Why the evidence suggests that government interventions are not worse than the pandemic itself

Pictured: A road. It’s symbolic, probably. Source: Pexels

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, people across the world have been thrown into a seesaw of restrictions and ongoing epidemics of the disease. We have all been faced, over and over again, with a terrible choice: do something, and potentially cause harm, or do nothing, and let the disease run riot.

It has been, as they say, quite a year.


Base rates, denominators, and some really basic epidemiological maths

Pictured: Life-saving. Get your Covid-19 vaccine now! Source: SELF Magazine

As the world slowly limps forward from the battering of a global pandemic into a post-vaccine world, there’s a common, and very understandable question being asked across the globe. Why, if vaccines work, are we seeing more and more people getting sick after being immunized against Covid-19? Shouldn’t we all be protected now that we’ve been jabbed in the arm?


A tale of what could be, if true, the most consequential medical fraud ever committed

Pictured: Not ivermectin, but it could be if stock photo websites had more pictures of specific drugs. Source: Pexels

Note: after writing this article, but before publication, the paper in question was retracted by the preprint server it is hosted on “due to ethical concerns”. Also, because I know people will say silly things, I have never been paid by any pharmaceutical companies, hold no interests in drugs of any kind, and am funded entirely by the Australian state and federal governments, as well as a bit of money that I get from locking my stories on Medium for you all to read. …


This is not a contentious fact

Pictured: Lifesaving. Literally. Source: SELF Magazine

Note: because I know people will say silly things, I have never been paid by any pharmaceutical companies, hold no interests in drugs of any kind, and am funded entirely by the Australian state and federal governments, as well as a bit of money that I get from locking my stories on Medium for you all to read.

Vaccines are always a contentious intervention, because they involve giving perfectly healthy people a medical intervention to prevent future disease. …


Coffee doesn’t have many (if any) health benefits, but the research is pretty clear that it’s probably not bad for your health either

Pictured: Sweet Ambrosia. Source: Janko Ferlic, Pexels

As a health/science blogger, one of the most common questions I’m asked by people is to do with coffee. People are constantly worried that their coffee intake is either too high, because coffee is apparently bad for your health, or too low, because it’s life-saving. Now, there’s a lot of literature out there on the health impacts of coffee, caffeine, and related drinks, and it’s hard to summarize everything in one article, but the research is relatively consistent — coffee is neither a wonderful cure for your ills nor a terrible poison that is killing you slowly.

Here’s my take…


Why we still don’t really know if ivermectin has any benefit at all for Covid-19

There were no free stock photos of ivermectin itself, so here are some random pills and you get to use your imagination. Source: Pexels

Note: because I know people will say silly things, I have never been paid by any pharmaceutical companies, hold no interests in drugs of any kind, and am funded entirely by the Australian state and federal governments, as well as a bit of money that I get from locking my stories on Medium for you all to read. …


Why the headlines are misleading when it comes to vegetables and coronavirus

Pictured: Yum, but not a cure for infectious disease. Source: Pexels

In the grip of a pandemic, the news has, generally, not been great fun to read. Most headlines are filled with death, mayhem, and destruction, interspersed with the occasional joyous paragraph about the ongoing war in the Middle East.

And then, a headline comes along that’s a bit more optimistic. In this case, the idea that vegetarian diets cut your risk of Covid-19 by more than half! According to scientists, it appears, the cure for Covid-19 is as simple as adding a few sprouts to your life and calling it a day.


The lab leak theory is possible, but that doesn’t make it likely

I was going to Photoshop a pair of lab glasses on this picture of SARS-CoV-2, but then I remembered that my graphical skills are roughly on par with my juggling (it’s been a decade and I still can’t regularly keep 3 balls in the air) and decided not to. Source: CDC

One of the Big Questions about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, has for a while been about its origins. Most viruses that cause disease in humans have long, fascinating origin stories, with jumps from animal to animal until they finally make it into people and start killing people. But Covid-19, goes the theory, must be lab-grown — either from an intentional lab leak or a mistake of epic proportions — there’s simply too much circumstantial evidence to ignore!

This idea doesn’t really make sense. There’s no special reason to believe that Covid-19 must have been grown in a lab…


A brief guide to getting into the field

Pictured: Epidemiology. It’s half presentations, half sitting in front of a computer staring at numbers. Source: Pexels

Of the many impacts of the global pandemic we’ve found ourselves living through, one of the few welcome things has been the sudden and unexpected love of epidemiology. Two years ago, being an epidemiologist was a faintly embarrassing experience, where the phrase “I work in epidemiology” was either met with a blank stare or questions about people’s skin.

Sometimes I thought I should get a t-shirt saying “no, that’s a dermatologist” just to answer the question quickly.


Should we be protecting kids from coronavirus infections?

Pictured: Lifesaving. Source: SELF Magazine

Covid-19 vaccines are amazing. They have turned what were enormous, horrific epidemics in country after country into manageable problems. Places like the US, UK, Israel, and others, which were until recently speeding headfirst off a cliff, are now celebrating as cases drop and people can finally let go of some of that pandemic anxiety that’s been going around.

Gideon M-K; Health Nerd

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