Walking speed predicts seniors’ life expectancy

Walking speed, so it seems, can be a predictor of a person’s life expectancy. Much like vital signs such as pulse and blood pressure. Or how much a person weighs and how much alcohol they drink or exercise they do. Last year, medical scientists labelled loneliness as a useful predictor of a person’s health and …

Nursing comparisons now and 1955

Nursing comparisons between today and the olden days, when nurses trained in an apprenticeship system, make me laugh. Recently some nurses exchanged ideas about this topic on Facebook. I was seventeen years old when I began to train as a nurse in 1955. Then, nurses in Western Australia became indentured to the Health Department. Actually, …

Hard lockdown mark II against COVID-19

Hard lockdown mark II in Western Australia pounced quickly. After ten months of no community transmission of COVID-19 and our ordinary lives, the edict came yesterday as a shock. Not that we should have been surprised. Mark McGowan, the State Premier, warned all along that, should there be a case of community spread of COVID-19, …

Hotel quarantine and COVID-19 from the outside

Hotel quarantine for all travellers from overseas as they enter Australia is mandated by the Commonwealth Government. Each state and territory enforces strict conditions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from outside Australia. Some states use the term ‘medi hotel’ instead of quarantine hotel. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Australians returning from …

Recovery and the magic of Lake Mere

The lovely Mere Lake, less than half a kilometre from here on the Subiaco Common, might just as well have been on the other side of the moon. Bursitis of the hip has kept me home for many weeks, or at best walking only short essential distances. Swimming, even many laps, on the other hand, …

COVID-19 complacency – Is it time to regroup?

COVID-19 complacency has overtaken some of Western Australia. How could we so quickly forget our lessons learnt about hygiene and social distancing? I’m disappointed and edgy because I think we’ve become soft inside our hard borders. I’ve turned into a grumpy old woman, anxious for my own and other people’s safety.

Jargon and slang – COVID-19 changed our language

Jargon and slang related to COVID-19 changed the language of Australia. It happened almost as fast as the novel coronovirus which causes the disease that devastated populations spread across the world. Everyone learnt and began to use the formal and informal languages quickly.

Scarlatina – my brush with a once deadly disease

Scarlatina (the Latin name for scarlet fever) is not the romantic disease some novelists would like us to think. It caused the death of children in some fiction in classic children’s literature. But this deadly disease occurred in epidemics as a world-wide scourge. You can read about scarlatina in children’s literature here.

Scarlet fever, Beth March and others

Scarlet fever, according to Lizzie Enfield, is ‘the red rash of romantics’. The once-deadly disease causes a high fever, red rash, red lumps on the tongue, flushed cheeks and red creases under the arms, in the elbows and groins. As well, it causes the death or severe disability of several children in literature. They include …

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