Bleats

We Have A New Subsidised IUD, But Why Is Contraception So Expensive In The First Place?

Some pill prescriptions cost upwards of $100.

Australia has a brand new addition to the list of subsidised contraceptives! The Kyleena IUD subsidy will kick in on March 1st, bringing the price down to $41 (or $6.60 for concession) from $160. Less expensive contraception? Sign me up.

It’s great news. The other available IUDs in Australia are Mirena, Skyla, Liletta and Paragard, but Kyleena is a slightly smaller OUD than the most popular type – Minena – and releases lower levels of hormones.

There’s a massive difference between $160 and $41 though, and it’s not just IUDs that can get pricey. A packet of pill contraception can cost upwards of $100 for some brands, which is super expensive for anyone. So why aren’t more contraceptives subsidised?

Let’s start with the person in a relationship who has to take the contraceptives: the woman. As much as we like to think that the “your body, your problem” attitude is a thing of the past, it’s really not. If you’ve got a uterus, the medical industry hasn’t historically been very kind to you.

On a personal level, when I’ve asked to renew my birth control script I’ve had a (male) doctor sigh and say “but I thought you were a good girl,” and another (male) doctor lecture me on “boy germs.” He meant STIs.

The classification of drugs matter, as well. In the USA, contraceptives aren’t a medical necessity, they’re a “lifestyle drug.” That’s exactly what it sounds like, by the way. 

Here in Australia we don’t have the same classification systems, but the vast majority of long term birth control methods are just thrown in the pile of user-pay drugs that aren’t deemed important enough to publicly fund.

At the end of the day Australia is well behind the developed world when it comes to accessing long lasting contraceptives. We’re moving slowly in the right direction, but we should absolutely be further ahead than we are.

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Some Cooked Humans Thought Coronavirus Merch Would Sell

Thanks heaps, capitalism.

I play on a netball team called Late Stage Capitalism, because quite frankly it was the scariest thing anyone could think of. I mean come on, late stage capitalism has given us such joys as the climate crisis, Pepsi’s ad with Kendall Jenner, and Fyre Festival. It’s now given us coronavirus merch, because of course it has.

Yeah, checks out

Coronavirus continues to spread around the globe at a ridiculously quick rate. The number of people who have died of the disease gets higher and higher every day, and we’ve even lost the first doctor who tried to warn the world about the disease.

As a result, the sales of things like hand sanitiser and face masks have skyrocketed. I suppose it only makes sense that other businesses decided to make a buck.

Some of the merch seems like there was an actual attempt to spread a message, like this “Pray For Wuhan” shirt and “Stop Coronavirus Terror” design.

Others are less sincere.

Behold, the world of coronavirus themed graphic t-shirts. I’m so sorry to be the one to introduce you to this hell world.

It doesn’t stop there, though. We also have things like a 3D printed virus model so that you can tell people “I gave x the coronavirus” (seriously. It’s what the product description suggests.) and the scariest respirator I’ve ever seen. There’s also coronavirus stuffed toys that assure you “You will get ONE (1) virus, but one is all it takes!”

And, because the world is terrible, there’s also the racist shirts referencing the (totally false) theory that coronavirus was started by people eating bats.

I have no idea who is out there buying any of this merch, but I assume there’s a market for it if there are so many designs. May I make the humble suggestion that there are far better things to spend your money on other than… whatever this is.

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Grab The Razor Cos Your Beard Might Be Exposing You To Coronavirus

The Dali moustache needs to go.

This morning we woke up to the news that there are now more new cases of the coronavirus outside of China than in it. It’s a scary time, and the sales of hand sanitiser and masks have gone through the roof in response. A new health warning from the CDC has been put out though, and it turns out your beard might be exposing you to coronavirus.

Before you grab the razor and shave yourself clean, there are some types of facial hair that are ok, cause it all has to do with the sealed area of the face mask that you’re wearing. If you have a full blown mountain man style beard, then you’re never going to get a good seal around your nose and mouth, and if you don’t have a good seal then you’re not exactly well protected.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over in the states has blessed us all with a handy infographic about what sort of beard is acceptable, and what is going to mess with your mask seal and potentially expose you to coronavirus. 

Credit: cdc.gov

I’ve learned a lot from this, and not only about mask seals. I’ve learned the names of a bunch of facial hair styles I didn’t even know existed.

A soul patch is fine. So is a pencil moustache, a Zappa, and a Zorro. You can also have a toothbrush moustache, but I wouldn’t recommend it because I don’t think anyone actually calls that a toothbrush moustache…

On the list of styles that need to go are the Hulihee, the Van Dyke, and the Dali. Yes, I’m so sorry to all the baristas in very specific types of hipster cafes, but your pointy Dali moustaches are going to need to go if you want to be sure that you aren’t exposed to the coronavirus. 

Maybe they should go anyway though. And your ‘toothbrush’ moustache should absolutely go.

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