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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Vaccinations

First I'd like to apologize for missing an update Monday. Life got a little hectic around my household. If I know I'm going to have to be in three places at once in the future, I'll plan ahead. Bwah hahaha! Me, planning ahead. For a second I almost believed that.
Todays rant has been building for a while now. There is a group out there telling anyone who will listen not to vaccinate your kids.
Do not listen to these people, they're idiots.
"But Jenny Macarthy says her son got Autism from being vaccinated."
Ugh! I doubt being a Playboy bunny qualifies you as an expert in the field. I would take her advice with a heaping spoonful of doubt and a morsel of skepticism. Yes, I realize her son is has Autism, but there is no link between vaccinating a child and autism. In fact, the one doctor who said there was a possibility of a link was later found to have faked his research and sub-sequentially retracted his paper from the Lancet, a medical journal.
Still, the rumor persists in internet limbo. My guess is that Mrs. Macarthy is looking for someone to blame for her son's condition. Hate to break it to you people, but there times when things happen for no reason whatsoever.
Let me back up for a second. I'm not here to pick on one particular person or single them out.
Organizations like the Lions club and Rotary club have been instrumental in helping to eradicate preventable diseases such as Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Chicken Pox, among other historically fatal illnesses.
The current generation has not had to deal with the debilitating, disfiguring, painful and sometimes deadly diseases. Just because we've been successful in stamping out these illnesses in the US, doesn't mean they're gone. All it takes is one infected person to pass it on.
Years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was a senior in high school, I happened to be one of the first students to contract a strain of German measles. Yes, I'd been inoculated for the main variety of measles. To this day I'm not sure where I contracted it or who passed the illness to me. What I do know is that I spent the week in unconscious oblivion. There's a story in there where I think I woke up on Wednesday to relieve myself and discovered my privates were polka dotted. Scary stuff for a 17 year old.
The following week I returned to an empty school. There were perhaps a dozen students present in a school that numbered in the thousands.
Fast forward a few years. One of my students came up to me to tell me his brother had Chicken pox. Quickly separating him from the other students, I ran down the mental checklist in my head. I was certain I was immune, but apparently there are two strains. I went on to my other job at Disney World and proceeded to unknowingly infect hundreds of thousands of tourists. A few days later I came down with the symptoms. My boss took one look at me and sent me home. Admittedly I slept through that one too.
The point being vaccines are only good against what they are made to prevent. There is no 'one shot cures all'. There are many diseases I missed out on simply because I was inoculated.
By my reckoning I fell ill twice, but missed getting sick from the dozen or so others that are out there.
So do yourself and your loved ones a favor: make sure your shot records are up to date. In this age where people cross the world for a vacation, it only takes one person to smuggle a germ past a border and unleash it on an unsuspecting populace.
Your homework for the week: Read 'The Stand' by Stephen King and see how fast a flu bug can spread.

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