CP: Are you ready for a new installment of "Me, Myself, and I"?
MYSELF: <yawns> Again?
CP: This will promise to be doozy.
ME: What can you possibly debate with us that will cause people to become irrationally irritated and divisive?
MYSELF: Yeah. It's not like you're going to attempt to tackle vaccines with logic or anything, right?
MYSELF: Um. . . you're not, are you?
CP: Did you ever notice how people like to argue that they are better and no longer need their medication?
ME: Yeah. Like blood pressure medication because they don't feel any different and cholesterol because they can't feel it working.
MYSELF: They don't see or feel the effects directly so they're cured.
ME: And since the numbers on their labs/tests come back WNL, they must be cured and no longer have HBP or cholesterol.
MYSELF: Except. . .
CP: Except the reason they are better is because they are taking the medications.
ME: I see where you're going with this.
MYSELF: Of course you do. We are of the same mind. Literally.
CP: It's like vaccines: there are no cases of diseases any more so we can stop getting the vaccines for them. WRONG! There are no cases BECAUSE we have been immunizing.
ME: Let's not forget that people travel and tend to carry disease with them.
MYSELF: Yes. Unlike HBP or cholesterol, these conditions are contagious.
CP: And deadly. But let's continue the game of "if I don't see it, it must not be there".
ME: Reminds me of the old contagion and miasma theories. Until germ theory was postulated in the second half of the 19th century (fun fact, by John Snow), people, including leading science and medical experts, believed diseases were spread by "bad air". (We could have a discourse on this about how they weren't necessarily wrong; as you removed what held the bacteria, you improved the air, but that's a far over-simplification of the theories. Besides, the prescribed treatments for miasma didn't work for cholera.)
MYSELF: We are seeing the rise of measles because people refuse vaccinations because they believe the disease no longer exists?
CP: Partially. In 2000 the United States declared measles eliminated from the country. Great. Except other countries' vaccination rates were less than ideal. When our rates slipped due to anti-vaxx movements, the door was opened for outbreaks and a resurgence in the US.
ME: What you're saying is that, with all of the medical advances and scientific knowledge we have gained over the last ~170 years, we are regressing?
MYSELF: As we've said before a little knowledge can be a bad thing.
CP: The point of this exercise is to show people that just because it's not staring at us every day in the mirror or on our social media alerts, it does not mean it's not really happening. I came up with this thought to leave with you:
"I suppose the real question we need to be asking these parents is: are you making the correct, most-informed decision for your child and her health or are you putting a higher value on your own personal beliefs at the risk of your child's health?"
Great Books if you wish to read more:
1. Pox Americana
2. The Ghost Map
3. The Butchering Art
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