Controversies, models, dry skin, and more…

FSM News and Articles

JOHN DWYER. Exploring COVID-19 controversies. Part One: As we settle into the longest winter of our lives, strict containment strategies are provoking controversy fuelled by misinformation or insufficient knowledge of COVID realities. 
Is the cure worse than the disease?

JOHN DWYER. Exploring COVID-19 controversies. Part Two: How do we safely ease social distancing restrictions and reignite our economy?
We are in a far better situation than most countries as we consider this truly important question. There are some danger signs emerging however, as there is palpable pressure from many quarters to prioritise economic rather than health considerations and numerous grumblings about living in a ‘police state’. An injudicious rush to reduce current restrictions that might see us forced to reinstate them as new infections increased, would represent a disastrous policy failure.

We’ll find a treatment for coronavirus – but drug companies will decide who gets it: FSM supports European Union’s call for WHO to achieve equitable access to quality, safe, and efficacious COVID-19 vaccines and related health technologies. There is concern the pharmaceutical companies will bury COVID-19 treatments and vaccines in a thicket of patents, making them unaffordable to the world’s poorest.


A long form comic explaining the uncertainty in pandemic modelling – TLDR: The modelled numbers and death rates aren’t wrong or right per se. They are USEFUL for different levels of informed decision making by experts (who are fully aware of the uncertainty).

My skin’s dry with all this hand washing. What can I do?: Use alcohol-based hand sanitiser (if you can get hold of it). Alcohol-based hand sanitiser will reduce your skin’s contact with water, and so lower your risk of dermatitis. Research in health-care workers shows hand sanitisers cause less contact dermatitis than washing with soap and water. Sometimes people wrongly believe that when hand sanitiser stings on a paper cut, this means that they are allergic. But this is an irritant reaction and though uncomfortable, it’s safe to keep using it.

Which sanitiser? This usually comes down to personal preference (and what you can get hold of). Use protective gloves when doing household chores, such as washing the dishes or when gardening. Use cotton gloves when doing dry work, such as sweeping or dusting, to protect your hands and minimise the need to wash them. At night, moisturise your hands then wear cotton gloves. This acts like an intensive hand mask and works wonders for very dry skin. It ensures the moisturiser stays on your hands and increases its penetration into your skin.

Real-world doctors fact-check Dr. Oz, and the results aren’t pretty:  As Dr Oz’s fame grew, it became clear that healing was, in fact, not his only priority. In 2014, a team of medical researchers released a report proving that 60% of advice given on Dr. Oz’s TV show lacked scientific basis. Soon afterward, 1,300 doctors signed an open letter calling him “a quack and a fake and a charlatan” whose “advice endangers patients.” Three University of Alberta researchers have found zero scientific evidence for over half of the products he pushes on his popular daytime talk show.

Great Moments in Health and Science 

The history of CPR: Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) saves lives when performed quickly and coupled with contacting emergency services.

Today’s Abused Health Concept

COVID-19 scams: Pete Evans BioCharger device:  The thing about wellness is that it is a vague and nebulous concept. The sellers and promoters never make real measurable claims. This also makes it easy for them to claim that the devices can ‘help’ with nearly anything and try to cash in on any current worry or fear. In this case, chef ‘Paleo’ Pete Evans spruiks a $15,000 night light that he claims comes with “1,000 different recipes, there’s one in there for the Wuhan coronavirus.” Has he no shame? The TGA has shown interest, and a complaint has been referred to the ACCC. Let’s see what happens. And if you see instances of businesses cashing with products to treat or prevent Coronavirus, feel free make complaints of your own.