Different body systems hold different places in our psyche. We think of life (outside the womb) starting with the first breath and passing as taking our last. In between those two bookends, in the main, most of us do not have to think much about breathing. It just happens. When we get “short of breath” it does focus our minds though.


It is interesting to reflect on the place the breath holds in various spiritual practices. As an intermittent participant in yoga classes, it always gets me thinking when the teacher emphasises how the breath is the central part of yoga and as important as the movements. Many stress management programs include deep breathing exercises or focused slow deep breathing.

Dr Joe Kosterich, Clinical Editor

For those who are interested in a small experiment, stop reading for 30 seconds while you take three slow deep breaths in, to the count of five, and out to the same count. Most people report feeling a bit more relaxed after doing this. How fascinating is that!

We now understand that the Moderna vaccine has been approved for use in Australia. It says something about how detached Australia (and WA in particular) has become from the rest of the world that the public and even some doctors look down their nose at different vaccines.


This month’s theme is respiratory health, and we have articles on endobronchial ultrasound for investigation of lung pathology, diagnosis, and treatment of protracted bacterial bronchitis in children and the effect of biologics on risk of infection, including COVID-19. Silicosis was thought be a disease of the past but has made a comeback. The background to this and a new screening program is examined. We also have articles on oral leukoplakia, adolescent cardiac issues, benign breast lumps, and investigation of Cushing’s syndrome.

We now understand that the Moderna vaccine has been approved for use in Australia. It says something about how detached Australia (and WA in particular) has become from the rest of the world that the public and even some doctors look down their nose at different vaccines. 

There are hundreds of millions in the world who would be delighted to access any vaccine. Former deputy CMO Dr Nick Coatsworth has been a voice of reason arguing that the best vaccine is the one you can get. They all work and, yes, all have side effects.

As year’s end approaches, all those who want a vaccine will have had the opportunity to have it and this should take us to over 60% vaccinated. It is important to remind ourselves, especially as doctors, that the virus cannot be eliminated from this planet and must be lived with. The only question is how.