I will let you be the judge. Check it out here.
Australia is an increasingly lawless and irrational country
What I’m talking about today is the illegal and irrational conduct of Australian governments in the name of a health crisis. This includes lockdowns, mandates and protest arrests.
You may say these steps are warranted – safety versus freedom, but I think of them as indications of a further slide down an already slippery slope, in part because these actions are not backed by solid scientific data.
If governments can get away with this now, what will be next? A social credit system like China where so-called non-conformist behaviour means you can’t buy a train ticket, get an education, are publicly shamed or put on a blacklist?
I recall what happened in Germany in the 1930s and 40s, which ended in the genocide of millions of Jews, and what I’ve seen with my own eyes what oppression led to in Indonesia and East Timor (now Timor Leste) resulting in their struggles for democracy and independence. I know how real these things can get.
I thought I’d pick just three issues that demonstrate the concerning direction in which our country and its people are headed.
1. Australian lockdowns have been illegal
Did you know that unless you or your business have been specifically named in an official health order from your state’s health department, you are not required to go into lock down? If you are issued with such an order, it is be valid for only 28 days. You can find out more here. You may think lockdowns have been warranted, but keep reading and you’ll learn they’re not backed by evidence.
Further to this, the arrests of peaceful protesters in Victoria during the 2020 lockdowns are likely to be ruled by the Australian High Court as illegal and unconstitutional, meaning that ‘Australia has witnessed the detention of its first political prisoners’. You can read more about that here. Is this the kind of country we want to be?
Another slippery slope aspect of the Sydney lockdown has been putting (unarmed) Australian Defence Forces personnel onto the streets to help enforce the lockdown. I’ve worked in security sector reform in developing countries, and one of the first things you teach newly democratising security forces is that the role of the police is an internal security, law and order one, while the role of the defence forces is protective external security one. I am disturbed at this growing convergence of roles. As I have seen first hand in Indonesia and East Timor, a close ideological and operational alliance between the police and military has historically been associated with repressive regimes, not democratic ones, with the military having access to far greater force than the police. A military should not use its force or power on its own people.
Put together, what this points to is that governments are blatantly flouting the law and democratic processes, and largely doing it without public questioning or recourse. But I would go one step further and question whether lockdowns are even a valid method stopping COVID-19.
For example, while Sweden’s no-lockdown and no-masks policy with restricted gatherings and physical distancing resulted in more COVID-19 cases, they experienced less deaths, and in July 20201 they hit zero deaths. There could be various factors at play and you can read more about it here, but one I found interesting is that health is actually a longer-term game, and ‘a lower economic hit now means a lower excess death hit later’.
An alliance of Australian doctors called the Covid Medical Network back this up in a statement here about the long Victorian lockdown:
‘The ambition for ‘viral elimination’ and the intent of achieving “zero cases for a period of time”, is both irrational and unachievable, according to the best local and international evidence. The latest evidence suggests that ‘lockdown measures’ in general have limited effectiveness in reducing the viral health impacts in the long term. The Victorian government’s measures are ‘anti-health’ and deny the principles of good medical practice. They constitute a disproportionate approach which relies on a fear-based media narrative as well as inadequate and misleading information. This must cease as soon as possible.’
They also state here that the ‘Doherty modelling report, prepared for the Australian National Cabinet on July 30th 2021, has been used as the grounds for the road map out of the pandemic, paving the way for Australian political leaders to justify rolling lockdowns and restrictions as well as drive an 80% vaccination target for our return to “normality. However, our analysis has shown that science was lacking according to our standards of modelling…It is just another example of how bad the science applied to the pandemic is, begging the question, should we not re-examine the science using real-world experts instead of academia based experts. We need a new approach, and better science.’
2. A protocol exists with a very high success rate for curing COVID-19
Professor Thomas Borody from the Centre for Digestive Diseases in Sydney has created a protocol called the Ivermectin-based Triple Therapy compromising Ivermectin, Doxycycline and zinc. It has been shown in trails to successfully cure COVID-19. In one trial in Bangladesh where COVID-19 levels were high, the cure rate was 100% or all 60 people in the trial.
There is already significant research supporting this protocol, yet considerable resistance exists against using it. Of note, it’s not being used in Australian hospitals, although some individual doctors are prescribing it for their patients. You can learn more here and here.
Some suggest this is because the drugs are generic (out of patent) and therefore not lucrative, with Dr Borody explaining there is no pharmaceutical company behind the protocol to lobby governments. I’ve seen first hand working in the Australian parliament how immensely powerful lobby groups can be.
What’s really interesting is that earlier this year India, which was reporting over 400,000 new COVID-19 cases and over 4,000 deaths per day, went to barely any cases within five weeks of the addition of Ivermectin into their treatment protocol. You can see the statistics here, and also learn about how Wikipedia is not allowing this information to be shared.
3. No one has talked about the importance of maintaining good health and immunity to prevent COVID-19, whether vaccinated or not
No matter whether you’re vaccinated or not, you can still get COVID-19 and possibly die from it. People with underlying chronic health issues are far more susceptible.
Yet not one public health official I’ve heard has talked about the importance of eating a whole foods diet, reducing and managing stress, moving regularly, drinking adequate water and getting regular sun, let alone doing something about chronic diseases by, for example, losing weight, and reducing sugar, refined carbohydrates, alcohol and junk foods (health food shops are shut during the lockdown, but alcohol shops remain open).
Sound too basic? Not at all. These things are our fuel and we need them to thrive. You wouldn’t put dirty fuel into a car, never service or wash it and expect it to perform well and look good. This is the same with the human body.
We need a multi-pronged plan for the health of this country’s population that includes short-, medium- and long-term strategies that consider all aspects of our health. Simply put, there is no one magic pill for individual or public health, and we need better education and more support.
Another absence has been to advocate the use of Vitamin D, yet it plays a vital role in general immunity and COVID-19 prevention.
Late last year, 20 health and medical experts from the UK, Europe and US sent an open letter to world governments calling for immediate recommendations to increase Vitamin D intake to 4000 IU per day for healthy adults. They cited evidence from more than 70 studies, including a randomised controlled trial, to support the claim that Vitamin D reduces the risk of COVID-19 infection, hospitalisation and death.
Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common worldwide and impacts many of us. This is due to our diets, lack of sun exposure, lockdowns, stress, chronic disease and other immune challenges. Yet it’s important for cell formation; bone, heart, skin, hair reproductive and pancreatic health; our vascular, respiratory, reproductive, immune and digestive systems; ageing; sleep; mood and more.
If you take just one supplement at the moment, take 4000 IU of Vitamin D3 every day. Optimal levels are between 125-150. Lab normal levels compare you with everyone whose blood gets tested there, meaning they’re often lower than optimal.
Stress is a big player in all disease. I’ve blogged about this here in my role as a nutritionist, but it shuts your immune system down and impacts the health of every single cell in your body, which are the building blocks of your health and wellbeing.
The problem with current fear mongering and lockdowns is that stress levels have risen in a big way. With lockdowns, domestic violence in Australia has increased (see this Australian Government report here), in the UK there was an ‘alarming 20% rise in babies being killed or harmed during the first lockdown’ (see the report here), and this article dated June 2021 states that ‘attempted suicide rates among Victorian teenagers have skyrocketed by 184 per cent in the past six months’.
In addition, as the Covid Medical Network state here, ‘The fear and societal anxiety caused by these policies [lockdowns] has delayed presentations of many serious medical conditions, including cancers and heart disease.’
The Covid Medical Network cites that the Doherty modelling report here says there is ‘limited evidence that the Delta strain is more severe than previous strains. Therefore how can we say with conviction that the delta strain is deadlier than previous strains?’ I am waiting for more information on this strain to come out in September 2021.
Your health has been politicised
Your health and rights over your body have been politicised and our control fo this, and broader future looks increasingly undemocratic. It’s time to get informed and lobby your elected representatives, whose role it is to serve the community (and not the other way around), to create logical, good science-based responses to COVID and other ongoing health concerns.
Also, it’s time to stop being scared. Again, inform yourself, take control of your health, eat well, stress less and TRUST your body. It has amazing abilities to heal and protect itself if given the chance.
Another esample of politicisation is that in 2019 websites that advocated eating real food for health i.e. food as medicine and safe supplements, had their accessibility limited by 40-99% overnight on the basis that so-called ‘alternative health’ is not backed by science, which is simply not true. All my work, for example, is research based. Mine dropped by 45%. What a strange world when empowering people about their own health using food and lifestyle is viewed as being radical and anti-social. What’s really going on here?
A bit about me:
I am pro good science – although science is subjective anyway and a recent study showed that a significant amount of research is biased due to funding compromises – and pro deep rational thinking. My qualifications are in international relations and nutrition, and I’m part-way through a science degree. Also I’m a thinking human being.
Australia, who are you?
I heard a story the other day from someone traveling through Europe.
When asked by a local what nationality they were, this person replied ‘Australian’.The European turned their back on them and walked away. The traveller said this was the first time they had experienced this. Normally as an Australian they were welcomed with open arms.
The other experience I had was at a networking event filled with small business people from diverse cultural backgrounds. I’m a first generation Australian as were quite a few others. A couple were also new immigrants.
This, I thought, is more like real Australia, not like the white, middle class and middle aged men you see on TV.
‘Best country in the world, Australia,’ two of these men insisted.
‘Is it?’ I wondered. It should be. We’ve been so lucky in many ways.
But rather, I feel shame at being a member of a selfish country that doesn’t care about its poor or homeless, the refugees who legally apply for asylum, the climate that is so obviously changing every year, our animals and plants in distress and decline, the little native bush we have left that’s readily given over to poor farming practices, indigenous Australians’ rights, people with different views, privacy, freedom of speech, freedom of choice over mainstream and alternative medicine, supporting developing countries, public education, women, jobs or the rest of the world except maybe for America.
That’s not quite true. We sort of care. But not enough to do something about these things if it means possibly going against our personal interests.
Instead we are a country that voted against a non-existent death tax, and for share franking to continue when we either had no shares, or because we believed we had a right to avoid paying tax on them so we could give our superannuation to our kids. This is the superannuation already taxed at very low levels to allow for self-funded retirement, thus taking the burden off the state. Me me me over eduction, affordable housing, the economy, infrastructure and aid.
Our identity is as a laid back fair go kind of place. What sort of backbone is that? In any case, there isn’t much that’s fair out there in real Australia, even if there are a million and one rules. We are sexist, ageist, racist and we don’t give a damn about people less well off. I understand the world feels more dog eat dog. I feel it too. But where is the national character in us that says ‘This is not right’? Where is the leader who stands up and is willing to make constructive changes for our future, even if it makes us feel a little uncomfortable? Change is growth and growth can be uncomfortable. Rather, we’re content to tread water and drift backwards.
Australia, I feel, is also a country that reacts with fear rather than finding the courage to follow a vision. In truth, we have no vision. We’d rather knock that down, continuing our unhealthy tall poppy tradition. So we roll over on the things we don’t like and shrug saying ‘Nothing I can do about it’ or ‘I don’t follow politics’. Must protect the status quo.
We have no Magna Carta equivalent and I think we need one that also considers the rights of our first inhabitants. If we properly address our past, we might be better able to build our future. From this process we can forge a stronger identity and define values to guide us during these challenging times.
I used to feel proud in East Timor of the job our soldiers did. I used to feel proud as a diplomat to put forward certain values, politics aside. I’m glad I don’t have to do that now because I couldn’t do it and sleep at night. Compartmentalisation can only go so far.
But getting back to my initial story, while I don’t fully know why the European turned away from the Australian, in my heart of hearts I do. I suspect they might see us as a lucky, spoilt young country that refuses to grow up and be responsible.
And if this was the case, I would agree.
[Before you tell me to go back to where I came from (even though I was born here), I’m writing this because I care. Not because I don’t.]
The courage to write opinions
My blogs have, until recently, been all about writing.
With the publication of my debut novel in August, I’ve decided to change tack and write some opinion pieces.
You may have seen my piece about Anzac Day, which stirred up strong feelings as many of us have relatives who are or have been involved in wars, or indeed may have experienced them ourselves.
Some of my new blogs will be opinion pieces on topics I feel strongly about. Hence the quote about courage, because some of it will be close to the bone. Gulp. I don’t know if anyone will be interested in reading them, but it’s important for me to write them.
Others will continue to be about writing. For example, I plan to write about the what the editing process is like from the inside.
Keep on writing. Keep on reading. Keep on thinking you creatives and thinkers. Never, ever give up.