you’re familiar with the expression, “everyone’s an expert”. turns out that a whole lot of people who have a platform because they are entertainers or naked in public think they are experts too. worse, people read b list celebrity nonsense and then declare themselves experts. here’s a nice tidbit on delusional thinking that kind of defines more and more people today
it’s one thing to think of yourself as an expert on climate change, the consequence of which is just a whole lot of dinner table arguments. it’s quite another to think of yourself as an expert on immunology and disease, the consequence of which can kill or seriously injure your unimmunized kids (not to mention those around you who are immunocompromised).
there are still a lot of us alive today who remember the bad old days without a lot of vaccines. we knew kids who were paralyzed from polio, we knew families who had an iron lung in the house, there were kids in our classes who had leg braces to help them walk after a bout of polio.
i remember when the polio vaccine was widely distributed. we lived next door to a hospital and there was a huge iron gate that opened up to the physician parking lot next to the front of the hospital. on the day the polio vaccine was distributed those gates were opened and there were crowds of people lined up from the front door of the hospital through that parking lot and down the street next to our house. entire families waited for hours, excited and grateful to be receive a little paper cup with a sugar cube infused with the polio vaccine. (i actually met dr. jonas salk of polio vaccine fame and it was quite a moment.)
tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) were the only vaccines administered when i was a kid, so i had the measles, mumps and chicken pox, thankfully i did not have polio. there is some family lore that one of my sisters had polio as a child, but i never really got confirmation of that. back in the day when someone in your household had one of these diseases, the city would come out to the house and tack a bright orange “quarantine” sign on the front door, or in our case the front picture window, to warn the neighbors. i still remember looking out the window past the sign and out at the neighborhood kids laughing and playing in the street and being stuck in the house for what seemed like eternity. what i very much remember was how utterly miserable it was to be sick with the measles — high fever, itchy skin, gunky eyes and just feeling very, very tired. i also vividly remember how awful it was to have the mumps, glands swollen worse than when i had mono in college. thankfully, i made it through all of those diseases without long term consequence, but i can tell you that i know kids who did not — kids who found out as adults that they had fertility problems, eye problems, heart problems or other issues related to childhood diseases for which kids now can be vaccinated.
i never had the german measles (rubella) which i only discovered when my obgyn tested me when i was pregnant with my first child. she was practically panicked to find out that i was not immune to rubella since it’s harmful to a growing fetus. she told me to stay away from children, people who have children and anyone i thought might not have been vaccinated for rubella. yeah, well that was kind of impossible. minutes after giving birth, a nurse marched into my room and gave me a rubella vaccine. the next day i went home from the hospital with a distinctive rubella rash on my hands and feet but healthy baby girl.
like so much else in life, generations grow older and the stories of “what life was like before …” fall on deaf ears. every generation wants to re-invent the wheel. what’s the expression? you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own set of facts. as intelligent as people think they are, many fall back on such a failure of historic knowledge and context coupled with a primal “well, i’ve never seen it” nonsense. oddly though, many of them believe in some kind of deity and i guarantee you haven’t seen a god…
the reason very many of the diseases for which children are inoculated today are not seen in this nation is because of vaccines. the vaccines prevented the disease from proliferating. what part of this is so hard to understand?
i can figure what someone like jenny mccarthy gets out of linking vaccines to autism and that is that her fabulousness cannot be questioned if she blames what looks more and more like a genetic mutation on the evils of vaccines that were perpetrated upon what must be perfect offspring because it came from her. interestingly, mccarthy’s silicone breast implants do not cause her any alarm…
here’s the irony: “uneducated” parents in impoverished nations who have little access to consistent medical care clamber to get vaccines for their children while middle class, “educated” parents in a wealthy nation sit around and pontificate and send their children into the world at risk.
how smart are you if you take your marching orders from the likes of jenny mccarthy?