'Spot on is Tony'
In an address to the Policy Exchange think tank in London, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has urged health authorities to remove coronavirus restrictions.
And at home, the responses from "I am tougher than you" politicians (eg: Chairman Dan, Palaszczuk, Jacinda 'Astern' NZ .... and plenty more) are always of "fighting" an issue. Be it Climate Change, health, or road speeds, guns or a virus ... always is fighting a demon.
Adapting and proper management is absent in the political mindset.The simple reality is that for whatever reason the virus is there - get used to it.
We drive cars knowing that thousands will be killed and maimed annually but on the other hand, clearly willing to destroy nations, families and lives.
Why? To continue fighting a futile, ideological battle against something in the environment that history shows cannot be eradicated.
Politicians are doing as much or more damage to a nation and citizens' lives than a full blown war would achieve.
"People should get on with their lives even in the presence of death" said Tony.
150,000 deaths in Australia were expected to result from COVID-19 and of those, older people are over-represented.
Not at all surprising given them enduring normal pains and fragility that accompanies age. Furthermore, most with underlying health problems that together make that age group particularly susceptible to any disease.
He predicted that lockdown measures will produce not just a "stop-start economy, but a stop-start life".
"It's the psychic damage, I fear, that will be at least as bad as this pandemic's toll on health and wealth," said Tony.
Whether the measures imposed were proportionate to the 'disease' is the major issue that needs be addressed ... NOW.
PM Morrison must act immediately and force state premiers into line for a uniform and practical management approach, because we know for certain that the current random reactionary approach is doomed to fail us all.
Free program 'could save your life'
I was shocked to hear of Chadwick Boseman's death from colon cancer last week. Another life lost to a terrible, but preventable, disease and another mark against the awful year that has been 2020.
But Boseman's death has sparked many important conversations around the country and it's important that all Australians know how to reduce their risk of bowel cancer.
Firstly, Boseman had colon cancer, how is that different from bowel cancer? Bowel cancer, or colorectal cancer, are both terms that collectively refer to colon and rectal cancer. They are generally referred to together given their proximity, their symptoms and the way they are diagnosed.
The good news is that 90 per cent of bowel cancers can be successfully treated - if detected early.
Australia's National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is the most effective way of finding bowel cancer early, which can substantially improve your chance of surviving the disease. The program is free and will send a test kit in the mail to all Australians aged 50-74. It's so important you take this test and don't leave it sitting in a drawer, it could save your life.
NSW has the second lowest screening participation rate in Australia, so we have some work to do. The national average is around 40 per cent and if we can raise this to 60 per cent our research has found that we could save almost 84,000 lives in the next 20 years.
Boseman was only 43 when he died. The screening program doesn't target people that young as their risk is significantly lower.The risk factors for bowel cancer include age, family history, hereditary syndromes and lifestyle factors.
Eating more foods containing dietary fibre, eating less red and processed meat, being physically active, limiting alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking can all reduce your risk of developing bowel cancer by almost 50 per cent.
If anyone of any age has a family history of bowel cancer or shows any symptoms (rectal bleeding, changing bowel habits etc), I encourage them to speak to their GP to discuss their personal risk. If you have any questions about cancer you can also call our 13 11 20 Information and Support Service.
Senior Research Fellow - Gastrointestinal