders which are equally rare in the population and they should not be given an adenovirus vaccine such as AstraZeneca or Johnson. They should be offered advice and given access to Pfizer, but the government refuses to recognise this dangerous situation, provide this information or health warning for people with these conditions and provide appropriate access. Secondly, it gives people under 50 a choice and people over 50 no choice and this is simply not acceptable – There is no valid excuse for such a misguided policy and it goes against basic social ethics whatever the reason given. It is not even based on scientific evidence, it is based on a warped or single interpretation and statistical analysis, which has scientific flaws and error of reasoning, at the very least challengeable just on scientific grounds not just moral and ethical grounds; but still this excuse, this formula is rammed down our throats.

It excludes other solutions which could better target the real problem we face and resolve putting potentially anyone at risk. The Australian government current policy puts 20-40 older people at calculated and almost certain risk of death as a collateral damage of its current policy and up to 10 more for every death in harm’s way, facing serious illness and hospitalisation. This can be avoided without compromising the needs of the whole population but neither the government nor the TGA and our chief medical officers are willing to look at it. These are just a couple of examples of this kind of error, there are a few more we could discuss here if we had the space and time, but let’s move on.

2) It is a serious error of judgement and misleading to state, ‘authorities say you have a greater chance of winning the lottery than developing the rare clotting disorder, and the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine far outweigh the risks’.

Firstly, this is a quote from Professor John Skerritt who should never have put out this myth. It is one person’s misguided opinion which has been repeated a hundred times and that neither makes it correct nor attributable to ‘authorities’ plural, a gross generalisation to lend force to the assumption, or lie. Your chance of winning the lottery and the lead question here is – which one? The probability of winning Oz Lotto is 1 in 45 million, Powerball is 1 in 75 million each time and every time you enter, depending on the number of tickets bought. Your chance of getting a clot out of those who receive AstraZeneca vaccine (direct causative relationship) are 1 in 80,000 allegedly on Australia’s reported occurrences (48 in less than 4 million vaccines), and we are told 2 women on or over 50 have died (1 in 2 million) to date. However, there were reports of a number of men who have died and that appears to have been quashed. Since we are not getting reliable information even of people in Aged Care who have been vaccinated or not, we don’t even know who is falling under the radar when it comes to what the TGA are not reporting.

Most European countries which have more reliable data are recording the clotting syndrome to be 1/40,000 and Norway has from the start recorded 1/30,000, when Australia was touting 1-2 in a million! However, that is just the calculated risk for the general population. We should be asking what is the calculated risk of serious harm, hospitalisation and death for someone who has a diagnosed or even undiagnosed systemic autoimmune (genetic) clotting disorder leading to or underpinning Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) such as Anti-Phospholipid Syndrome (APS) to mention one; and there are a number of these rare clotting disorders in the population?

Prevalence and incidence of APS is 1-5% of healthy individuals who have aPL antibodies. It is estimated that the incidence of APS is approximately 5 cases per 100,000 persons per year, and the prevalence is approximately 40-50 cases per 100, 000 persons, arguably all of whom who may have a higher risk of serious clotting than the general population, even if it doesn’t manifest. Somewhere in this small but significant cohort lies an understanding of why people may be dying both from COVID and AstraZeneca. And the age discrimination measure is not the critical issue by a long shot, just a very blunt and dangerous instrument for some.

But what about people with Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST), Idiopathic Splanchnic Venous Thrombosis, (Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia) HIT, Lupus or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) or other TTS, thrombocytopenia or blood clotting and circulatory disorder, what is the risk of these clotting disorders in the face of AstraZeneca and the risk from exposure to COVID (which is far higher) if left unprotected? And why would we even consider leaving vulnerable people who may be over 50 with these high-risk conditions unprotected, refusing them Pfizer because ‘they are vaccine hesitant’?

Remember, if you end up with TTS as a result of AstraZeneca the mortality rate is 25%. Still, you can rest your mind on the fact they are ‘getting better’ at treating it, ‘removing the unwanted bullet’. These are all questions we should be asking ourselves instead of assuming people are vaccine ‘hesitant’ or that ‘your chance of winning the lottery is greater than developing the rare clotting disorder’, when clearly it isn’t – Not even close, but 500 to 1000 times more likely. No-one dies from playing lotto unless you run in front of a bus without looking to claim your winnings and no-one has to die if the right people are given, not refused Pfizer. This narrative of extremely rare is a red herring to those who face the consequences. It is not an all or nothing game, but that is how it has been presented, SBS included, what a shame!

Professor John Skerritt of the TGA should be seriously ashamed, which I have previously echoed, over statements like this. Clearly, he is not a mathematician and has no understanding of the laws and probability, risk analysis, risk management or mediation. It would appear acceptable to him instead to propagate a myth, gross errors of misjudgement, a populist statement on which to justify the TGA and government’s decision to restrict Pfizer to people under 50, ignoring the scientific evidence and likelihood this has little to do with age (but a non-causative statistical correlation, a methodological flaw in data interpretation or unrepresentative sampling, incidental) and more to do with underlying medical conditions, which can be identified and managed in the vaccine rollout. SBS should not be spreading this myth and it should not be included in the advice or conversations we have with ‘people who are hesitant’.

3) So Sydney psychologist, Sahra Behardien O’Doherty says, ‘often… those fears can be exacerbated by a lack of accurate information’.

Indeed, I would agree with her, but I don’t think that is the direction in which her argument is leaning. It is true to say, and we can challenge ambivalence, resistance, fear and any irrational thinking or cognitive errors. Misinformation, poor information, omissions, over-complication/thinking and obfuscation do not help people to arrive at an informed state of mind or decision, for sure.

But take a look at the evidence we have been given, the misleading information, the propaganda, coercion, the politicisation of vaccine rollout and COVID itself. Ask yourself have Morrison, Hunt, Skerritt, Kelly and Murphy all be been genuine, honest, informative and up front with us? What about the issues mentioned above and I have spared you much of the detail you already know? Why do none of them mention the true risks faced by some, the few or even get the figures and information right in the first place? Could it be they have under thought this or have a secondary agenda, to cover the tracks of incompetent government? We have plenty of evidence for this with vaccine procurement, supply, cruise ships, hotel quarantine and vaccine rollout. We are not getting the correct medical and scientific data from the government sources who control the public health messaging and rollout. The mainstream media including SBS are resorting to coercion, albeit unwittingly despite some effort to be gentle, thoughtful and considerate – Yes, I am being kind too. ‘Lack of accurate information’ – Who started this political war and now wants the rest of us to finish it? Is it little wonder many of us don’t trust our government’s bloated voices?

4) Jennifer Scherer, SBS journalist here I presume, says in her conclusion, ‘People in Australia with concerns about coronavirus vaccines are encouraged to speak with their GP’.

I absolutely agree with this. In fact I would suggest that is their first port of call, not a friend, acquaintance, member of the public, not even some family members who don’t have all the best available information or attitude at hand, but pushing or projecting their own fears and anxieties on to those around them (and yes it may be because they care and don’t want to lose their loved ones).

For that is what people do in times like these, separating sheep from wolves, people who step up from those who step down to the ‘flight and fight’ anxiety driven behaviours, prejudice, stereotypical and defensive attitudes – self-preservation.

But I’ll leave you with this consideration – Apart from being better medically informed, professionally and ethically advised commensurate with your own medical, health status and family history, what is the point of going to your GP, if your GP can do nothing except advise you to go and get the AstraZeneca vaccine? Either that or wait in fear of redemption that some time until the end of the year (6 months from now) you can wait for the choice of Pfizer being available to people over 50 who are genuinely worried, and quite clearly some should be.

Your GP can arrange for you to have some blood tests where indicated or necessary, and if you are not showing any markers, family history or past and present symptoms of clotting disorder and come back with negative results, you will likely be fine and can more confidently proceed with an informed decision to have the AstraZeneca vaccine with a very good risk analysis profile as some of the experts tell us.

But what is the point of going to your GP when you already know about your medical condition or you come back with positive blood test results for one of these systemic autoimmune (genetic) clotting disorders leading to or underpinning Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) or a related condition that is contraindicated from having the AstraZeneca vaccine? And these conditions I have mentioned are contraindicated both for the AstraZeneca vaccine and COVID itself – Catch 22 for some.

Currently your GP cannot give you Pfizer, they cannot recommend you for Pfizer vaccine because the government has set up its rollout program to exclude you. They cannot even provide a referral letter to a privately funded Pfizer vaccine hub or a major public hospital to receive Pfizer vaccine because you are not welcome; at the age of 50 and above you are not eligible according to the government and TGA to receive it. Instead, you will have to face the increased risk and your chances with AstraZeneca or the inevitable consequence of exposure to COVID, while you wait another 6 months on the off chance that this government will change its mind and the virus contained. And remember, if you have the positive gene or vulnerabilities for any of these disorders, you are at far higher risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and death than the general population. Now I don’t think that is a good outcome for anyone. Do you? So why allow yourself to be coerced and scapegoated by those around you. Go see your GP, listen, then push for action because…

… thoughtful pause for reflection.

There is a far simpler solution. The government needs to open up a pathway for people with specific and indicated medical conditions and vulnerabilities for access to Pfizer though their GPs or simply allow people referral and access through the government’s privately contracted Pfizer hubs, clinics and public hospitals instead of this ridiculous dogma of under or over 50 totalitarian shite. I think the worried well should have access too, once they have been through appropriate channels or processes.

There is more we can do to help, not add to the problem, if we want to get this vaccine rollout right. Asking people to become de facto counsellors is not the answer no matter how well intentioned.

It is simply not appropriate, democratic or moral, not informed or scientific to resort to fear, coercion and restriction of choice for some vulnerable and worried Australians (through no fault of their own). There is no legitimate reason for this attitude and nonsense; it is ignorant, reckless, selfish, political and pointless, you’ll make it worse. Don’t do it, especially from the presumption of your own privileged ignorance, vaccine eligibility, medical status or absence of potential serious contraindicated clotting disorder no matter how rare you think it is. Just because you are safe doesn’t mean you or your advice to someone else is. Manage your own fear and anxiety and talk to someone else about it if you have to. Share don’t tell.

Mainstream media and journalists including SBS and ABC (and I mention these because we expect better from our public broadcasters) need to get off this government led bandwagon and start addressing the real issues instead of empowering the rest of the population to blindly and vicariously coerce those who, for whatever reason are troubled by all of this, and now it seems even psychologists have joined the fray.

Go tell SBS the news. Go tell everyone!

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Dog’s Breakfast No Dogs Barking – Quarantine and Vaccine Rollout

DOG’S BREAKFAST NO DOGS BARKING (POLITICAL ANALYSIS) – Quarantine and vaccine rollout. Not just Victorians shouldering the risk and blame but older Australians too, while the Liberals ‘get away with murder’.

Victoria is now battling COVID on multiple fronts. Here are four things to watch‘ – ABC News (5 June headline). But what about things ‘to watch’ the ABC is not covering or telling, and neither is anyone else in the mainstream media?

Two Indian variants in Melbourne. The Kappa variant has been traced back to a breach in Adelaide hotel quarantine, South Australia. The Delta variant (source upstream) is currently unknown but it could have been acquired from New South Wales, South Coast where a Melbourne family visited, falling within an incubation and infectious time frame of 14 days.

So why is Morrison and his Ministry, the Federal Government once again trying to lay blame on Victorians and attempting to punish them fiscally, over which he and Frydenberg (A Victorian himself) have now had to retreat from one week later?

And how can Morrison and his Ministry, the Federal Government continue to justify excluding people over 50 from access to Pfizer vaccine on medical, health safety and civil grounds when scientific evidence coming out of UK studies are clearly showing AstraZeneca is up to 50% less effective against these variants – 60% cf 88% for Pfizer? Aside from the increased risk and exposure of older vulnerable Australians with significant medical conditions to potentially ‘very rare’ (so they keep saying) lethal blood clotting disorders, shouldering all the risk for a significantly less effective vaccine over which they are denied a medical or civil choice.

If there is shorter supply of Pfizer, how come Morrison and his Ministry, the Federal Government can roll it out through privately contracted vaccine hubs to everyone under 50 (currently 40-49) regardless of their health status and less likely to be severely affected than older people, if exposed? These private contractors are the mechanism or vehicle by which Australians are being conned in the rollout and older Australians policed and excluded from vaccination and vaccination hubs, while being paid millions out of tax payer’s money. Apart from being screened out of the system and excluded on-line, have any Australians over 50 been turned away?

Surely this is enough – It’s time to mount a legal challenge in the Federal Courts on behalf of all Australians (particularly over 50) against Morrison and his Ministry, the TGA, Federal Government and private contractors rolling out the vaccine for refusing to offer Australians over 50 the same choice as everyone else, amidst the gross negligence and incompetence of the Federal Government to manage the source, quarantine and treatment, vaccine rollout – Both of course Morrison has covertly (more so blatantly) privatised. This is a serious breach of medical/civil rights and responsibility, it is a gross injustice and insult to every Australian over 50, which this government has been met deviously getting away with. What law allows Morrison and his Ministry to discriminate against half the population this way? Isn’t it simply a case of government policy on the run vs every Australian’s legal, civil, medical, personal and public health, and Constitutional right? Why has Public Health been politicised and placed in the hands of private enterprise everywhere we look, when we have a national State-run Public Health system specifically designed for all Australians and populational health? Even our State public health systems have been coerced into this political dilemma of denying and refusing vaccine access to people over 50 and the wider general population, and dependant on Commonwealth procurement and supply. Dependant on the Federal Government’s policy settings, political agenda, manipulation, prejudices, incompetence and lies.

So where is the mainstream media on any of these issues? Nowhere to be heard of course. Shouldn’t that too be raising alarm bells – No dogs barking?

What a dog’s breakfast! What a fiasco this Government’s private vaccine rollout is. Add to this the current primary source of our miserable complaint – the hotel quarantine breaches which now appear to implicate two other States (both with Liberal State governments), not Victoria of course which gets the blame. And like the vaccine rollout, a Federal Government responsibility, Morrison and his Ministry, quite clearly, ultimately, the Federal Government’s responsibility.

Reference: Victoria is now battling COVID on multiple fronts. Here are four things to watch – ABC News, 5 June 2021.

 

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“Blowing Smoke Up Your Arse”

A factual archive as true today as in the middle of the 18th century to explain the state of science, scientific enquiry and dogma through the minds of some of our most bogan political, public, corporate and academic institutions.

This is a colonial period ‘Tobacco Smoke Enema Kit’ from the 1750s. It was used to blow tobacco smoke into a patient’s rectum to resuscitate drowning victims. Doubts about its credibility led to the popular phrase ‘blowing smoke up your arse’.

Tobacco resuscitation kits consisting of a pair of bellows and a tube were provided by the Royal Humane Society of London and placed at various points along the Thames. European physicians furthermore employed these enemas for a range of ailments.

Tobacco was believed by Europeans to be medicinal soon after it was first imported from the New World, and tobacco smoke was used by western medical practitioners as a tool against cold and drowsiness. During the early 19th century, the practice fell into decline, when it was discovered that the principal active agent in tobacco smoke, nicotine, was poisonous and much later carcinogenic.

It is not clearly understood how one breathes through one’s rectum, but we do know the rectum is a primary organ for the absorption of nutrients and anything else it is capable of collecting subject to the knowledge and desires of its host.

This tool is still used by Politicians and Ministers, the Liberals, the Nationals, our Prime Minister and his mates, the Federal Government, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Commonwealth chief medical advisers and most of the mainstream media oligopoly in Australia – News Corp, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, most of the commercial TV channels and even by a few universities including UniSA, University of Adelaide, UNSW and UTS. Even the AMA found a use for it recently.

So if you want to try out your skills of resuscitation on the Australian population, have a go, the institutions, authorities and experts above seem to get a great deal of enjoyment, satisfaction and profit out of it.

It is probably as true to say, what you see, hear and eat may be just as toxic as what comes out the other end, not just what you blow into it, whichever end you want to treat or in between. Beware of many things, but if you don’t want to die from drowning in a sea of government and corporate misinformation, data and devices, it may not be a good idea to invest in one of these or donate it to your local surf lifesaving club.

Beware of your information choice and sources, the distance between promotional advertising and propaganda is shorter than between the mouth and bowel. Science is a complex animal and social intelligence is never guaranteed, we are far more easily manipulated before we even open our mouths or start to think.

Surprising in this day and age don’t you think, more than 250 years later – what science and history can teach us!

Once you’ve mastered this one, keep an eye out for the next instalment on the phrase, ‘Big bag of wind’.

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If It Quacks Like A Duck, It’s A Duck – Quack Quack!

Quick COVID-19 and vaccine facts at 20 May 2021 – New Zealand and Australia. Sources: worldometers.info / ourworldindata.org.

Population – New Zealand: 4.9 million, Australia: 25.8 million (f5.2)

Covid cases – New Zealand: 2,659, Australia: 29,994 (f11.3)

Covid Deaths – New Zealand: 26, Australia: 910 (f35)

Recovered – New Zealand 2,609, Australia: 28,952 (f11.1)

Active cases (overseas return/quarantine) – New Zealand 24, Australia: 132 (f5.5)

Preferred vaccine – New Zealand: Pfizer, Australia: Pfizer (for people under 50)

Workhorse vaccine – New Zealand: Pfizer, Australia: AstraZeneca (for people over 50), CSL produces 1 million AZ per week

Dose interval – New Zealand: 3 weeks, Australia: 12 weeks (f4)

Doses given – New Zealand: 474,000 (4.8%), Australia: 3.2 million (6.2%)

Fully vaccinated – New Zealand: 153,000 (3.1%), Australia: n/a

Current estimated completion – New Zealand: 7-8 months, Australia: 40 months

* * * * *

Kiwis made the right decision; their strategy differs from ours when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination. New Zealand vaccine rollout is wrapped around Pfizer and they make no distinction between people over 50 and under 50. New Zealand does not put the needs of one sector of the community higher or at the expense of another, based on age, status or preference. Their priorities are about those who are vulnerable, exposed on the front line and most at risk, they come first in the rollout, but everyone has equal access to the vaccine of choice – Pfizer. New Zealand expects to reach initial vaccine completion by Christmas this year, noting about 30% are traditionally vaccine sceptic but this may differ with COVID-19.

There are no serious safety issues with Pfizer – people don’t die of blood clots (25% lethality if acquired) and no matter how rare they are, few if none have been reported. It is more effective on prevention of transmission, it is more effective with new variants, it will be easier to procure in the future to combat new variants since the mRNA design of the vaccine is more adaptable. Therefore, it is safer and more effective than AstraZeneca despite what the politicians and some government employed experts are telling us. The only measures upon which Pfizer and AstraZeneca are comparable is preventing serious illness, hospitalisation and death, in this regard they are both equally effective. No country or regulatory body has suspended Pfizer or reported any recurring serious contraindications or side effects. Minor inconvenient and temporary side effects are not a defining factor in either of these two vaccines despite the mainstream media focus. The prevalence of blood clots is not an issue compared to AstraZeneca where many countries halted rollout to re-evaluate and only resumed because COVID-19 was so prevalent, raging through their national populations (unlike Australia and New Zealand), and were short on ready supply of alternative vaccines.

Denmark has stopped AstraZeneca rollout altogether; New Zealand is not using it and rollout has been partially restricted or limited in many countries. Prevalence of blood clotting has been a moving feast from 1-2 in a million down to 1/30,000 (Norway). At present reports from reliable national sources appear to be converging on 1/40,000, not 1/250,000 that Australia keeps pushing and the dismissive language of ‘very, very rare’, the sales pitch has not changed despite this shift and it’s not settled yet.

Neither New Zealand nor Australia appear to be in a hurry to vaccinate due to almost zero transmission within national borders – Our place in the Southwest Pacific. A breakout could feasibly occur later in the year or at any time as in Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea, which might change this landscape but it is far less clear if AstraZeneca will be as effective as Pfizer, if that breakout is a variant like the South African, UK, US or an Indian strain.

The differences in management of this pandemic and choice of the population workhorse vaccine, the science, the ethics, how it is being rolled out, the public health information and messaging, and civil-social responsibility of the New Zealand and Australian governments couldn’t be more stark, like chalk and cheese. There have been no lies, glossing and false promises in New Zealand, no political games, it has not been politicised and weaponised like in Australia. New Zealand citizens have not been threatened with imprisonment and huge fines on returning home, borders and quarantine have been effectively sustained and managed unlike the cruise ships, airports and hotel quarantine fiascos of Australia. People of all ages and ethnicity have been afforded equal respect, people have not been divided arbitrarily into two classes either side of fifty, giving one vaccine to people under 50 and another to those over 50 in Australia; If you are under 50 you have a choice of either vaccine and over 50 no choice at all, many feel coerced and bullied into taking AstraZeneca.

In Australia, two large population groups based on age have been pitted one against another in a very divisive and irrational unethical and amoral debate and one has to ask what the political motive is behind this. There is no scientific evidence for this arbitrary division despite the government and their experts’ rhetoric, which has divided communities and families, dominating both groups’ fears over AstraZeneca. Ashamedly the mainstream media in Australia has failed to recognise and report this political and amoral division, instead run amok on scaremongering, scapegoating and trivialising older people’s concerns as if they didn’t know any better.

The latest label stuck on all of us by the AMA, government and ABC is ‘sitting ducks’. People, and particularly Australians over 50 have been accused of ‘vaccine hesitancy’, when the truth is the word ‘vaccine’ has been substituted for ONE vaccine ‘AstraZeneca’ in the new narrative to scapegoat those who are clearly saying ‘NO’ to AstraZeneca; falling just short of being labelled ‘antivaxers’, hovering on the lips of those who wish to point fingers and blame, often cited in social media. There is a world of difference between ‘antivaxer’ or ‘vaccine hesitancy’ sentiment and older people with vulnerable medical conditions drawing a line in the sand saying ‘no to AstraZeneca’; having been treated differently from those under 50 granted a reprieve and choice of either, whatever they fancy! Ask someone over 50 who has said so and they will tell you. They are not confused! ‘Offer me Pfizer or Moderna and I will roll up my sleeve tomorrow’ – right now if they could get to a clinic that offers it, but where are they?

It is estimated around 16% of Australians are sceptic and will refuse COVID-19 vaccination, compared with 27% who refuse AstraZeneca (electing for Pfizer only) which is not consistent with either antivaxer sentiment or vaccine hesitancy. This voice is commonly related by people over 50 but no-one seems to be listening. This doesn’t seem to be a problem or an issue in New Zealand – Everyone can have it and everyone who wants it will get it.

It is still not clear to many older Australians (though this should not be construed as ‘their’ confusion) how a vaccine can be deemed unsafe for people under 50, but safe for people over 50 – There are no bounds to this magical thinking as a virus knows its limitations! More people over 50 have vulnerable medical conditions, comorbidities, medication contraindications, sensitivities and side effects – then there is heart disease, high blood pressure, thrombocytopenia, CVAs, DVTs, pulmonary oedema, pneumonia, diabetes and heart attacks. More older people have been reported with blood clots in Australia (though rare) and reports of death appear to be mysteriously here one day and gone the next, but relate more to people over 50 than under, and who knows what is happening in Aged Care. The original phase 3 pharmaceutical trials for AstraZeneca did not have a representative cohort of older people and aged care, nor would they have had people with serious medical conditions, so just how do the experts conclude this ‘very, very rare’ condition is more common in younger people and the arbitrary significance of it? Our esteemed chief medical officers in Canberra seem to have been quite cagey about the evidence despite persistently repeating bold claims, and in one press conference the suggestion was made that younger people have a more reactive immune system – Sounds like an opinion or theory than rigorous or solid evidence.

So, there are a few lame ducks I’d like to put away in a bowling alley starting with the federal and NSW governments, the TGA, one or two unethical and unscientific chief medical advisers in Canberra, the mainstream media and commercial TV channels including all those endless stupid breakfast shows with their guest celebrities and pseudo-experts, their trivialising dribble, pea shooting ideas of a serious ‘grim reaper’ advertising and promotion campaign, ABC included! Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, they’ve all been at it, fanning the flames of silence, misinformation, ignorance and half-truths. News Corp and Sky News, well we don’t bother mentioning them anymore, pure media and editorial nutcases. And let’s not forget the public health researchers from two universities in Sydney who think people over 50 suffer from ‘Pfizer envy’ – Slipping on the public footpath, confusing ‘penis’ for Freud, not that this is based on any rigorous or plausible social science research. Doubt there is any Pfizer envy in New Zealand. Not surprisingly people over 50 don’t buy it, they can’t afford to. Could so many countries have got this wrong, storm in a tea cup over people’s lives?

If it quacks like a duck, it only quacks on one side of the fence with an LNP smirk and swagger, it only quacks on one side of the Tasman – Once again the Kiwis surely have got this right.

Remember this when you vote next time and the mess we find ourselves in (remember Stan scratching his head peering round at Ollie, if you are as old as me, I was just a boy). This was just about a simple vaccine to keep all Australians safe and the Federal Government couldn’t even waddle their way through that like they made a dog’s breakfast of quarantine, not the way Morrison puffs up his tails, boasts and goes on and on about it, I mean dream on. So come next Federal election remember… vote don’t quack and don’t forget to get the right vaccine, if you have a choice and can lay your hands on it.

References:

New Zealand’s vaccination program is built on Pfizer and a plan to take it slow, ABC News, Emily Clark, Auckland, 27 April 2021.

Here’s why the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine is recommended for over 50s but not other Australians, ABC News 9 April 2021.

Simons says, roll up your sleeve

Says Simple Simon to the nurse,
when shall I have my jab?
The nurse she says in hesitation,
I’ll get it from the lab.

Now any clot that’s worth its salt
as anyone can see;
a little drop of human kindness,
good science isn’t free.

From the hybrid nursery rhyme – The Tale of Simple Simon, 2021

 

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Government warning, the image of the product you now see on your screens may not exist

NOT BLOODY LIKELY – Berejeklian yesterday afternoon said in a beguiling and coercive press conference to the people of NSW, after Morrison’s overnight on morning declarations and U-turn in this divining declining vaccine comedy, she said there are 2.5 million people over 50yrs in NSW, and if they all come forward for the AstraZeneca jab… she implied with feeble obligation or why say otherwise?

In the light of dwindling public trust and accountability in the Government and the Liberals (and this has always been as much about NSW as Federal), the duality of government business and political interests, Berejiklian now plays barking dog again to Morrison’s thoroughly politicised and failing campaign in these ‘vaccine wars’, which he initiated last year.

Oh yes, the Liberals are now banking on the excess supply of just one, not right now because there is no supply, but from next month onwards when all that CSL home produce of the AstraZeneca vaccine comes on line. And of course, not another vaccine in sight for the next 6 months, apart from a dwindling supply of Pfizer (1 million doses now mostly administered).

Arithmetic: 20+20=40, we can count even though we are over 50 and yes we are up to date on the news announcements; but 39 million Pfizer doses are up there in the clouds, not down here on earth for the next 6 months!

Now don’t get me wrong, as I have been accused of being an anti-vaxer, mind you only by one person so far. But if you examine everything I have ever said on the subject that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I have advocated for a choice of vaccines (supply and prescription – not just one soon to be redundant in plentiful supply) based on sound clinical and ethical guidelines, but where are these guidelines and where are these choices? Shouldn’t this be up to GPs, doctors and nurses when, what and how we get this critical vaccine and shouldn’t it be with informed consent? Shouldn’t it be based on best available evidence, research and practice, not that we have an enormous amount to go on in one year, or worse confused and obfuscated by the politicisation of our health care system, public health messaging and gross multiple government mismanagement?

It is our lives we are risking when we decide and our leaders can choose whichever vaccine they want to, as indeed they have. People over 50 have higher prevalence than any other age group of heart, hypertension, circulatory and blood disorders including blood clotting (and not just rare blood clotting disorders per se), and not so rare as you might imagine when you consider the number of people who have strokes and heart attacks each year. All those people on a vast range of heart and blood management medications – imagine all those unresearched drug interactions and a vaccine with a ‘very rare’ blood clotting disorder history. Isn’t heart disease one of the biggest killers? Forgive me for asking, we are over 50 and some seem to think we are clueless or have forgotten what we are told, worse still that any of us indeed are qualified to say so. No we are just speaking out of turn and making it worse because so many people out there don’t read what we write and misrepresent what we think or say.

No I am not anti-vaccination, I am pro-vaccination, informed consent, pro-choice of which vaccine based on a person’s medical history and vulnerabilities. I seek the truth about vaccinations and what lies behind the political, business deals, investments, alliances, lies and cover ups we are not being told about by people in power. I speak as one of those 2.5 million people over 50 and why we are one of the few countries in the OECD who are even having this conversation? Berejiklian says people over 50 in NSW please come forward and have your AstraZeneca jab!

These ecclesiastical pronouncements, even Berejiklian’s have become tiresome as clearly they are no longer in the public interest, nor based on sound independent clinical or ethical judgment and certainly not for the health of 2.5 million people over 50yrs in NSW. Since when do politicians use such powers coercively to tell a particular and potentially vulnerable group, which vaccine they should be taking, the one and only because the Federal and NSW government ‘fucked up’ on supply issues, and when clearly this particular vaccine is now deemed not good enough for people under 50 years? Is it something to do with our age that we are taken for mugs?

So forgive me for dropping into satire, but you leave me no choice, you are not qualified, you are not listening and you are pushing your own political agenda Berejiklian. So when I raise the question will my AstraZeneca jab come with paint stripper or blood thinner? Perhaps that will get the 2.5 million people message across to the decorative and incidental world you consign us. Government warning, the image of the product you now see on your screens may not exist – let us hope you have read this far for fear you might go out looking for it.

I have one thing to say to Berejiklian, “Zoooooom, there I go, not bloody likely!”

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Morrison’s Vaccine March and Rollout – The Placebo Effect

We were never going to meet anything close to Morrison’s vaccine march and rollout, as he arrogantly pronounced. It was foot in mouth disease, a muppet show. The European supply issue was totally predictable from early last year even when Morrison placed his solo order on behalf of Australia and backed it up with the one and only domestic manufacture of the same product.

As for Pfizer, we have been promised 20 million, just enough to cover phase 1a and 1b rollout (14-16 million doses), but we don’t even have enough to cover 4 million now or the immediate future, only 1 million delivered to date and there are no eagles in the clouds as we speak. Again, same situation, US like Europe will protect their own market and citizens first, the US are always in the business of protective trade practices – free trade is almost a global myth especially on vital products and resources such as food, fuel, energy, medicines and vaccines, not to mention patents. And God, because of that grand muppet wizard, Trump didn’t they need it more than us for their 328 million population to our 25 million – all through last year, predictable. And right now, despite ramping up the US rollout, as many being vaccinated in one day as Australia all year to date, UK too (the allies); with all this vaccine, the pandemic is still rising on its fourth wave.

As we have all been saying here, Morrison put all our eggs in one basket last year and now we are reaping the result of his incompetent and arrogant gamble. No talk even of Novavax, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson other than a bare rumour or mention. The UK placed multiple orders last year across at least 5 vaccines, not relying solely on their Oxford AstraZeneca prodigy. Even the grand muppet wizard got 3 holes in one – all domestically produced free of potential border export restrictions (the allies). We were warned all along about national fences and vaccine nationalism in fighting this pandemic but no, we have allies who will protect the colony.

Morrison’s vaccine march and rollout – It was never going to happen.

Morrison thought AstraZeneca would get him to the next election with Pfizer as the backup. No doubt many Liberals bought shares for profit last year in AZ or CSL before and around the government announcements. And just may be this is why the Morrison and Federal Government have remained silent and procrastinated for so long.

Now the Liberal propaganda has shifted today on opening mass vaccination clinics – Well DOH! But where the bloody hell are the vaccines? A cart and horse with no payload. Thank God and our States and Territories for the miracle of such a low infection rate in Australia, the silver lining.

But isn’t it obvious to us all, we’ve been bled and shafted? Morrison doesn’t listen – big bag of wind and egg yolk, why are we still listening to him?

The killing is more than mere bullets, even Morrison understands that and the illusion of democracy, the placebo effect.

 

‘The Muppet Show’ – Morrison, Hunt and Dr Murphy (image from abc.net.au)

 

The Governor

Our ecclesiastical prime minister –

He only listens to what he wants to listen to
and that will never change.
Women will never change him, man nor dog.
Therapy will never change him.
Reason will never change him nor common sense.
Empathy and compassion can’t change him
because there is no space for these to grow.
There is no vaccine to protect us from the likes of him;

after the party.

God will never change him,
no justice or angel of peace.
Jen won’t change him, no tongues, no prophecy,
no blinding light on the way to Canberra.
He is the epitome of stone,
the lava which spits in your face
as you hand him the keys to heaven.
He attacks anything that moves
in a direction not of his choosing;

after the party,
long live the party dead.

He is a failed managing director
in two countries, the tourism wars.
A liar and public, corporate thief.
He was absent in the thick of the fire,
absent from the crowd that gathered at our door.
He is ecclesiastical,
the land will never change him,
no wiser or elder evermore;

after the party.

He is a Liberal, the member for Cook,
they gave to us a shadow of the past
and he who stares at us from the dead
he places on the hill.
Misogyny and crocodile tears,
bullets, slogans, sermons, smears.
No cross, stars or serpent sky
will light the path and touch him now;

after the party,
long live the party dead.

Listen to the wisdom of women?
He doesn’t even hear himself
and this my friends is our prime minister,
our beloved leader and preacher,
preserver of the colonies,
the one who a handful of bogan
wayward parliamentarian vote for
to maul and govern this country;

after the party,
long live the party,
kiss and cuddle now you’re dead.

By Barddylbach

 

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Ministerial phlebotomy: Evasion of the bleeding obvious

Ministerial phlebotomy: Evasion of the bleeding obvious. Oh no, now we are being told how to think about it – doing the hokey-pokey!

Political leaders, chief medical officers and journalists who think that they can defend the position of giving the same vaccine safely to everyone, regardless of the evidence emerging that people with certain blood clotting disorders (and possible heart conditions, other blood and circulatory disorders and treatment regime interactions) or unknown genetic predispositions by comparing the risk of death in road traffic accidents or contracting COVID-19, need to go back to school and learn about basic human bioethics, if not the process of scientific inquiry itself.

And as for sermonising desperate marketplace or ‘legal eagle’ politicians like Morrison and Hunt, they should just keep their ministerial phlebotomy and mouths shut on the subject, since if you have no empathy for others’ true-life experiences you are not going to learn them in a mandatory training module, just as you won’t learn ethics and how to manage ethical dilemmas from not listening to other people’s including women’s concerns. You just don’t have the goods, the prerequisite character and traits to learn it in the first place, other than pretending you do, yes, Mr Morrison I am speaking particularly to you.

The difference between an RTA statistical probability or a public health COVID-19 risk analysis of death or serious harm/injury and reality, is:

(1) they are statistical probability calculations not individual real life events, assessment of medical risk or causation analysis (not even an RCA we might be familiar with in our public health system). They are politically manufactured probability statistics and guesswork to advise politicians when the facts are not known;

(2) You can choose to drive defensively, carefully or minimise your exposure to the risk and stay at home, use public transport or practice good social distancing, use of PPE and mediate your risk;

(3) if you are in a known or emerging risk group, you can be provided with an alternative risk management strategy like another vaccine, rather than just be told to grin and bear it; and

(4) if by consequence you have no choice on an alternative vaccine which doesn’t expose you to that risk, you have no choice but to continue running the gauntlet, restricting your life choices and freedoms vicariously for everyone else’s benefit or die at a calculated probability much higher than the general population either through a ‘one size fits all’ vaccination program (with 4-20 day blood clots) or heightened exposure to COVID-19 vulnerability (no government acquired vaccinated immunity).

The real problems Morrison and our compliant and captive Chief Medical Officer are facing are:

(a) burying their heads in the sand to start with and maintaining their stance, telling us we are still acquiring the facts when they should know full well that certain facts are already known – There is clearly a problem with AstraZeneca and blood clotting for certain people no matter how small this group may be and initial large sample phase 3 trials comparing clotting and death outcomes to a control group of the general population (unvaccinated) do not eliminate the possibility of cause and effect such as VIPIT (vaccine induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia). To date this is all we have and any decent researcher would know public announcements declaring public safety for all is flawed scientific reasoning, advice and conclusion till we test the relevant variables at play. The fact that the time interval between AZ administration and reports of clotting are consistent is highly significant, not pointing to false conclusions of random probability or unrelated events, which Morrison with his new found medical knowledge and chief buddy have been ignoring. The fact that these events have not arisen or been reported in other common vaccines like Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson and Johnson are also significant. The fact that a host of nations have raised their concerns only with AstraZeneca in the light of this emerging data – these are all facts which a well briefed and responsible Prime Minister would know;

(b) sliding down their explanation from ‘denial’ to ‘defensive rationalisation’ and now ‘we are exploring’ or the excuse ‘the situation is fluid and changing’ over the time it has taken for them to acknowledge there is a problem, is blind arrogance and hypothesising after the horse has bolted, yet still not providing us with a rational or viable provisional risk management strategy, is just morbidly fascinating and unacceptable. Still, they hustle and bustle as one nervously glances to another and the other smiles smugly prattling on about ‘facts’ – actually just one random and irrelevant fact of non-supply; and

(c) constantly telling us or distracting us with an unrelated issue of breakages in supply chain, focusing on blaming the EU for blocking exports when they have nothing to do with this issue. When in fact the real problem is government ordering and procurement – they put all their eggs in one basket and banked their money and investments (with a whiff of corruption, quiescence, incompetence or neglect at least) on AstraZeneca and CSL domestic manufacture. They should have ordered and secured an alternative supply of vaccine a long time ago, even if relatively tiny but hugely practical, Moderna or Johnson and Johnson for instance, or even now dispense a small portion of Pfizer for medical determination, but are too pig-headed to admit or consider it, while still they procrastinate. But choice, biodiversity and intelligence aren’t among Morrison’s marketing strengths, especially when it comes to the horror of empowering others or advancing Australia’s interests.

Let’s face it they both fucked up! Anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows they fucked up, so admit it. But don’t short-change us on ethics and coercion by telling everyone they have a duty to take the AstraZeneca vaccine because it is the only one we’ve got other than those to whom there is close to zero risk, which is most of the population who have little to worry about.

Do not scapegoat the few as ‘anti-vaxers’ or tell them they are jeopardising the national vaccination program or quash their voice because they happen to be a nurse, a woman or just someone who has capacity to show critical thinking, ethical reasoning and empathy with the worried few, and stand up with courage in the crowd – especially when you choose only to face a camera or the Opposition at Question Time, where you can control or dictate the conversation, rather than face that friendly crowd.

Print: Ministerial phlebotomy – John Bull c.1808, British Museum

Do not sweep the tiny ‘unknown’ group under a bus for the sake of the majority for that is not responsible democracy, that is in point of fact a microvariant of medical iatrogenesis and public health neglect – it is the application of poor and flawed scientific and ethical reasoning which the Liberals are so renowned for on almost every issue from climate change, employment, coal, health and disability to MMT. You do not sacrifice the safety of a minority for the majority (or the inverse for that matter which the Liberals do all the time) when there are clear practical mediating social strategies and solutions available. That is just rampant ignorance, populism, propaganda and evasion of the bleeding obvious, not to mention a corrupted interpretation of social ethics, morality and informed government.

But what the fuck would Morrison (or Hunt) know when it comes to medicine, nursing, women, ethics or anything in the universe let alone intelligence or life on earth?… Perhaps Morrison should talk it over with Jen!

Oh no, even journalists and editors are telling us how to think about it, what’s next tourist directors, lawyers and government regulators, bankers and TV celebrities on sunrise telling us how to do the hokey-pokey? Of course, everyone has an opinion on something, it’s all John Bull!

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The Easter Bunny is No Fool – The GFEB is onto Covid Vaccination Rollout

 

Tens of thousands Easter bunnies,

tens of thousands Easter eggs,

tens of thousands, secret promise

lots of chocolate froggy legs.

 

(The Liberal Easter Promise, AB)

 

Tens of thousands fully vaccinated in NSW, new daily data reveals‘ – Sydney Morning Herald, 2 April 2021.

The Sydney Morning Herald and NSW Health should have announced and published this yesterday on 1 April instead of leaving it up to the Good Friday Easter Bunny, or as Roald Dahl might say, ‘the GFEB’.

Is this a cause for celebration? Is it even true? Headline – ‘tens of thousands fully vaccinated in NSW’ says the GFEB!

Let’s do the maths and logistics after 6 weeks rollout of phase 1a, noting Morrison boasted he’d have 4 million done nationwide, 15% of the Australian population by end of March, now gone. God the man’s mouth just swims in chocolate!

Population of NSW – 8.164 million

People fully vaccinated in NSW by Good Friday – Almost 30,000 <0.4%

People half vaccinated in NSW by Good Friday – 94,500 <1.2%

Doesn’t include Commonwealth vaccinations of aged care in nursing homes or GP clinics and we know that is speculatively pitifully low and to date unreported.

Not that sweet! What exaggeration! What kind of public health journalism is this?

What proportion of phase 1a had or has been even now completed before phase 1b, estimated 6 million nationwide was announced and commenced by Greg Hunt more than two weeks ago – Anyone know?

Ahhh! The eagle landed and now we have the Easter rush.

What do we know so far about Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout?‘ – Sydney Morning Herald, 17 March 2021.

“The first inoculation… on February 21, started Phase 1a of the rollout. This phase was made up of people either at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 or at a higher risk of becoming very sick if they do: so, quarantine and border workers, frontline healthcare workers, and staff and residents at aged care and disability facilities…

There are about 678,000 people in Phase 1a across Australia. By March 14 the Sydney Morning Herald reported there had been 164,437 vaccinations given nationwide.”

Group 1a (national) half vaccinated <25% for this relatively small top priority emergency group after three weeks rollout; that was nearly three weeks ago incomplete and short supply and we are melting a pot of 6 million already in phase 1b.

There’s a sugar-coated jousting match right now between States and Federal governments, Liberals vs Liberals in the State of NSW as Public Health is knocked off its public horse in the interests of politics, ego and the rush to fill our baskets with lots of chocolate Easter eggs.

Morrison and Berejiklian are you proud now you are fully and half vaccinated? Were either of you in phase 1a anyway?

GPs everywhere are saying the rollout is fanciful and farcical, riddled with incompetence, idiocy and uncertainty. GP clinics just can’t get hold of the vaccine and everyone is standing in the queue at their door.

‘They could have stocked up on tens of thousands of little chocolate Easter eggs’ claims the GFEB.

So how we doing so far? Something close to piss in a plant pot and entirely predictable for both of our two bleeding heart Liberal-National coalition governments, neither of which are or were fit to govern and administer.

Australia is ‘not behind’ in its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Department of Health says‘ ABC, 2 April 2021.

“Australia’s Department of Heath insists the country ‘is not behind in its vaccine rollout’, despite handing out just 670,000 doses – 3.3 million fewer than where the Prime Minister expected the country would be by now.” (ABC Health & Wellbeing, 1 April 2021).

Is anyone here missing the blinding obvious!

Meanwhile more than half the population in the UK have received their first vaccination (2.6 times the population of Australia) – of course we understand the far greater urgency in the UK, but at least when they say they have started it is not just happening, it’s an impressive achievement – NHS, you can’t underestimate a good public health system.

And have you noticed what private medicine and health care is contributing to COVID-19 or the vaccination rollout in this country?

‘Not a single private egg in public sight, but who knows…’ he whispers in sweet soliloquy, cheekily on the back of his right paw, ‘Some not telling, paying for a secret stash’ and turning with a dash, ‘Go tell the Liberals that this Easter’ cries the GFEB.

The federal government buggered up the COVID-19 App over a year ago remember, with more than 6 million Australian subscribers, and it’s never worked since… Shhh! Don’t remind everyone, there’s an election coming woof woof.

‘Not a laughing matter’ claims the Easter Bunny, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket like the Liberals do or you will find yourself in short supply’.

 

Fly, fly, GFEB must fly,

happy Easter everyone,

must dash.

 

(The Liberal Easter Promise, AB)

 

 

Image from The Graphics Fairy (thegraphicsfairy.com)

 

Further references:

GPs say federal government has ‘set us up to fail’ on COVID-19 vaccine rollout – Sydney Morning Herald, 2 April 2021 https://www.smh.com.au/national/gps-say-federal-government-has-set-us-up-to-fail-on-covid-19-vaccine-rollout-20210401-p57fw4.html

4 ways Australia’s COVID vaccine rollout has been bungled – The Conversation, 1 April 2021 https://theconversation.com/4-ways-australias-covid-vaccine-rollout-has-been-bungled-158225

Coronavirus scares Easter Bunny away as chocolate sales wilt – Bloomberg, 20 April 2020 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-10/coronavirus-scares-easter-bunny-away-as-chocolate-sales-wilt

 

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Why Morrison Consulted a Therapist; We Didn’t Know He Even Had One

Word got out several days ago Morrison had referred himself to a therapist. Our source is unclear, but we know it wasn’t the ABC this time. Oh damn it, okay, so it was News Corp, as if you couldn’t work it out yourself, it’s hardly going to be the Australian Signals Directorate or AFP; and of what’s left of the Public Service, a couple of disgruntled male staffers on private temporary contracts who might have thought their lewd comments of women would at worst score them a referral – More than their job’s worth right – You’re kidding!

So who had his conversation tapped, who has it in for Morrison anyone? There’s no HR in Parliament, other than the Finance Department and why would they rock the boat anyway? But we can come to that in a minute, we have a few ideas on that one.

What could Morrison have been thinking to refer himself to a therapist? Has Morrison grown a conscience? Perhaps there’s a problem in the Lodge, there sure as hell are problems in Parliament, don’t we know. Have you noticed he has been uncharacteristically more subdued and conciliatory in Question Time last week; the weight of the nation is finally getting to him? Maybe he is afraid of making more blunders in his press briefings, after all, these daily government announcements are a huge burden on his precious time and god it must be so mundane; sooner or later he was bound to put his foot in his mouth, poor bugger. Perhaps it is the cognitive dissonance from all he has said his government has been doing and the fact that there has been so little to show for it, the facts have been unravelling, all say – no do. Do people really think ‘I am just a big bag of wind?’

Think about it, the bushfires, Hawaii cut short, bite your tongue shaking hands with the enemy at home, COVID-19, mates on cruise ships and the containment debacle in Sydney, the one place he couldn’t afford to mess up, but then he could blame the last one on Dutton or NSW Health for that for that – Quite right so.

Climate change, well he got away with that all of last year but bloody hell those storms, the drought, the floods they just keep coming. Who the bloody hell forgot to tell him the El Niño was due this year, why didn’t the BoM or god himself brief him more thoroughly, he could have been more prepared for a change? Mind you, at least no-one will notice the absence of any heavy-duty flying bombers on bushfire procurement; no bushfires this year, besides that is a State responsibility when they come back again, no real worries there. Thank god our people are so resilient, thanks to us Liberals.

Well, “I’ve lost much of my electorate” says Morrison to his therapist, we screwed millions out of Robodebt and now we have to pay it back, “I really should have blamed my mate Christian Porter for that, he launched it despite it being my idea but people won’t remember that, if only I had got rid of him then,” but you see, continues Morrison to his therapist, “I felt for him, he’s a bloody good Attorney General; and fuck what’s left, I’ve ended up with Michaelia Cash now anyway, and she’s a bloody woman. But hell, she knows how to handle Labor, the Unions, the AFP and Senate enquiries, she knows how to handle the ABC while Porter screws the hell out of them, woof woof. So perhaps we can get more mileage out of her, she scowls like a frustrated scornful cat, far more effective than my incongruent Cheshire, so loyal to our Liberal cause is she, if only I could get her to do it more often than I do. I’m so glad she’s back.”

Cartoon by Alan Moir (moir.com.au)

Empathy is a wonderful thing, gloats Morrison, “I have all these wonderful resourceful people around me, what a team, whereas Labor are such a bunch of losers, I’m still here aren’t I? Suppose then I should be grateful.”

“Our COVID-19 vaccine roll-out is not going so well, fucked up on procurement and supply but thank god for the States, someone else we can blame till that stupid idiot Littleproud started bagging Berejiklian and her government, she’s a woman you know and a Liberal, you don’t fuck around with the biggest and most populous Liberal State in our federation, our mates – you seduce them with praises and pork barrel their electorates, even Dutton understands that.”

‘Hmm, Dutton, well at least I got him out of Home Affairs and into Defence which let’s face it, is in dire straits as diabolical as Dutton himself, keep him quiet for a while longer, I knew something was brewing… Mad fucking witch, hell he wouldn’t get away with that one now.”

“But this ‘women’ problem won’t go away, I could hardly go and talk to them now could I, they’d never understand me, not like Jenny!”

“But who’d have thought, a master stroke just when I needed it, put a woman in the Department of Home Affairs no-one has ever heard of, another as notorious as my beloved and faithful Christian Porter as Attorney General for all the collateral damage she can do, and create a few more ministries for women, ministries you’ve never heard of, nothing overboard mind. More women in my cabinet than there’s ever been, so who’s going to complain now that I don’t support women, they’re practically running the country?”

“I am shocked, just so shocked and disgusted at all these allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct in my government,” crock’s tears. “Normally I’d blame Labor, but I just couldn’t get the words out this time, and that is when I knew there was something wrong, and why I’ve come to you” claimed Morrison to his therapist, now looking out the window at Andrew Laming crossing the lawn with his infamous camera – who’s he chasing now? “Ah, that reminds me, how’s Porter doing… of course you don’t need to answer that, confidentiality I understand, but seriously I can empathise with what he’s going through. Suing the ABC and Louise Milligan, that was my idea you know, still got it – what it takes you know to run this country.”

“But WA, wasn’t expecting that. And John Barilaro has stolen my secret weapon, my lightning rod on coal.”

“All these distractions” hear the angels talking to each other in tongues, “saved Morrison’s arse from not having any actual government policies and purpose this time round, and all that money he has spent no parables in the making there, no sermons on the mount, god has been gracious.”

As for his therapist, there is very little ‘she or he’ can do, no real power to change anything in the corridors of power, and Morrison – got no insight, he doesn’t listen anyway, wreathing in denial.

Now to the question of who has it in for Morrison, spill the beans?

Well, we thought of Malcolm and then we thought of Dutton, Laming and Joyce and a few others on both the back bench and cross bench like Craig Kelly. A few women (half the population) we could mention, journalists, one or two at the ABC, even News Corp and Sky News not that they count for much as far as we’re concerned. All those souls 67yrs and over, and those in Aged Care and we heard NDIS is about to be scuttled on top of JobKeeper and the millions who have been ditched on Centrelink or left out in the cold with nothing throughout the pandemic, Aboriginal people, migrants, students, refugees (alas not everyone who votes). But what really does intrigue us is how Morrison’s popularity continues to be so high when he has screwed over more than two thirds of the population of Australia and the nation itself on so many occasions – And some would say a whole lot bloody more.

Then we thought of East Timor, China and Russia, and if Trump had still been in office America too, can’t have Australia going feral, now can we? But really… Putin, we reckon he’d want Morrison to run again because he’s doing such a good job at fucking up his country.

But then we thought, well you might have something to say about this today too, of all days?

 

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The Problem with Psychology is not the Individual, it is the Political State and Social System that Makes and Promotes it

When and why mandatory and psychological training/counselling doesn’t work and what we should be doing at an organisational, institutional and societal level. Individual psychological interventions without sociological approaches are likely to be ineffective and a waste of time.

Andrew Laming, Christian Porter, Peter Dutton, Barnaby Joyce, Michael Johnsen and no doubt many others, like their leaders are or behave like ‘entitled narcissists’ as many Liberals and Nationals in government who do not have empathy but for their own selfish oppressive class and kind. Arrogant, blokey, misogynist, racist, abusive and delusional in nature, they will not be capable of learning it from a single involuntary program of psychological intervention/s – totally fanciful and supremely convenient for Morrison (and Berejiklian) to defend or deny no matter how disgusted they scowl, preach and caper before the camera, and little wonder they band together. And it is not limited just to men, the perpetrators, nor a single class, political or religious persuasion. If you haven’t got empathy by the time you are a mature adult, you missed all the normal developmental and social cues, you are not fit to be elected let alone govern (man or woman), you are not fit to be in a position of power and authority over others, probably not ever.

Whether (and particularly if) you are a politician, religious leader or minister, CEO, general manager, barrister, celebrity, company boss or director, come from an elite and privileged background or risen from ordinary obscurity, if you have no empathy and capacity to act upon human compassion and kindness, you are not going to learn it through an individual psychological or mandatory training program whatever your IQ; it will merely reinforce your own human maladjustment, inhumanity and prejudice, apart from the occasional random individual success; not unlike the politicised cruisy concept of random acts of kindness coveted, ordained and prescribed in our healthcare system and institutionally elsewhere.

In the biblical context we have that famous New Testament quote from Matthew 9:24 – “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” It also appears in different form in the Quran 7:40 – “The gates of heaven will not be opened for them, nor will they enter paradise as a camel enters through the eye of a needle.” Whether you believe in the religious message or not, we have this potent metaphor for life here on earth and human nature. We are fighting against the very problem that governs us as that which created it, just as those we allow to govern are blind, unwilling and incapable of changing their own self-perpetuating destructive demeanour. Some call it the battle between good and evil or for us ordinary folk right and wrong, light and darkness.

The good news is you can’t snuff out human and humanitarian nature either, the good traits and virtues are just as resilient, as history has taught us on both sides of purgatory, from Roman occupation and empire to the Third Reich, British or American imperialism to Putin’s plutocratic Russia, Chinese communism and re-education camps to the brutal dictatorships of Khmer Rouge, North Korea and Myanmar. While ever we let such individuals rise so too will the regimes manifest and fester which create and promote them – How will a mandatory psychological education program or camp ever change this? Some people simply must not be allowed to return to positions of authority or rise in the first place.

Image from justpo.st

Society (civilisation) has been rewarding people without these traits and virtues since time immemorial, they have been rising to the highest positions in our society like kings, queens and emperors, and as such it may even now be in our genes as part of natural selection and inheritance, not just nurture or an individual psychological developmental problem. The problem is escalated by the fact we keep rewarding people politically and economically to practice their narcissism, we appoint them and re-elect them. This position of authority and power also reinforces their perceived success, ego, entitlement and defence with every ploy, manipulation and deception; love of offspring and lust for power becomes the right and privilege of inheritance.

There is no psychological vaccine for this social disorder, you can only adjust the socioeconomic cultural system to accommodate, minimise harm and prevent the future development, maintenance and spread of this social disease and its variants – the solution must be sociological and reconfigured at every level of society. While ever we continue to brush it under the carpet, normalise and reward it, we have to live with it, we foster it, the fall out just gets worse, till society itself eventually breaks apart and we are faced with the destructive force of man’s man-made all-consuming social pandemic and all its consequences.

Just as you treat a virus with social distancing, hygiene, PPE and vaccination, you do not put the source, this ‘social pox’ in the middle of a crowd to control, rule or govern it; nor indeed do you pander to the ineffectiveness or manipulative excuses, justice, prescriptions and interventions of individual remedial psychology.

Both science and history tell us otherwise, as do our reason, minds and hearts. This is far more a sociological phenomenon than a psychological one, and for this we need a sociological perspective and progressive societal humanitarian reform.

Call it political if you like, but political is at the core of our human problem.

 

Reference: “Andrew Laming: Why empathy training is unlikely to work,” by Sue Williamson, The Conversation, 29 March 2021.

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The trouble with AstraZeneca… Bugger the quality of the research, choice or supply

The trouble with AstraZeneca goes beyond blood clotting. Lack of trial data to show efficacy or safety in older people, blood clotting in women under 55, poor operational controls in research resulting in the controversy of a half dose being more effective when all along the independent variable may have been the interval between doses – 3 months not one month. Oops doesn’t inspire confidence in their research if they can’t get that right!

And it doesn’t stop there. Supply issues, broken contracts, vested national interests, protectionism, political interference and even questions surrounding the reliability and accuracy of information AstraZeneca is providing about its ‘baby’ – evidence that information and data may be being withheld.

The US has not yet completed its report on its phase 3 mass trial and rumours circulating AstraZeneca haven’t been providing up to date information. Efficacy is 30% lower than its rivals at 62%. So what are we not seeing here? What is AstraZeneca hiding? Why are so many countries and their regulators deliberating while host countries like UK and Australia (well in the minority), who have most to gain out of all this play politics with orders and supply, and ultimately people’s lives-willing to obfuscate their national public health messaging, information and choice?

One thing’s for sure, it is a dangerous game they are playing, when this all should be well above politics – but it ain’t is it, Messrs Morrison and Johnson? It is one step away from being weaponised and another to hide the truth from your general public.

We are being told it is safe, but clearly not for some, and for others there is an absence of data to support it. But the spin doctors are already out there ramming the public health safety slogan down our throats. And here in Australia, if you are eligible on medical grounds or concerns for an alternative, there is only one – Pfizer-BioNTech, and already it is not available to the general public, but most don’t know this.

The US also has Moderna and Johnson and Johnson, all three of which are more effective, arguably safer, and none of which so far, have thrown up any of the troubles of AstraZeneca.

So in Australia, the general population have just one vaccine which has been badly managed. Many unanswered questions. If you have no medical conditions or family history, having the vaccine evidently poses less risk than not taking it, little doubt about that. But until the US study is reported with its larger and broader sample, with latest reliable data and independent analysis, which we are told is soon, the truth about its effectiveness and safety in the elderly is yet to be properly established. But if you have a blood clotting disorder, serious heart condition, receiving medication and family history, you may be at higher risk than either AstraZeneca or the government is telling; and the government has failed to provide an alternative. That is probably what is compromising their willingness to tell the truth, so they are resorting to dumbed down public health messaging and guesswork.

So, what can we learn from all this?

  1. The research needs to be conducted on a reliable and independent footing, sound methodologies, rigorous, no compromises.
  2. The public need to be told the truth from the start, no guesswork for the sake of politicians sleeping in their beds at night. Do not mislead the public. The biggest threat to public confidence and consenting to vaccination is being lied to or misled, unsupported claims, and of course overzealous politicians who don’t know what they are talking about, covering up for their incompetence.
  3. Cautions, contraindications, risks must be labelled on the product and all product information; and for reasons we won’t go into that has been overlooked in the packaging and promotion of AstraZeneca; shortcuts, omissions and excuses unacceptable.
  4. There needs to be a choice, an alternative if there are medical contraindications and risks. That choice must be based on medical advice, case by case, not a bureaucrat or politician.
  5. Our government needs to address the order and supply problem – One for all is not acceptable.
  6. Don’t even think about travel passes and restrictions until you get this stuff right.

We can do better than this unless you like the sound of our master’s voice (I don’t and I don’t like his attitude), frankly he, like Boris doesn’t know what he is talking about either, other than pulling the wool over our eyes every day, pretty much on everything. But I would have expected better from the Chief Medical Officer in Australia than his one size fits all, dumbing down, and bugger the quality of the research, choice or supply.

References:

Missteps plague AstraZeneca’s Vaccine Rollout, The Washington Post, 22 March 2021.

Reputation of AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine marred by missteps, Modern Healthcare, 23 March 2021.

WHO says AstraZeneca vaccinations should continue as some nations halt rollout amid concerns, The Washington Post, 13 March 2021.

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