It is hard to believe that another year is about to end. Almost everyone you talk to, regardless of age, seems to wonder where the time has gone. Aside from anything else, this should remind us to make the most of each day we have and as much as possible live in the moment.
Like the two preceding years, 2022 has been challenging for many. On the plus side, an increasing number of countries and people have accepted that living with a virus which causes in the main a cold like illness is not either a new or radical idea. As more people have either had Covid or know someone who had it, it has been harder for the fear narrative to be maintained.
To be clear, as with influenza, some get a severe illness and also as with influenza, some will succumb. We have never shut down society (since 1918) for seasonal influenza. It has always been the case that we protect, as best we can, those at risk and we also understand that there will be deaths each year mainly in those who are already close to it. We certainly allow loved ones to be with an unwell relative and to say their goodbyes.
It was reported over the weekend that excess deaths are up 13% in Australia in the eight months to August. Most of these are not due to respiratory viruses and flu numbers are down. There is statistical variation year on year but 13% is way outside this. There is a lack of curiosity amongst those who would normally scream for the government to “do something” and little apparent interest amongst researchers. I express no opinion as to the reason but strongly feel it warrants exploration.
In November I had the opportunity to join a panel of speakers including Dr Brian Walker MLC talking about medical censorship. As in the days of Ignaz Semmelweis, doctors in Australia can now face sanctions for questioning government health edicts. To be clear, this applies even if there is scientific evidence.
To quote Kara Thomas writing in The Spectator the new law in Queensland “…prioritises Public confidence over public health and safety. It appears censorship is how the Ministers of Truth (sorry, Health) in this country have decided they are going to achieve their goal of public confidence”.
It may be unconstitutional according to Augusto Zimmerman writing in Quadrant.
“Because it suppresses freedom of political communication by censoring and punishing dissenters through serious threats to careers and livelihood, as a means to undemocratically control public debate and general perception through enforced medical censorship”.
However, a High Court Challenge will be both expensive and lengthy. That said, if doctors are to remain free to give advice to the patient in front of them based on what is in the patients’ best interests (remember no two people are identical) laws such as this will need to be opposed and overturned.
To wind up on a positive note, this Christmas many will be able to be with family and friends for the first time in three years. Others will be able to have holidays in faraway places. We can eat out without having to wear masks on entering the establishment only to remove them when sitting down.
History shows us that there have always been cycles. Whilst in the middle of one, the end can be hard to see. The pandemic is over in all but name and 2023 will see a continued return to normal life. Even the CCP is having to lift restrictions having abjectly failed, like so many other governments to “crush and eliminate“ the virus.
As I said in the opening paragraph we need to all live as much as we can in the present moment. As Eckhart Tolle says, – it is the only place we can live.
Christmas is a time of joy for most but not all. If you can seek to assist or support those who find it a harder time of year. May you enjoy catching up with friends and family, good food and the sharing of gifts.
Thank you to readers for your support this year. A very Merry Christmas and best wishes in 2023 for all.
Medical Doctor, author, speaker, media presenter and health industry consultant, Dr Joe Kosterich wants you to be healthy and get the most out of life.
Joe writes for numerous medical and mainstream publications, is clinical editor at Medical Forum Magazine, and is also a regular on radio and television.
Joe is Medical Advisor to Medicinal Cannabis Company Little Green Pharma, Chairman of Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association and sits on the board of Arthritis and Osteoporosis WA. He is often called to give opinions in medico legal cases.
He has self-published two books: Dr Joe’s DIY Health and 60 Minutes To Better Health.
Through all this he continues to see patients as a GP each week.