1110 The Who, How and Why of COVID-19

A Quadrant essay:

The Who, How and Why of COVID-19

“There is a considerable amount of misinformation ... 

regarding COVID-19.


The world is divided in two: On the one side are those who accept there is a pandemic and steps need to be undertaken to fight it. On the other side are those who think it's all a hoax, and they follow conspiracy theorists who tell them 1) CoViD is just a flu, 2) there's no need to vaccinate, 3) vaccines are dangerous. Methinks a strong case can be made for immunisation against CoViD and that alternative treatments - i.e. ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine - are harmful.

Before long the population of the world will consist of two groups: Those who are vaccinated, and those who'll get sick with CoViD; and while it is true that people who are vaccinated may still get CoViD, it is clear they will get it with much less severe symptoms, while the un-vaccinated will be the ones filling the hospital ICUs and will be the majority of the ones dying.

Remember, in America they now call it "the pandemic of the un-vaccinated” … apparently some 99.5% of deaths are of people who are not vaccinated.

Eventually there will be severe restrictions on the un-vaccinated. No flights, no movies, no concerts … no access to enclosed public spaces. Most restaurants, cafés and shops will have signs up, “No Vaccine - No Service".

Vaccinations have been the most successful medical procedure ever introduced. They have saved more lives than any other intervention. “The risk of serious adverse reactions has remained extraordinarily low for all modern vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines are safe, under the most intense safety monitoring in US history.” Since WWII hundreds of millions of lives have been saved by vaccines ... hundreds of thousands - soon to be millions -  of lives are saved by CoViD vaccinations (Get the Facts).

Prelude 1:

Brytney Cobia recently posted on Facebook the following account of her experiences working as a doctor in Birmingham, Alabama, USA:

“I’m admitting young, otherwise healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections. One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late. 

"A few days later when I call time of death, I hug their family members and I tell them the best way to honour their loved one is to go get vaccinated and encourage everyone they know to do the same.

“They cry. And they tell me they didn’t know. They thought it was a hoax. They thought it was political. They thought it was ‘just the flu’. But they were wrong. And they wish they could go back. But they can’t.”

From Peter Singer's article in the SMH: 

Why vaccination should be compulsory


Prelude 2: 

by Peter FitzSimons


Yup. I know. For most of the non-vaccers, “do your research” translates to: 

“I don’t care that Nobel Prize winners, epidemiologists, immunologists, doctors and governments worldwide are united on the need for vaccinations; I saw a YouTube video that has convinced me I am right and they are wrong, and now I am going to tell everyone until their ears bleed. No, really, I have no medical or scientific background whatsoever, but I am going to proclaim in the public domain that I am right and they are wrong.”

"Ivermectin is mostly used to eliminate parasites in cows and horses. 

Despite that, in certain places where banjo music is the entertainment of choice, so many people have taken it that real damage has been done. 

This week in Mississippi - which has the second lowest rate of vaccination against the ’rona in the US - so many people called the state’s poison hotline that an alert on Friday from the Mississippi State Department of Health warned against taking Ivermectin."


"The drug can lead to a rash, nausea, vomitingabdominal painneurologic disorders and potentially severe hepatitis requiring hospitalisation."

Prelude 3: 

"Nothing in our studies ever prepared us for this’: 
A nurse on Sydney’s frontline tells it like it is.


Prelude 4, (

Ivermectin is a drug promoted by medical experts from Donald Trump to Craig Kelly MP, who claim it has anti-COVID-19 properties. Normally, it is used to fight worms, lice and rosacea in horses and cattle. 

The thing about ivermectin is this: in the remote possibility that ivermectin might work against COVID-19, you have to overdose on it to give it a chance. According to a 2020 study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, ivermectin can only act against a virus (in vitro) at eight times the approved dose. The US State of Mississippi has reported that 70 per cent of calls to its poisons centre came from people who bought ivermectin at livestock supply centres. 

Fourteen other studies involving more than 1600 patients, in a review cited by the Australian Department of Health, have yet to produce evidence of ivermectin’s anti-COVID properties. 



Three major American medical groups issued a statement asking everyone to please stop taking ivermectin, a drug often used for deworming livestock, in an attempt to prevent symptoms of COVID-19. As the coronavirus pandemic drags on, ivermectin has became an unlikely - and dangerous - fixation for some looking for an alternative to the vaccines to prevent illness.

Prelude 5, (Cathy Wilcox, SMH)

             I have an essay about freedom:


Prelude 6: 


Prelude 7: 

Stephen Harmon, a member of the Hillsong megachurch, lost his battle with CoViD in Los Angeles, he was 34. News of his death was announced by Hillsong pastor Brian Houston on Twitter.

Harmon became famous for two tweets:

“I got 99 problems but a vax ain’t one.”

“Please pray y’all, they really want to intubate me and put me on a ventilator. If you don’t have faith that God can heal me over your stupid ventilator then keep the Hell out of my ICU, there’s no room in here for fear or lack of faith.”

Prelude 8: 


Prelude 9,  (MamaMia) ... (MamaMia)

“I don’t want AstraZeneca 'cause I might get blood clots and die.”
Let's start with the facts. When experts say the risk of a blood clot from AstraZeneca is rare, they mean four-to-six-people-in-one-million rare. 
That is 0.0005 per cent. 
Australia's national fatality rate from COVID-19 is two and a half per cent with 944 deaths in 37,372 cases. 
By way of comparison we've had three people die in Australia from possible links to AstraZeneca, out of 5.4 million doses. You have to put the risk into perspective. You are far more likely to die from COVID.
In the US, the death rate is 1.8 per cent ... with our particularly high fatality rate attributed to the virus hitting our nursing homes really hard. In the UK, the death rate is also 2.5 per cent. 
“It’s ‘my body - my choice’ not to get a vaccine.”
For the COVID-19 vaccine to be properly effective, we need to achieve ‘herd immunity’ where the majority of our population is protected. 
The argument of “it’s my body - my choice” to take a vaccine, is co-opting the language of pro-choice politics to argue something completely different (i.e. abortions).

Getting a vaccine is about public health. It’s about being a member of society. By not getting it, you’re affecting the wider community who is relying on widespread inoculation to be safe. Vaccines remain our only ticket to getting out of this yo-yo of lockdowns and border closures.


Prelude 10, I have an essay about CoViD myths in my book  en.light.en.ment:


Furthermore, "don't you know, they are lying to us". Who's 'they'?

Well, "the government and the 'mainstream media'," of course.

But who exactly does the lying? A government official? Which one? 

The Health Minister? The Premier? The Prime Minister? 

spokesperson - who briefs the spokesperson?

And who in the 'mainstream media' are the ones lying? Are 'they' the editors? Or the journalists? Is it Rupert Murdoch maybe, who tells his editors: "Go ahead, report that vaccinations are required to beat CoViD; 

but  do not  tell them the truth (as per YouTube, Facebook and Instagram) that it would be better to just take a substance commonly used for infections in horses, which are caused by parasites ... such as mites and worms. You must suppress that info." 

(Never mind that SARS-CoV-2 is a virus, not a parasite.)

Do they know they're lying, or do they pass on misinformation unknowingly? Do they lie by omission, where they simply suppress information? 

How does this work?

We need to get to the bottom of this.


An essay on Quadrant: "The Who, How and Why of COVID-19" offers advice on the issue of vaccinations and alternative medications. Obviously, as a lay person, I cannot comment much on the specific science.

And I do not doubt that the author is a competent scientist; as a pharmacologist involved in drug development, clinical trials and drug registration for 40 years ... he would be in a good position to examine medications.

So, should it turn out that the efficacy of the two meds in question is confirmed and gov. bodies accept the findings, then I will go along with those findings.

But the status of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine is highly controversial … what I have seen so far overwhelmingly suggests there are no ‘alternative’ medications that help in the fight against CoViD, other than the vaccines.

On The Conversation: (by Andrew McLachlan, University of Sydney): 

"A major ivermectin study has been withdrawn: Investigations have led to the withdrawal of a study backing ivermectin to treat COVID-19."

1106 Get the Facts

Get the Facts on Vaccinations,
stay away from alternative facts

Furthermore, early on in the essay is a sentence that sounds awfully like spin ... "there is little doubt that the coronavirus COVID-19 is a genetically engineered virus designed to be highly contagious …” But my understanding is that there actually is  a lot of doubt  about it being ‘designed’ ... and designed "to be highly contagious"??? Hmmm. Further investigation confirms the idea is bad science:

The ConversationOne of the conspiracy theories that have plagued attempts to keep people informed during the pandemic is the idea that the coronavirus was created in a laboratory. But the vast majority of scientists who have studied the virus agree that it evolved naturally and crossed into humans from an animal species, most likely a bat

ForbesNo, Science Clearly Shows That COVID-19 Wasn’t Leaked From A Wuhan Lab: For many years, virologists, disease ecologists, and many other medical and biological researchers had been predicting that it was only a matter of time before the next pandemic arrived, including details such as how it would arise and what the most effective strategies for combating it would be. Despite the enormous scientific knowledge humanity has gained, however, an unfounded conspiracy theory about the virus’s origin has gained a lot of traction: that it was genetically engineered with the purpose of infecting humans, that it was leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology

New Scientist: Did coronavirus come from a lab? No, this virus isn’t a bioweapon. New diseases have emerged throughout human history, and we have seen two coronavirus outbreaks in the last two decades: SARS and MERS. So we shouldn’t be surprised by the arrival of CoViD-19. However, rumours on social media suggest that the outbreak was human-made. 

Some say the virus leaked from a Chinese lab studying coronaviruses. 

Others suggest the virus was engineered to spread among humans

Nature: The COVID lab-leak hypothesis: what scientists do and don’t know: Debate over the idea that SARS-CoV-2 emerged from a laboratory has escalated over the past few weeks … most scientists say SARS-CoV-2 probably has a natural origin, and was transmitted from an animal to humans

Live Science: The coronavirus was not engineered in a lab ... One persistent myth is that this virus, called SARS-CoV-2, was made by scientists and escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began. A new analysis of SARS-CoV-2 may finally put that latter idea to bed

Scientific AmericanPersistent COVID-19 Myths: The Virus was engineered in a Laboratory in China; because the pathogen first emerged in Wuhan, China, President Donald Trump and others have claimed, without evidence, that it started in a lab there, and some conspiracy theorists believe it was engineered as a bioweapon

So I do think the very first sentence in this essay is true, “There is a considerable amount of misinformation ... regarding COVID-19”, and mis-informations looms large in the essay, not only as regards the conspiracy theory above, but especially in respect of the reference to Craig Kelly and the pushing of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.

Evidently much of the information provided in the essay seems to downplay the seriousness of CoViD-19 and potentially can lead to people rejecting vaccination, and instead looking at alternative cures ...

The Who, How and Why of COVID-19 (selected excerpts):

"Given more than 99 per cent of people who are infected by COVID-19 experience either no symptoms or mild symptoms … there are normally more deaths expected due to ordinary pneumonia/influenza each year than have died with COVID-19 … coupled with the government’s perceived need to overcome vaccine hesitancy in the population … claims that the vaccines are “completely safe” should be considered premature … Have the COVID-19 vaccines been fully approved? No ... there are several problems in relying almost exclusively on vaccines to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic … we should be spending more effort in considering preventative and/or drug treatment strategies … alternative therapeutic strategies, hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin."

note that I have not found a peer review of the essay as yet 

if one is available, please alert me to it, I will publish it here  

cb at carstenburmeister dot com

... to me this looks like a worrying take on the seriousness of the disease. Maybe for many the symptoms are not severe, by the same token, there is no escaping the fact that 99.5% of all people dying from COVID in the U.S. are unvaccinated. The Conversation

In support of the essay Craig Kelly is referenced, the renowned spreader of mis-information; methinks his inclusion is a mis-judgement by the author (see below).

However, all this really only constitues a distraction regarding the actual effects of CoViD. If you truly are concerned about your health, and if you want some valid health advice by way of some heavy-duty science, this is a good study: 

The Lancet:

"Characterisation of in-hospital complications associated with COVID-19” ... "In summary, high rates of complications and poor functional outcomes were present in survivors of COVID-19, including in young and previously healthy individuals.”

So what is it like to get CoViD? Read my blog:

1104 What is it like to get CoViD?

What does it actually feel like when you have Covid?

The bottom line is: Best not get CoViD … Vaccinate now. And do not miss this note at the bottom of the "The Who, How and Why of COVID-19" essay: 

"Disclaimer: The information contained above does not represent health advice.” This is pertinent: The author refers to himself as "pharmacologist”. Look below at the qualifications that are required to provide health advice in regard to CoViD.

I must say, for all that, it is above my pay grade to figure out why it should be so important for the lay person whether the virus stems from a lab or a wet market; or whether it is worth lingering on perceived benefits of adjunct medications: 

the thing is, we have a virus … what do we do about it? Vaccinate. Now.

At a certain point it comes down to judgement as to what advice one wants to accept or disregard. For me this is a clear-cut case: Since I know absolutely nothing of the science, and I couldn’t tell which ’science’ is incorrect and which is right, I rely on the government experts for advice.

They are Kerry Chant, Paul Kelly and Anthony Fauci (go to the bottom of blog 1107 to find out about the ludicrous conspiracy theories re. Fauci) … they are specialists in these fields ...

public health

viral diseases

infectious diseases

virus infections

communicable diseases



... and they advise to vaccinate now; go to my blog:

1107 CoViD Facts and their Sources
These three people are the ones to listen to
about CoViD and vaccinations


I come back now to the issue of ‘judgement’. It is here where I am in conflict with the author ... to be specific: His association with Kelly shows a serious lack of judgement; in fact, it puts into sharp focus that whatever good work he is doing ... as regards ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, his work is compromised.

Craig Kelly MP  I urge you to click the link and learn about Kelly and his lies ...

... for which he was forced out of the Liberal party, on account of spreading Mis-information with a capital M.

The Sydney Morning Herald: Craig Kelly has sent 14m text messages to Australians making false claims about CoVid vaccinations. On the United Australia Party's website the claim: "448 deaths were the reported outcome (on the TGA website) following a CoViD 19 vaccination." The actual report from the TGA: "When we look down at cause and effect, we believe there's a total of nine reports of deaths that can be associated with vaccines ... and this is against the background of 20m doses given in Australia."

The New Daily: ‘Enough is enough’: Constituents fight to oust rogue Liberal MP Craig Kelly; controversial Liberal MP Craig Kelly’s relentless promotion of conspiracy theories and unproven coronavirus cures on social media have led to a campaign to boot him out of politics.

The Conversation: Maverick Liberal Craig Kelly defects to crossbench, vowing to continue to ‘use my voice’ on controversial COVID treatments.

The Guardian: Craig Kelly ‘absolutely outraged’ after Facebook removes his page for misinformation; Facebook says no one is permitted to share misinformation about Covid on the platform.

MamaMia: Kelly's outspoken, misinformed and at times dangerous commentary … Kelly spent much of 2020 spreading increasingly problematic and misleading information about COVID-19. Kelly has been a very vocal champion for the use of hydroxychloroquine - the drug used on Donald Trump when he was diagnosed with coronavirus - despite the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) discouraging its use on patients. He has also repeatedly peddled head lice medication Ivermectin as a potential virus treatment on his Facebook page, despite Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly saying there was "no evidence" to show it should be used as a treatment option for Australians.

RACGP: President Dr Karen Price has urged Australians to follow the advice of expert health professionals in the wake of serial COVID misinformation spread by Craig Kelly; Mr Kelly has drawn criticism throughout the pandemic for making repeated claims about coronavirus and its treatment that are not supported by evidence. Dr Price has again implored patients to listen to the experts on COVID-19, “my advice to all Australians is straightforward but more vital than ever: when it comes to the COVID-19 virus and the vaccine, please heed expert health advice, avoid pseudo-scientific “cures” and baseless conspiracy theories on social media platforms and elsewhere.”

The ConversationHow to deal with the Craig Kelly in your life: a guide to tackling coronavirus contrarians. Just for the record, Kelly is in the wrong about a lot of the science. During the pandemic he’s become a prolific Facebook spruiker of unproven coronavirus treatments such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, while casting doubt on COVID vaccines.

The Conversation: Scott Morrison has been forced to publicly slap down Craig Kelly … for his advocacy of discredited or unproven alternative COVID treatments.

The Conversation: Despite advice from the Therapeutic Goods Administration explaining that hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment for COVID-19, MP Craig Kelly has continued to promote the opposite.

The ConversationThinking of trying ivermectin for COVID? Here’s what can happen with this controversial drug

What is The Conversation? A network of not-for-profit media outlets that publish news stories on the Internet that are written by academics and researchers.

The story with ivermectin is that it is not a medication that works on viruses, but parasites. It is said, ivermectin is not meant to work on the virus, but it is to alleviate side effects of the virus. Well, it does indeed do that, but in order to get any of those benefits, one apparently has to take many times the dose that is recommended for its prime purpose, parasite control. As a result people (in America) in large numbers overdose and end up with very serious health problems. Now this is the thing: yes, you can go down that path, but it certainly is much better not to get the virus in the first place. 


The Who, How and Why of COVID-19 (selected excerpts):

"Social media has de-platformed and censored anybody claiming the virus probably arose from the Wuhan Institute of Virology … there exists broad censorship across social media, mainstream media and the professional literature which is preventing the sharing of clinical trial results and the academic exchange of views … up until recently this censorship has been further entangled in the stifling of debate regarding the origin of the COVID-19 virus … widespread social and professional media censorship of the debate and data concerning therapeutic management using ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine has not assisted an informed position regarding these drugs … opposing voices challenging current official advice on COVID-19 treatment struggle to have an impact in our current environment of information suppression, a gag never before seen … I refer specifically to (various) Australian voices …. also echoed by Craig Kelly MP, who have argued to broaden the treatment strategy for COVID-19."

Myself, I have a great problem with the notion that social media and the mainstream media as well as professional literature would censor any medical information ... unless it is seen as unreliable, or indeed incorrect. 

(And  why  would they do that? Oh, I see ... that is because those alternative medications are cheap and the vested interests make money from the vaccines; this is a conspiracy theory taken to the extreme extend of insanity.)

I say this with fully acknowledging that I know nothing about the science dealt with in the essay. So, as a lay-person, I have to rely on the media reporting what the 'official' gov. scientists have found; and I prefer the 'mainstream media', rather than alternative media or social media, which are prone to conspiracy theories. 

My fav. source is The Conversation (academic rigour, journalistic flair). Israel

Why are we seeing more COVID cases in fully vaccinated people?

"What would be concerning is if we started seeing a big increase in fully vaccinated people getting really sick and dying - but that’s not happening.


"Globally, the vast majority of people with severe COVID are unvaccinated."


That the disclaimer added to the essay does not provide health advice, is not heeded by some readers, who use the essay to confirm their anti-vacc stance. Furthermore, the claim of … "widespread social and professional media censorship of the debate and data concerning therapeutic management using ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine in conjunction with the reference to Craig Kelly - a well known mis-informer - undermines any lay person's ability to separate good science from mis-informed conspiracy-theory-type bad science.

It would be enlightening to see a peer-review of the essay.


So, what is the take-away here? What are the implications in respect of whether to get vaccinated or not? What is one to do with 'alternative facts & evidence'?

1109 Why not vaccinate?

This is the conundrum of our times:
Why would one want to not get vaccinated?

Nature:  "Pseudoscience and COVID-19 ... we have had enough already; 

the scientific community must take up cudgels in the battle against bunk.”

On the internet hours and hours of video 'evidence' and 'alternative facts' are available to confirm their veracity to the converted; but the 'evidence' and 'facts' have been vetted by thousands of scientist around the world and found wanting.

We must not consider or even tolerate adverse or alternative opinions or so called 'evidence' that is just anecdotal hear-say, when it comes to vaccinating against CoViD; the issue is not one of 'opinion’.

The New Daily

A Leader of a church in virus breach preaches COVID conspiracy theories: The global leader of a Sydney church busted for holding a service during lockdown claims COVID-19 vaccines alter people’s DNA and regularly promotes conspiracy theories, including the notion that the outbreak, "was ‘planned’, that the ‘sinister’ vaccine can be used to implant ‘nanochips’ that can control and cause harm to members of the public and the debunked theory that the virus was somehow caused by 5G”. Thirty adults have each been fined $1000, with the church also fined $5000.

It is often said that hear-say ‘evidence' and 'alternative facts' are not mentioned in the ‘mainstream media’; evidently that is because they are not reliable or indeed outright bunkum.

I feel desperately sorry for anyone who lives in a society where they cannot trust their authorities. But not to trust our government health officials with their advice to vaccinate potentially is life-threatening.

Remember, in America they now call it "the pandemic of the un-vaccinated” … apparently some 95 to 99.5% of deaths are of people who are not vaccinated.

Soon - once 70 or 80% of the population is vaccinated - in public life there will be severe restrictions on the un-vaccinated. No flights, no movies, no concerts … 

no access to enclosed public spaces.

Most restaurants, cafés, shops will have signs up, “No Vaccine - No Service".

The New Daily:

Unvaccinated Victorians could be “locked out” of major sporting events and entertainment and hospitality venues when the state’s economy reopens.


Finally: The authorities may wise up

SMH: Bring on freedom, but keep vaccine passport indefinitely. The biggest risk to our reopening plans will be the unvaccinated; they pose a risk to the entire community as they can quickly overwhelm our hospitals.

SMH‘We can’t just be held back’: Push for NSW vaccine passports; the government should give more freedoms to fully vaccinated residents while setting a date in the near future for the introduction of vaccine passports.

SMHAustralia issuing vaccine passports within weeks to prepare for flights resuming; Australians will begin using an international vaccine passport within weeks to prove their immunisation status overseas.

The bottom line in dealing with the issue: Prudent judgement is what is asked for, not opinions, or patent mis-information.


CoViD Statistics: 

TGA consumer Q & As

How many deaths from Covid Vaccinations in Australia?

Since the beginning of the vaccine rollout in Australia, a total of five deaths from TTS have been reported, of 6.1 million doses (update: nine of 20m)

How many deaths from Covid in Australia? 

For an update, click above or enter the question into your browser.

Australia has had 44,922 CoViD cases and 984 deaths

How do deaths from blood clots compare to deaths from other activities:

I have blogged a fair bit about CoViD:

1114 The last Anti-vaccer's Dream 

a satire by Paul McDermott

1113 Joe Rogan 

Joe Rogan has lost his mind

1110 The Who, How and Why of COVID-19 

A Quadrant essay referencing Craig Kelly and
adapting his 'science' re. alternative meds

1109 Why not vaccinate? 

This is the conundrum of our times:
Why would one want to not get vaccinated?

1107 CoViD Facts and their Sources

Three people to listen to about CoViD
and vaccinations


Finally: The authorities may wise up 

1104 What is it like to get CoViD?

What does it actually feel like when you have Covid? 

1098 We're all gonna die ...

Here we have it: A conspiracy theorist proves to us that we're all gonna die, unless we believe his nutty nonsense and don't get vaccinated!@#$%^&*(

1091 CoViD Anti- and Non-Vaccing

Taking the Red Pill on CoViD vaccine Redux 

1088 Taking the 'Red Pill' on CoViD vaccines

To be taking the 'Red Pill' on CoViD vaccine 
alternatives means to face reality and facts 

1082 Vaccination? Yes? No? Maybe?

Should we get vaccinated against Covid? 

1053 5G and CoViD conspiracies

Does 5G cause the Corona Virus Disease?
If you inform yourself on social media ... yes.

1031 The 5G / Covid-19 Conspiracy

This is serious:
5G will give you COVID-19
It must be true, it's all over Facebook

1030 The Trumpvirus

The Trumpvirus ...
incompetence, ignorance and negligence in action

1022 Trump: It's gonna be just fine

Trumps has it under control
and it's gonna be just fine

1021 The existential question regarding COVID 19

There are many questions about COVID 19   
but one is truly existential 

1020 More Corona Virus

Here's the in-depth info on Covid 19 you need
brought to us by Kurzgesagt

1019 Coronavirus anyone?

What can every individual do regarding the Coronavirus? Flatten the curve.