Failing on the job

The President of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Khorshid, has failed one of the fundamental requirements of his role. At this link, he says that the lockdown in Sydney may have to stay in effect until everyone is vaccinated, ie. indefinitely. He says that since there are insufficient vaccine supplies to vaccinate everyone it is imperative people stop talking to each other, being close, breathing and coughing on each other. He made no mention of the fact that 100% vaccination rates will never happen, regardless of supply.

Now, some people may watch that news interview and think that the good doctor is giving considered medical advice. They could be excused for thinking that doctors are the best people to give medical advice. In some very limited circumstances, doctors are the best people to give medical advice. Those circumstances are limited to the treatment of one individual person to the exclusion of all other concerns. For example, it applies when you visit your GP, when your dentist is fixing your teeth, when you are on the operating table in surgery and that’s about it. When the health of the public in general is the subject, medical people are just like you and me – they have opinions but these opinions are no better or worse than anybody else’s opinion. All these medical experts advocating locking up citizens in the face of SARS-CoV-2 have no more authority than you or I do to stand up at that press conference. Thus, politicians hiding behind those medicos are cowardly in pretending a political decision to lock up citizens is actually a medical decision when it is nothing of the sort.

Dr Khorshid failed in his role not for any medical reason. He failed for political reasons. The AMA is a political organisation. Doctors don’t need the AMA to practise medicine. In fact, I believe that a large proportion of the country’s doctors are not even members of it. The AMA exists to lobby Government to advance its own political objectives. All professional organisations have similar objectives. By airing statements that many in the general public will see as variously ridiculous, extreme, laughable, unrealistic etc, he has just damaged the credibility and authority of the AMA. A key function of the role of President is to enhance the standing of the AMA, not detract from it. Can anybody explain how such an interview could enhance the AMA’s standing? I can’t. So, Dr Kharshid, let’s mark that interview as ‘Fail’.

The world’s most oppressive authoritarian regimes

When you think of an authoritarian governing regime, what countries spring to mind? Does Australia? It should now.

Take a closer look at this graphic to see the company we Australians are keeping. I included Japan to show where a more liberal country sits on this index. As the note explains, for sub-regions within a country, the most stringent sub-region is used. It is Victoria that is driving the Australian figure.

Brutality and incompetence in Victoria

The State of Disaster declared by Premier Andrews will not have any effect on the COVID19 virus. Severity of lockdowns do not affect mortality outcomes, as many emerging studies of the northern hemisphere experience show. But Andrews’ suspension of democracy, the instant political disenfranchisement of the people, the social and economic catastrophe he has unleashed under the stamp of the heavy handed police state is not going unnoticed outside Victoria.

Two cases in point, first from Greg Sheridan.

and second from Jeffrey Tucker.

Move along, buddy, you’re holding up the line.

It’s time to get back to the business of life, if only our political masters would permit us. There is nothing to see anymore. The media fascination with counting each new COVID-19 case ought to be over.

What is notable from the next two charts is the shape of the curves. First, some larger countries and secondly smaller, (just to make the data easier to see).

Conclusion: the daily deaths have been falling everywhere, even bad boy Sweden, since the peak in late April. This is despite the rapidly growing number of reported cases globally for the last month.

Next, look at the excess deaths from the continuous mortality study, Euromomo, with 24 participating countries:

Conclusion: the spike in deaths, relative to normal, was 4 months ago. Also notable is that there is a spike in deaths every European winter. In 2017, the excess deaths reached 70,000 per week. In 2018 and 2019, they reached 60,000-65,000 per week. In 2020, there were two spikes: the ‘normal’ winter spike around 60,000 per week and then the COVID-19 spike reaching 90,000 per week.

Time to get back to living, working, schooling, business, socialising and recreation.

Perspective

Where is the global panic about deaths from road accidents? Or HIV/AIDS? Or tuberculosis? Why is COVID-19 worthy of a 6 month on-going panic when TB doesn’t rate a mention?

Currently, the global total death toll from COVID-19 is 562,000 people. Round that out to 0.6 million.

In other news, annual deaths from road accident trauma total 1.2m people, tuberculosis also kills 1.2m people annually and HIV/AIDS is killing about 1m people each year. Each and every year.

Let’s tally up the score over the last three years in terms of aggregate deaths:

  • Combined road trauma, TB and HIV/AIDS: 10.2m deaths
  • COVID-19: 0.6m deaths

Why weren’t economies busted and free people locked down years ago?

Photo by Tobias Rehbein on Pexels.com