Showing all posts tagged: health

COVID chasers are not getting COVID out of the way

19 January 2022

When the COVID pandemic started almost two years ago, people would side-step each on the footpath for fear of contracting the virus. Now some people, known as COVID chasers, are going out of their way to become infected, by attending so-called COVID parties, where, I suppose, someone in attendance has the disease. People are of the belief they can get COVID “out of the way”, and get on with their lives.

If only it were so simple. The problem is we’re not dealing with a disease that gives an infected person life-long protection once they recover. While someone who is infected with COVID, and recovers, will develop anti-bodies, the life of these anti-bodies is short lived, lasting anywhere from three to sixteen months. Like all diseases, COVID affects everyone differently. Someone might feel like they have a cold, but another person, especially those unvaccinated, may find themselves in an intensive care ward. There’s the real risk COVID will get them “out of the way” instead.

With the virus spiralling out of control in some areas, the chances are many people will contract the virus. If you became seriously ill, perhaps you could draw some consolation from having made the best efforts to avoid the disease. But how many people would feel that way given they had deliberately tried to become infected? Be careful what you wish for. In the meantime, be safe, and keep reading books.

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Combatting the spread of COVID-19 in Australia

10 January 2022

Australia needs to adopt a vaccine-plus strategy to combat the rapid spread of COVID-19, says C Raina MacIntyre, Professor of Global Biosecurity, at Sydney’s UNSW, writing for The Conversation.

Among other things, this includes expanding PCR testing capacity, making rapid antigen test kits freely available to everyone, ditto high quality face masks, and stepping up the vaccine booster program.

If there’s no change in policy, there will be a higher, faster peak that far exceeds available health care, which may then force a lockdown. If people who need simple measures like oxygen cannot get a hospital bed, the death rate will start rising. The other option is to use “vaccines-plus” to flatten the curve and ease the load on society and the health system.

The perception the Omicron strain of COVID-19 is mild — thinking that possibly resulted in Australian federal and state government leaving the virus to spread — while sounding comforting, is not necessarily the case, says MacIntyre:

The Omicron wave has made health systems buckle in most states, with NSW worst affected currently. Delta was twice as severe as previous variants, so if Omicron is 20-45% less severe than Delta, that’s still no laughing matter with low booster rates.

It’s food for thought, considering the long term effects of the virus are yet to be understood. It sounds like prevention is easier than cure, but prevention is not easy.

It’s worth doing everything we can to prevent COVID and the long term burden of illness it may cause. In addition to long COVID, SARS-CoV-2 lingers in the heart, brain and many other organs long after the acute infection, and we don’t know the long term impacts of this.

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Find a RAT, a Rapid Antigen Test kit in Australia

4 January 2022

Find a RAT in Australia, is a great and timely initiative by Melbourne based Australian application developer Matt Hayward, to help people locate Rapid Antigen Test kits to self-test for COVID-19.

With people in some locations reporting waiting several hours, sometimes longer, to take a PCR test, and waiting days instead of hours for the result because of the strain some test providers are under, a Rapid Antigen Test may be the only option some people have.

In recent days though RAT kits have become difficult to find, not to mention at a reasonable price, but hopefully Find a RAT will assist in locating them.

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