Measles are back. And I blame Sherwood Schwartz.
Back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, “The Brady Bunch” was the rerun show to park your kid in front of while you made dinner. And from that Schwartz-produced show, we have today’s measles mini-epidemic.
For today’s parents, those six kids made measles look fun. A lark. A reason to act really bratty and ring dinner bells as your parents and the family maid were at your beck and call. It was just a rash, right?
No. That’s a sitcom, people. Real measles might be almost fun, and it might also result in blindness, brain damage or death. Those after-effects are proven. By science. The stats.
One thing that hasn’t been proven is the supposed link that autism has to MMR vaccines. Not proven, and please don’t say the name Andrew Wakefield. It’s unbecoming to cite falsified results. If there’s a connection, there would be proof from other sources. There’s not. People have looked.
I’m a firm believer that if you don’t want to get your kid vaccinated, you don’t get to send your kid to public school. You want to be off the grid as far as vaccinations go? Then go ahead. And it’s my right to keep my kids away from people who don’t believe in preventative care for their kids.
Do you really think that modern hygiene is the reason we no longer have this disease around much, and that perfectly coincided with the widespread introduction of measles vaccines? Did hand washing appreciably improve in the late 1970s? Should we thank Ivory soap? No. It’s the vaccines, stupid.
You want to go off the grid? Then go do that. But it’s our right not to be part of your measles-, mumps- and rubella-carrying herd, so please stay the hell off the grid once you do go there.
Turning down a shot does affect my kid and other people’s kids, and grownups, and I could go on. The vaccines work by breaking the chain of contagion, and when you turn down the shots, you are volunteering to be one more link in that chain. Immune-compromised people who cannot get the shots for actual medical reasons would be protected if you would stop being so ignorant of history and human disease.
The shot isn’t perfect, but it is effective, and that’s proven by the fact that we haven’t all had measles, and that a sizable portion the general U.S. population isn’t blind, deaf, brain-damaged or dead as a result of it. Before vaccinations began in the early 1960s, hundreds of people died of measles each year, and more than 45,000 were hospitalized.
This isn’t eczema.
And this shouldn’t be optional.
If your kid isn’t vaccinated and can be, you’re simply not doing your part.
Comments, please. What do you think about parents who choose not to vaccinate? What do you think about parents who do choose to vaccinate?