Vaccinations.

Apr 2018
80
55
New Hampshire
#1
My 72-year-old memory is a time machine. I find myself in 1955 standing in a long line of children of seven to ten years snaking down the corridor of a local elementary school. There is fear in my heart because I hear screams in the distance.

Getting closer I see a large-bosomed nurse holding the head of a student tightly to her chest as a doctor plunges the biggest hypodermic needle I’ll ever see deeply into the arm of a struggling recipient. My turn came; it hurt like hell. By the time my wife made that same rite of passage six years later she was painlessly drinking her shot.

Thanks to Dr. Jonas Salk I have never suffered the ravages of Polio though in my life I have encountered people who did. I am a Baby boomer and I was among the first to benefit from modern medicine. My grandmother, born in the late 1800’s, had thirteen children some of whom didn’t make it. Another scientific savior, Alexander Fleming, made an important observation leading to antibiotics, in particular Penicillin, but many, ill before 1928, succumbed.

My early classmates and I will be forever grateful to these great men because we were freed from a dastardly lottery of microbiology that could randomly take us at will. But like generations living at the foot of a dormant volcano, some of us have forgotten the past.

Smallpox eradication was a great human achievement brought about by mass vaccinations and millions of lives have been saved. Unfortunately, though measles has been nearly eradicated from the US for about twenty years, political resistance to vaccines has been rising and measles outbreaks are beginning to re-appear.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Whooping Cough are not political; they are microorganisms that attack children with developing immune systems and they can kill. Salk showed us how to defend against these diseases but unscientific conspiracies are circulating and the germs are resurging as rights are confused with medical prudence.

The Autism connection has been debunked by science but it stubbornly persists among some. In addition political parties are playing fast and loose with border security infusing unvaccinated immigrants, both legal and illegal into our communities.

The microorganisms that cause disease have no politics but they do have an agenda to use our bodies as a host. We are courting disaster. Why would we even wait for that?
 
Jun 2014
46,134
45,723
United States
#3
Smallpox eradication was a great human achievement brought about by mass vaccinations and millions of lives have been saved. Unfortunately, though measles has been nearly eradicated from the US for about twenty years, political resistance to vaccines has been rising and measles outbreaks are beginning to re-appear.

I don't really see the anti-vaccine movement as a political issue. Not yet. The anti-vaxxers don't appear to line up on either end of the political spectrum, so neither major political party has had reason to support their cause. I suppose that could change. I hope not.
 
Dec 2014
13,343
10,791
NWOHQ
#4
I don't really see the anti-vaccine movement as a political issue. Not yet. The anti-vaxxers don't appear to line up on either end of the political spectrum, so neither major political party has had reason to support their cause. I suppose that could change. I hope not.

Indeed, and I see it as a product of ignorance and belief in conspiracy theories (big Pharma) and/or alternative therapies. We are living in an age where the rejection of mainstream medicine and science has become common and I believe the ever growing current of anti-intellectualism plays its part as well. I doubt political leaning has much to do with it.
 
Jun 2014
46,134
45,723
United States
#5
Indeed, and I see it as a product of ignorance and belief in conspiracy theories (big Pharma) and/or alternative therapies. We are living in an age where the rejection of mainstream medicine and science has become common and I believe the ever growing current of anti-intellectualism plays its part as well. I doubt political leaning has much to do with it.

I fear that we're living in an age in which objective reality is rejected by far too many of us.
 
Likes: Blues63
Apr 2018
80
55
New Hampshire
#6
The political aspect of it appears to be a resistance to government edicts on health. It is apparently seen by some as a violation of a civil right to decide what's best for their children.
 
Jun 2014
46,134
45,723
United States
#7
The political aspect of it appears to be a resistance to government edicts on health. It is apparently seen by some as a violation of a civil right to decide what's best for their children.

That may be true, but the phenomenon doesn't appear to be more prominent among either Democrats or Republicans. So far as I know, neither party officially supports anti-vax conspiracy theories.
 
Likes: Dangermouse

Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
73,873
42,387
Vulcan, down the street from Darth Vader
#8
That may be true, but the phenomenon doesn't appear to be more prominent among either Democrats or Republicans. So far as I know, neither party officially supports anti-vax conspiracy theories.
That is true, and anti-vaxxers come from (weird) extremes of both sides. It is not a partisan issue.
 
Mar 2012
54,789
36,423
New Hampshire
#9
Indeed, and I see it as a product of ignorance and belief in conspiracy theories (big Pharma) and/or alternative therapies. We are living in an age where the rejection of mainstream medicine and science has become common and I believe the ever growing current of anti-intellectualism plays its part as well. I doubt political leaning has much to do with it.
Exactly. Every time I go to the pharmacy I am shocked to see how big the supplements aisle is getting. So many potions, elixirs and herbs to ward off all sorts of things. I recall vividly standing in line to pick up an Rx and the woman in front of me kept asking the pharmacist if there was "something else besides antibiotics" for her childs pinkeye. She kept asking if there was a special herb or something instead.
 

Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
73,873
42,387
Vulcan, down the street from Darth Vader
#10
Every time I go to the pharmacy I am shocked to see how big the supplements aisle is getting. So many potions, elixirs and herbs to ward off all sorts of things.
"Supplements" is not the word for them. They are folk medicine from before we had science - and we replaced it with science because the latter works better and does more. A proper name for "western medicine" is "evidence-based" medicine, as opposed to "anecdote-based" medicine.
I recall vividly standing in line to pick up an Rx and the woman in front of me kept asking the pharmacist if there was "something else besides antibiotics" for her childs pinkeye. She kept asking if there was a special herb or something instead.
Such people do not even understand what "antibiotics" are. It would appear we need to have basic medical education in high school (if not before), in addition to science, and not limited to useless "health" classes.
 

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