The JUICE Media Podcast

We need to talk about how Covid is airborne | with Dr David Berger

Episode Summary

Ep 23: In which I ask Dr David Berger about airborne transmission of Covid19 and why, along with vaccination, we must fix our shitty hotel quarantine system if we're going to prevent ongoing outbreaks like the one currently screwing Sydney sideways.

Episode Notes

Ep 23: In which I ask Dr David Berger about airborne transmission of Covid19 and why, along with vaccination, we must fix our shitty hotel quarantine system if we're going to prevent ongoing outbreaks like the one currently screwing Sydney sideways.

This is the podcast companion to our latest Honest Government Ad: watch it here

You can also view this podcast on our YouTube channel - which we recommend as it contains lots of visuals to help you follow the conversation.

You can follow David Berger here

Here are the links to some of the articles mentioned in the podcast.

- BMJ's publication debunking fraudulent article linking MMR vaccine and autism

- Article about transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Public Transportation Vehicles, China

- Grattan Institute: 'Race to 80'

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Episode Transcription

Juice Media Podcast 23 | with Dr David  Berger 

Transcribed by Nathan Hall

Hey everyone, this is Giordano from the Juice Media, welcome back to the Juice Media podcast, a companion to the Honest Government Ad series.  This episode of the podcast is recorded on Wurundjeri land and it is the companion to our latest Honest Government Ad about the Australian Government’s pandemic response focusing on its shitty hotel quarantine system.  

[Honest Government Ad excerpt] 

“Yes, we know these endless lockdowns are hard for you, your family, your mental health, but they’re hard for us too. We’ve had to put on pants twice this week to give presses, to make sure you keep thinking these lockdowns are caused by your freedom hating premieres rather than by us cocking up the two jobs we had, quarantine and vaccines. Let’s take a look…”

[music plays]  

GN: The obvious thing to focus on for this Honest Government Ad would have been the vaccine rollout but since there’s already so much being said about that I wanted to focus instead on an equally crucial issue that tends to get a lot less coverage and that is the airborne transmission of the SARS CoV-2 virus and how we need to deal with that in order to fix our broken hotel quarantine system.  This together with vaccination is what many experts are saying is crucial to stopping the kinds of outbreaks that we’re seeing in New South Wales and in many parts of the world.  It’s also crucial to bringing home the thousands of stranded Aussies who are still waiting to come home but can’t due to reduced flight caps.  To help us understand how all these things fit together I’m stoked to have as my guest today Doctor David Berger.  David Berger is a GP Emergency doctor, social activist and campaigner for zero COVID and he is currently stationed on the Cocos-Keeling Islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean where he is working as the Island doctor and from where he joins us today.  The Cocos Islands are clearly on the NBN as David’s bandwidth died in the arse during our interview which is why you’ll see his video freezing in the second half and it’s why we’ve had to replace it with a still image but in spite of that I hope you learn something from what he has to say, and I’ll catch you on the other side.  

GN: Welcome to the Juice Media podcast Doctor David Berger, it’s great to have you here.  

DB: Thanks very much, great to be with you.  

GN: Perhaps, David, you could kick off by first of all perhaps telling us, what are your particular qualifications just so people know what background you come from, what your experience is, and then perhaps a little situation update on Australia, where we are right now?  

DB: Sure, sure.  Well, my background is as a GP and Emergency doctor, I work in remote parts of Australia.  I also spent nine years as a non-executive director on the management board of the BMJ Group in London which most people will know publishes the BMJ, one of the world’s leading medical journals and a whole load of other medical journals so I’ve been steeped in evidence-based medicine for the last ten, fifteen years and in particular we had to deal with the fallout from the MMR-causes-autism Wakefield scandal in which the BMJ was actually sued for exposing Andrew Wakefield’s fraud in that scandal, and I’ve also been a social activist for the last few years campaigning on global corruption, global health care corruption and also refugee rights in Australia and since really the beginning of last March campaigning for a rational approach to COVID, a recognition of the obvious fact, which is absolutely beyond incontrovertible now, that COVID is airborne and the implications that has for the protection of all of us but particularly health care staff.  

GN: Okay, so I want to get into that, which is really one of the focus messages of this video, raising awareness about the aerosol nature of COVID transmission.  Before we get into that could you give us just a little bit of a situation update, where are we now in Australia?  We are seeing a situation develop in New South Wales, is it under control, is it …  

DB: No, we’re in the shit.  We were doing okay and now we’re in the shit because we were following a zero-COVID strategy, a strategy of eliminating COVID from circulation which is the same thing that we do with other infectious diseases like measles.  That meant that we had severe limitations or have severe limitations on overseas travel but it did mean that within the country we were living a normal life.  We now have in New South Wales an outbreak of the highly infectious, the more infectious and almost certainly the more severe, Delta variant in a population that thanks to the government’s screw-up of vaccine procurement and rollout is largely unvaccinated so that has severe implications for public health – we’re already seeing large numbers of people in ICU in Sydney – and it has severe implications, well, for the whole of Australia.  Even if this can be localised, contained to New South Wales, it doesn’t look like it can be eliminated in New South Wales, certainly not at the moment, not the way that the New South Wales government is going and so we’ve got a very uncertain future with New South Wales this, kind of, locked off pariah state in Australia and really no idea of where we’re going with this.  

GN: So what a lot of people are trying to learn from this commentary, everyone’s talking, people are blaming each other, some people are blaming OTAGI doctors, others the limo driver who supposedly sparked this outbreak in Sydney.  Why are we in this situation, how did this come about and how do we get out of it?  And I guess I want to say, perhaps a lot of people especially in New South Wales who are listening, are probably not in a very good spot right now, probably a lot of people are struggling, I just want to really acknowledge that it’s very hard.  Here in Melbourne we know all about it, we’ve been through some pretty long, protracted lockdowns so perhaps you could talk about it but I really want to end with a positive vision for the future because I think from reading what you’ve said the solutions are clear, we know what to do, it’s just really a case of implementing the expert advice so perhaps you could give us a little bit of a road map?  

DB: Yeah, and that’s the thing, and that’s the really frustrating thing that I and many others have found through the last 18 months, that actually the way to deal with this is clear, the problem is the will to do so and really this isn’t a war against a virus, this is an information war, it’s a propaganda war.  So it is very clear that we cannot, in inverted commas, ‘live with,’ this virus and expect to continue life as before, as if this was the common cold, and that is the case whether the large proportions of the populations are vaccinated or not.  Okay, this is a very severe illness, it is a multi-system illness that can affect all the systems of the body, that does so unpredictably.  You can say certain people are more at risk but actually anybody can get extremely sick with it and even people who have relatively mild illness can have serious long term consequences in the form of long COVID so this is a very serious illness.  Now, it is an airborne virus so one of the reasons, perhaps the main reason, that we’re in this situation is a failure to recognise early enough and comprehensively enough that COVID is an airborne virus.  That means it spreads like cigarette smoke, it doesn’t spread on door handles, it doesn’t spread in large snot droplets when you sneeze, it wafts in the air and it can remain in the air for many minutes, even hours, so in a paper I recently wrote we actually cited a case of a bus where someone was infected half an hour after the infectious person had got off so it was hanging in the air for that period.  Now understanding that has major implications for infection control and there has been an extreme resistance to accepting that on the part of the WHO and on the part of national health authorities since the beginning of the pandemic.  That is starting to change but it is still only starting to change and the implications for us have been absolutely catastrophic because it has meant that the evidence that we’ve had that hotel quarantine is failing because virus is wafting down corridors has essentially been ignored.  So we had this absolutely ridiculous situation earlier this year and still today where we’ll get news conferences from chief health officers of states saying, well, we’ve looked through 500 hours of CCTV footage, we can’t see where there was an unauthorised contact between people in hotel quarantine so we’re baffled as to how people got infected, and it’s like you’re at the pantomime yelling ‘behind you, behind you!’ and ‘it’s in the air, it’s in the air!’  You’re yelling, you’re screaming at the TV, it’s like, Jesus Christ, how long does this go on?  And so we look at this poor limo driver – listen, if you’re listening, I have enormous sympathy for you because you are a poor bugger …  

GN: Yeah, he’s a massive scapegoat, yeah.  

DB: … scapegoated for something that isn’t your fault.  For God’s sake, you’re a limo driver, you don’t have to know about infectious disease transmission, okay, so he wasn’t required to be vaccinated and to this day as of Friday New South Wales still does not mandate suitable airborne PPE for drivers who are driving people in quarantine, so it was not this guy’s fault.  

GN: And it’s important to understand, because a lot of the media doesn’t report this, they were like, oh yeah he was driving this air crew to and from the airport, but that’s within the quarantine system and I’ve seen quite a few people going, oh well that’s not hotel quarantine and it’s, like, well, that is part; transporting to and from quarantine is part of the quarantine system so now that we’ve mentioned that I thought perhaps you could tell us a little bit about the hotel quarantine system?  

DB: Can I just come in there Giordano?  

GN: Yes, go on.  

DB: Because, Giordano, Brendan Murphy, the Secretary of the Department of Health, in the Senate Estimates last week also said that.  He also said, well, you can’t say the quarantine facilities were at fault because this wasn’t in quarantine.  It’s like, what are you talking about, do you think we’re all really stupid?  

GN: Yeah.  On this topic of hotel quarantine, can you explain to us a little bit?  So this is again one of the key themes of the video, what is wrong with the quarantine system?  Initially it was set up in a hurry so, okay, fair enough, doesn’t have to be perfect initially because it was done very quickly but we’re almost a year and a half into the pandemic now.  Is the quarantine system that we have suited to dealing with airborne transmission or however you want to define it and if not what are the answers, I mean, what’s going on here?  

DB: Yeah.  Yeah, look, it clearly isn’t – as you pointed out in the video – one in 44 infected travellers are able to transmit the virus through no fault of their own to somebody else in hotel quarantine because the hotel quarantine is not effective.  We’ve had, what, six or seven breaches in Queensland this month, Queensland is now locked down again and this just goes on and on.  Now, yes, we damn well should know it now, we knew it at the beginning, so this isn’t the first SARS virus, this is SARS-CoV-2.  SARS-1 happened in Taiwan and Canada in 2003.  Now, they figured out in 2003 that this was an airborne virus and in fact I cited in one of the papers I wrote in April last year, I cited evidence from Taiwan where they realised that for infection control in hospitals it wasn’t just important to use airborne PPE, you actually had to completely segregate COVID patients, you couldn’t allow them to use the same corridors as other people, so you didn’t have to be clairvoyant to know that this was going to be a problem in a hotel quarantine which was never designed, the ventilation systems of which, were never designed for this kind of infection control.  We’ve had in the Northern Territory where they’re using the Howard Springs Centre for Quarantine, which is basically lots of dongas, lots of cabins, they’ve had no breaches because there are no corridors, there are no lifts, there are no foyers, there are no shared areas.  People don’t share air.  It would be baffling to think to oneself, look, we’ve now had eight, nine months of persistent and worsening hotel quarantine breaches as the variants that we’ve had have become more transmissible so we were already getting breaches in November, December with the ancestral variant, then we got Alpha-B117, the British variant, January, February, March increasing breaches and now we’ve got Delta which is much more transmissible and we’re getting, no surprise, many more breaches.  Now, it is only a surprise that we haven’t abandoned hotel quarantine and moved to air gap quarantine, which we could do very quickly.  We could use caravan parks, we could even use motels which all have their own ventilation system and don’t have any corridors.  It’s only a surprise that we haven’t done that if you think that somehow this isn’t to do with contracts given to large hotel owners.  The large hotel groups obviously have these contracts and for some reason the government will not, I guess, renege on these contracts or whatever and so we’re not moving to more effective hotel quarantine.  

GN: Sorry, David, I don’t know, I feel like that would be very out of character for this government to do such a thing?  

DB: I think it would be very out of character but this is, like, the national emergency.  

GN: No, totally, I mean, just to add to that point, the federal government announced a national enquiry into the hotel quarantine system and they appointed or it was led by a person who is also on the board of Crown Resorts, so, a Crown resorts board member leading the enquiry into hotel quarantine …  

DB: No conflict there.  

GN: No conflict of interest, no, totally.  Anyway, sorry, keep going.  

DB: But listen, this weekend, right, as I’m sitting here in Perth at the Pan Pacific Hotel, which failed its ventilation audit in March, which has already had a documented breach, they are having a conference of high school administrators from regional Western Australia who are staying in the hotel …  

GN: What could go wrong?  

DB: … and having their conference there so that’s the level of stupidity that we deal with, that you could just cut with a knife.  I mean, the hotel on the Gold Coast, the Grand Chancellor, where they’ve had a number of breaches, they were running until January, until there was a huge outcry about it, they were running medical conferences there so potentially they could have seeded COVID into every medical facility in Queensland so, you know, there’s just no joined up thinking, is the problem.  

GN: Right, so people are probably thinking at this point, okay, it’s airborne, we need air gap quarantine facilities, that’s for the government to take care of, but what does that mean for individuals?  Are surgical masks okay as a form of protection?  We’re talking about everyday use when you go out, what does that actually mean for individuals?  

DB: Yeah, so I think it’s quite useful to look at this to bring all of these measures together so surgical masks, N-95 masks, improved ventilation, social distancing, movement restrictions.  All these kinds of things, they do one thing, they all do the same thing to different degrees and that is, they reduce the rate of transmission which is known as R and if the rate of transmission is below 1, that means one infected person on average transmits to less than one other person eventually the disease will be eliminated; if it is greater than 1 then it will continue to grow in an exponential fashion and you’re not in control as in New South Wales.  Surgical masks are effective at reducing the risk of you getting infected and you transmitting infection.  They are less effective than a properly fitted N-95 mask but they are still effective, they are still worthwhile and they are still one of the many measures that we need to reduce R.  Really that’s the key, is by any and all means necessary improving ventilation in indoor spaces, filtering the air with so-called ‘HEPA’ filters which are just little floor-standing fans with a filter on to remove viral particles where you can’t improve ventilation sufficiently, movement restrictions, social restrictions where necessary, all of these things will reduce the rate of transmission and in fact the most potent one of these is vaccines.  Vaccines do reduce transmission, vaccines are critical, the problem we’ve got now with the Delta variant is that it is so transmissible that we are seeing that vaccinated people are still transmitting so it’s not a so-called ‘sterilising’ vaccine.  So last year you could have said, well, we’ll get a shot at herd immunity with the vaccines that we’ve got, this year with the variants which have arisen, let’s remember, because of out-of-control transmission and reproduction of the virus so that they’ve been able to evolve and that is no longer possible so when the Australian government says, well look, we’ll look at opening up at 70% of eligible people vaccinated that is 59% of the total population and that is nowhere near enough for herd immunity so essentially what they’re saying is, we’ll open up at that rate and the virus will be circulating, but if you look at it like that my big problem with the vaccine story is that it is just looked at as a silver bullet.  It is no longer a silver bullet and possibly never was.  It is an extremely potent, the most potent, means to reduce R but we need to do everything else as well and if we do that, if we educate people to do things as simple as keep their car off ‘recirculate’ which improves the air quality in a car and all kinds of things like that combined with vaccines we can get and keep R below 1.  Over time, over the next one, two, three, four years vaccine technology with the mRNA vaccines is going to keep progressing.  We will almost certainly get to a point where we have a sterilising vaccine but to give up at this point which is where we seem to be heading and where New South Wales seems to be heading, sort of, de facto, you know, it’s all too difficult and oh, you know, we’ve got these, kind of, confusing postcode lockdowns and all this kind of stuff, it is just absurd and a lot of people are going to suffer and a lot of people are going to die and, you know, it’s so frustrating when we actually know what we need to do and if there was some leadership and some vision at the top that could take the country with, we would be okay.  

GN: I think this is very recent; just a few days ago the Grattan Institute released a study led by Stephen Duckett, I was just listening to this on Coronacast today, ‘Race to 80,’ that’s the advice that modelling has come up with, we need 80% of the population vaccinated before we can do what New South Wales has been trying to do which is to, quote-unquote, ‘live with’ the virus, so it’s too early to do that so vaccines and I’m glad you mentioned that, that it’s such a critical, important part of the solution so if I understand correctly you’re saying we need all of these measures, we can’t rely only on vaccines, we can’t rely only on social distancing, we’ve got to put all of those things together, but the key thing seems to be listening to the fucking experts because people have been saying this and so, as you’ve said, and I just want to quote, this is a Tweet that you wrote and I actually paraphrased it and used it in the video, you wrote, “This pandemic is far less a fight against a sneaky virus than it is a fight against our own ignorance, venality and belligerent stupidity.  The seeds of success or failure lie entirely in our own hands.”  Maybe you could expand on that?  I changed it a little bit, I said, “The fight isn’t against the virus, it’s against our governments’ scapegoating slackness and shitfaced smirks,'' so I changed it a little bit but could you just comment on that because I think that’s a really powerful message.  We have the solutions but the problem is, as you’ve said, it’s a propaganda war.  

DB: We absolutely do have the solutions and, yes, we do need to get to 80% vaccinated.  We need to get to more if we can, we need to vaccinate children.  Already if you go to the state of Vermont they’ve got something like 70 or 80% of twelve-to-sixteen-year-olds vaccinated.  We’re going to have data coming soon on vaccination down to age two.  We do not want our children to get this virus, we don’t want a big experiment on our children, so what people are saying is, we need to vaccinate so we can reduce the rate of transmission but if the rate of transmission doesn’t go below 1 then that isn’t enough and the reality is that we are now in the midst of a sanitation revolution that is as big in its way as the discovery of the germ theory or disease in the 1860s when people started realising you needed to wash your hands or you were going to die of a stool-borne disease, of diarrhoea.  The quality of our indoor air is extremely poor, it’s like going for a swim in a shitty pool, unless we deal with the quality of indoor air, the quality of ventilation.  It’s like trying to deal with a cholera outbreak without fixing the toilets, without fixing the sanitation, it’s not going to work.  So vaccines, super important, great, high technology, mRNA, isn’t it brilliant, aren’t we all clever; we also need to open the window and fix our air and then R will be below 1.  All of these measures, we can get to zero circulating COVID in Australia again, which we just had a couple of months ago, we can get to it again, we can eliminate the virus like we eliminate measles and we can keep doing that by improving our air and we will eventually get to a place where we have the vaccines that are so much more effective that on their own they will get R below 1.  It’s more complex to say we need to do all these measures to reduce transmission but again, you don’t have to be Einstein to understand it, it can be easily communicated.  Other countries are doing it, Belgium which you mentioned in the video is doing it, other countries are so we can be smart about this.  

GN: David, you mentioned Belgium and they’ve installed CO2 metres.  I just wanted to point out, the reading in this room is not good, not ideal.  

DB: Not great [laughs]

GN: You’ve been using these and this is some of the things that experts have been advocating for, is to monitor CO2 levels, can you explain the connection between why CO2 levels are relevant in the COVID fight?  

DB: Yeah, sure, so we all hear about CO2 in relation to climate change and how manmade CO2 is getting into the atmosphere, increasing levels, and that has greenhouse effect and it’s significant.  CO2 is measured in parts per million; when I was born atmospheric CO2 was 320 parts per million, it’s now 420 which is a huge increase of 33% but let’s put that aside for a moment.  We now know that atmospheric CO2 is 420, that’s the freshest that air can be on this planet.  Now, when you go into a room we all, human beings, we produce CO.2  Every time we breathe out every breath out has 40,000 parts per million of CO2 so that means that actually the CO2 level in a poorly ventilated indoor space, a room or a car, increases very quickly and it increases even more quickly when you’ve got a lot of people in there and if that air has Corona virus germs in it or other germs then you’re more likely to get infected and we know this, there are numerous studies that have looked at this.  

GN: And because it’s airborne it doesn’t matter if you’re not standing directly next to the person who is exhaling infected air, they could have left half an hour even before you got there.  

DB: That’s why kids get ill at school, we now know, because they’re basically breathing in this foetid miasma of air so what the CO2 monitor does is it allows you to monitor the level so if they CO2 level is going up then you know you have to do something about it, open a window or something.  Now, in Belgium they have mandated in all public spaces a maximum CO2 level of 900 and it is above 900 and below 1200 they have to come up with a plan quick time and if it’s above 1200 they have to close the venue while they come up with a plan.  So you’d be closed down now mate…  

GN: Yeah, no, totally, we need to open a window.  

DB: … you’re at 1260, probably higher, what are you now?  What are you exactly?  

GN: 1388.  

DB: Yeah, see, 1388, so it just goes up and up.  In Belgium now you have to display the CO2 and we need to get to a situation where you’re displaying the CO2 level in an indoor space.  So this is why we get infections in hospitals, it’s why we get infections in schools, and coming back to our poor old limo driver, did anybody tell him that he needed to switch his aircon off recirculate because if you have your aircon on recirculate you just keep rebreathing the same air and I have got up to in my son’s Hyundai i30, the two of us, 30 minutes on recirculate, we tried it, we got up to 5000.  

GN: Wow, so this is also important if you’re catching a taxi or you’re catching an Uber, make sure to ask the driver to put aircon on recirculate, open a window if the weather allows it?  

DB: Yep, to switch it off recirculate.  You want to be taking the air in from outside so off recirculate but, you know, was the limo driver told to do that?  Who knows, and if he had and his windows had been open would he have got infected?  Possibly not.  All of these things, education, ventilation, masks, vaccines, all of these things reduce transmission and we need to be employing all of them.  There isn’t a silver bullet at the moment, there may be one day, hopefully there will, but it’s all of these things and so, yes, CO2 level as an indicator of poor air quality is very important and then where you cannot get the CO2 level down enough then you need to filter the air using HEPA filters which are very fine particulate filters that take viruses out of the air and there is good evidence that they reduce infectivity.  We should be using them in hospitals, we should be using them in classrooms and our other places.  Savvy hospitals are starting to use them.  The Alfred Health in Melbourne is using standalone floor mounted, just like box fan, HEPA filters in its COVID clinical areas.  There is no national guideline to do that but they’re doing it because they’re smart and this is where our government is absent without leave.  It’s been a huge battle to get the peak government committee to accept airborne transmission, they have now, but there’s just still – they’re just dozy, there’s just nothing happening, okay, and this is a huge crisis that’s facing us and we need to be proactive and we need to do everything we can.  

GN: David, I just wanted to ask you about long COVID because I think there’s a lot of people that are still, like, oh it’s not so bad, it’s just a flu, oh you know, you know the risks, but we’re learning more and more that actually COVID even if it doesn’t kill you can have severe repercussions which I think people are not quite well aware of, could you please give us a little bit of a snapshot of what are we learning about the long term effects of COVID?  

DB: Absolutely, I mean, this has only been around for just over 18 months so we’re learning as we go.  It seems that much of the pathway of COVID infection is through stimulating the body’s own immune system so that you get autoimmune effects and you get severe inflammation in different parts of the body.  There is evidence that it affects brain cells, that it affects the regulation of the heart, and there are people who have had COVID who have long term heart abnormalities in terms of not being able to control their heart rate, control their blood pressure properly, there is increasing thought that it may cause cognitive deficits and bring on dementia, we know that severe COVID leads to chronic lung disease and chronic hypoxia, you know, this is a nasty illness that we are still only beginning to learn about so when people say, oh well let it circulate, it’s a massive uncontrolled medical experiment and it boggles my mind that we would suddenly be prepared to do this.  We know it’s a severe illness and we don’t know exactly what the long term effects are.  We also know that long COVID can affect you even after a relatively mild infection and we don’t know what the rate of long COVID is after infection in vaccinated people.  Another thing is that people forget in this country that we have a population of indigenous people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, who are at extreme risk from this virus and once the virus circulates it will circulate in those populations and I’ve spent the last eight years in medicine mainly looking after Aboriginal people and I can tell you that even if the adults are all vaccinated they are still at risk of serious disease and the children are greatly at risk of serious disease because we see disease in children, in Aboriginal children, that we do not see in non-Aboriginal children so they are particularly susceptible.  There are so many reasons why we should not be letting this virus circulate and should be aiming for zero COVID and of course another one of those is that we do not want uncontrolled reproduction of the virus to allow more severe variants to keep evolving so as long as there’s rampant reproduction of the virus it’s going to keep evolving and it’s going to keep evolving to evade vaccines because that’s what evolution does.  

GN: Thank you so much, David, for sharing all that.  Hearing you speak and over the course of the last few months I’ve just been thinking, yes, it’s a tragic situation that we’re in with this pandemic but also it’s been such an awakening in a sense because we’re faced with a problem that we can only really solve collectively by people coming together and having a shared vision and in a sense it’s a prima for how do we deal with other crises such as the climate crisis, the extinction crisis, and it just amazed me how at the start of the pandemic it was, like, oh well vaccines won’t be ready for, like, years, three years or five, some vaccines take ten years to produce, and look what happens when faced with a collective challenge we come together and direct unlimited resources and expertise to solving a problem.  It just makes you realise, well, we could pick any of these, we could pick dementia and if we did the same thing in a year we could have a solution for that; we could pick the climate crisis, maybe that’ll take two years, but it just shows how the solutions are there.  What stands in the way of that is political will, ideology and a whole lot of fucking bullshit …  

DB: Absolutely.  

GN: … and I think this is a lesson, it’s like it’s unfolding right in front of us so that’s the silver lining here?  

DB: Yeah, I think so.  I do feel depressed at the stupidity and the needless suffering that there’s been as a result of COVID but equally it does show that we can actually do it.  Our future lies in our own hands, we can actually have a thriving, prosperous healthy future on the planet but we do need to work together.  

GN: And on that note I’m going to thank you and let you get back to your patients.  Doctor David Berger, we really appreciate you joining us.  Our video connection from the Cocos Islands, we’ve dropped you a little bit, but you’re back now so great …  

DB: Great.  

GN: … thanks for joining us, we really appreciate it and we’ll catch you online.  

DB: Thanks so much, brilliant, really enjoyed it, thanks Giordano, bye.  

[music plays]  

GN: Well, that brings us to the end of this episode of the Juice Media podcast.  I hope it’s helped to give you an overview of our current situation as it stands and a better understanding of airborne transmission and the link between our hotel quarantine system failures and the ongoing outbreaks, lockdowns and tragic deaths due to the ongoing pandemic.  You’ll find links to the articles and resources we mentioned in the interview in the show notes or if you’re watching this podcast on YouTube in the video description below.  A reminder that this podcast is available on your favourite podcast app but that we also publish a video version on our YouTube channel which I recommend watching as we include visuals to accompany all the conversations.  Thanks to Ellen for helping to produce and edit the Juice Media podcast and as always thanks to you, our patrons, who make the podcast and the Honest Government Ads possible.  In particular our patron producers who support us via our highest patron tier of $100 per month, thank you.  If you value our work please consider supporting us on Patreon at juice media.  You’ve been listening to the Juice Media podcast with me Giordano, I’ll catch you very soon for our next Honest Government Ad. Until then, take care.  

[music plays]  

DB: Brilliant, thanks so much.  See you guys.  

EL.B: We’re just gonna open a window!  

GN: Yeah [laughs].  

EL.B: [laughs].  

GN: We’ll open the window now, yeah.  

DB: Open the bloody window.  All right, see you, bye.  

GN: See you, David.  

DB: What are you at?  Yeah, 1357.  You’re going to become obsessed with it now.  

GN: Yeah yeah, totally.  

[music plays]