Father’s Day … In These Coviddy Times By Neddie Kelly

     Here is the story that you have been waiting for, to put a smile on your face, on Father’s Day too, and showing that even in these giddy coviddy times, life goes on, in all its amazement, against the utter horror of Covid-19:  

“A transgender father who has just given birth to a baby has made medical history twice, but not for the reason you’d expect. Maaike, from Queensland, contracted COVID-19 from his partner when he was nine months pregnant. When he gave birth to his baby in March, he was the first Western person to have a child with COVID-19. Maaike was also the first person who didn’t need medical assistance during the COVID birth — coronavirus has since been found to give difficulties during pregnancies and labour. “My partner birthed his baby while in quarantine, making medical history as the first birth to COVID-positive parents outside of China, and the first unassisted COVID birth in the world,” Maaike’s partner of two years, Holly Zwalf, wrote in an article for The Sunday Mail. Maaike, a 43-year-old from regional Queensland, transitioned to a man but was still able to birth his “miracle” baby. He is a father-of-two, and has given birth to both kids. However, for this pregnancy he was impregnated through an anonymous donor. His partner Ms Zwalf also has a child of her own. “We were always going to be the unconventional family in the birthing ward, but we never anticipated quite how much of a stir we would cause,” Ms Zwalf wrote. Ms Zwalf returned from the UK in late February and had unknowingly brought the coronavirus with her. Still in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms Zwalf was just the 15th case in Queensland. They were sent off to a quarantine in hospital, separated during this time. Ms Zwalf took her child while Maaike did the same, and all the while heavily pregnant. To make matters more complicated, the transgender dad also has cystic fibrosis. He required a multidisciplinary team of medical experts to ensure the safe delivery of the child back in March. However, in a world-first, he required no medical assistance during the birth. Maaike stopped taking hormones during the pregnancy and was able to “chest feed” after the baby was born. The family’s record-breaking birth is now the focus of research by the Infectious Diseases Department at the Sunshine Coast University.”

     Our wonderful scientists are doing their all to protect us during this crisis, and soon will have a safe vaccine that even babies will be able to have, like most vaccines are now that babies get, such as Hep B vaccine for babies, because they are at risk, and who isn’t? Can’t get enough!

“It is recommended that your baby is given a dose of hepatitis B vaccine at birth or within the first 7 days of life, followed by a further three doses of hepatitis B vaccine at 6 weeks, 4 and 6 months of age. Hepatitis B Vaccine Safety Extensive experience shows that hepatitis ….” Whatever. However, I am particularly concerned about rabies in my young, as we roam the wilds of Australia, often being attacked by wild dogs, giant feral cats and zombie dingos, all the while being pursued by the red coat troops, so I may get all the bubbies loaded up on the rabies vaccine, just to be sure. But, I digress.


     Only Satchmo Armstrong can sum up the intensity of emotion here, “What a Wonderful World” (1967), as life survives against the onslaught of one of the gravest diseases to confront human civilisation in postmodern times.

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do
They're only saying I love you
I see babies crying, I watch them grow
They'll learn so much more than I'll ever know
Then I think to myself what a wonderful world
The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Also on the faces of people…”

     It could very well be the new anthem of lockdown. If the world’s greatest singer was alive today, I am sure that he would dedicate a song or four to the coviddy crisis. Excuse me while I quietly weep, as the emotion has been a little too much …



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Wednesday, 12 June 2024

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