You know I don’t normally turn to this blog for political commentary. I tend to reserve that for my Facebook account. But lately I’ve been looking at an issue that’s sweeping the nation in a very *very* negative light. I’m blown away by the venom put forth by supposedly educated and enlightened individuals, and the more I look at it the more I see a witch hunt and less a debate at all.
I’m of course talking about the measles epidemic and subsequent vaccine fight that has flooded all aspects of the news.
I was already looking into both sides when I got into an argument with someone over the matter. This made me look into it even deeper than I already was. And what I found was even nastier than the argument.
I mean it’s just plain nasty.
I need you to understand the background I’m coming from here. I live in Amish country, and when it comes to disease outbreaks my community was barely touched by swine flu, or the flu, or really anything. It’s not true that the Amish don’t vaccinate at all, but it is true they barely vaccinate period. When my own children were small, I lived in an area of Georgia that was just as rural with just the same kind of environment. My children played outside, got messy, muddy, and were the healthiest little buggers on the planet. When chicken pox came through town, I actually worried they weren’t going to get it because in that I’m pretty old school – and it’s an old school type of thinking I was *taught* in school. Because, you see, the chicken pox is a weak form of the small pox. So when it came around in Ye Olden Days, before vaccines, you wanted your children to get it… because it gave them a resistance to the big, deadly sucker.
My children were vaccinated with the bare minimum they had to have. It wasn’t a status symbol, to show that I was a strong single parent or that I had money (which I didn’t. I didn’t even see the child support I’d voluntarily had reduced to $25 a week, hoping I’d see some support now and again.). It wasn’t that I was afraid of what was in the vaccine or that I didn’t care. It was because the doctors set up the schedule, and they spaced things out. And my kids haven’t caught a single one of these deadly things everyone is screaming about. Neither did any of the children around them.
I was educated on diseases by my health care professionals AND growing up in school. In one of those sessions, in elementary school, my class was shown a clip from an old news reel from the time the whooping cough vaccine was finally developed. There was an epidemic in our country, you see, and people were literally coughing themselves to death. In the clip – I will never forget it – a nurse was holding a small child upside down to help them clear their lungs. Phlegm was just pouring out of them to the ground as they coughed. It was a brief clip – short to spare us kids in an age where violence in games happened only in Cops and Robbers – and it was gone… but not forgotten. I’ll never forget that poor child.
Somewhere and somehow between that day and today, the health care environment has changed. And I’m speaking from experience when I say it has changed for the worse. Doctors don’t want to talk to you anymore. They don’t want to explain your ailments, or discuss what’s in recommended medicine, consider alternatives, or get to know you at all. They talk to you like you don’t need to know, are too stupid to know, and (in some of my experiences) like you’re a small child that could never hope to understand. More and more lately I’ve also been hearing the thing that has plagued me for years, ever since I was treated like a pile of stupid shit by a clearly sexist male foreign military doctor: Lose weight, drink more water. Even if you’ve lost weight and have blood streaming out your nose (which I’ve had), you’re told… lose weight. Drink water.
My complaints about what I have seen and how I’ve been treated are echoed over all parts of the country by people of all walks of life – well, except for two exceptions. One was a politician’s wife and the other has a rich daddy. This means they don’t count, because how they’re going to be handled is biased from the start.
It is actually taught in some medical schools, including one I worked at briefly, that the common folk need not have anything explained to them at all. Not a thing. Future doctors and nurses are told they are the ones with the schooling, they are the only ones deserving the information. DO NOT PASS THE INFORMATION ON.
Meanwhile folks, especially parents, want information. They can’t get it from the people they’re supposed to trust, so they’re turning to other ways and means. And they’re finding information. They’re passing that information on to their friends. The movement is growing. And now our healthcare is divided into, seemingly, two camps.
The first camp is conducted of people from all walks of life, especially doctors, who are for vaccines and against any sort of self treatment, awareness, or anything that doesn’t involve going to the doctor’s office.
The second camp is conducted of people from all walks of life, INCLUDING doctors, who are against vaccines. They self treat, try to be aware of what they put into their bodies, and only go to the doctor’s office when they feel it’s necessary.
There’s a third group of people. I happen to be in this group. We come from all walks of life, believe in vaccines *up to a point*, self treat, try to be aware of what we put into our bodies, feel people should be educated on the matter, and are willing to go to the doctor… we guess. Even though the second camp is fully aware we’re not in their camp, the first camp lumps us into the second camp because we’re careful about vaccines. It’s all or nothing with the first camp.
The vitriol I’ve witnessed between camp 1 and camp 2 is getting to the point of ludicrous, all because of the measles outbreak. Well it was already full of angst before this spotted bomb hit it. And this is what I’m seeing as someone who is standing on the outside, in the ignored camp 3.
Camp 2 does not believe in vaccines because for a while some of the vaccines listed such side effects as autism. Vaccines contain aluminum and other ingredients that, when you do your research, you realize is pretty fucking scary and potentially damaging. They believe in letting their children play outside and build a strong immune system the natural way. In a lot of cases they’re careful of their diet, making sure things are balanced to its optimum. They all claim to have strong healthy children. They probably do.
Camp 1 believes in vaccines and poo poo any evidence of the side effects. Many that I’ve come across don’t even know what thermisol is, and really they don’t care why Camp 2 would object to anything that contains mercury being put into a body. They go to the doctor for just about everything… and unfortunately I can’t say anything else about them or their lifestyle because beyond that they haven’t shown any evidence of anything I can see. I could repeat some of the propaganda folks have put out about them, I suppose, but that’s not first hand experience. So. Sorry.
Camp 1, the media, and officials in our government have been using the measles debate to really put pressure on Camp 2. And this is where it gets stupid nasty. I’ve seen a lot of articles putting Camp 2 down. If you’re a smart little goat, you can recognize the propaganda right off the bat. I mean it’s not hard. Just ask yourself, is this a hard fact containing evidence of research with a way to check it myself? No? Then… it’s probably propaganda, especially when the “information” contains things like judgments of lifestyle or the quality of someone’s breath.
The folks of Camp 2, naturally, have been defending their position. Some of them get pretty nasty, as well. But many do their best to respond logically with real facts. I read their articles, both agreeing and disagreeing depending on what they’re talking about, and uh… haven’t really seen any judgments against Camp 1 as much as Camp 1 against Camp 2. Unless you count “back off, it’s my life” as a judgment.
So in the past 2 weeks here’s a list of things I’ve seen both camps do and say (off the top of my head):
- Camp 2 doesn’t care for their children.
- Camp 2 cares about their children, but they’re all morons who are spreading lies to one another and know not of what they speak.
- Camp 2 doesn’t care about society, just their own convenience. It’s inconvenient to go get shots, that’s why they don’t.
- Camp 2 refuses vaccines because it’s a status symbol to refuse what some people desperately need.
- Camp 2 is full of ignorant, filthy foreign savages and it’s their fault we have measles in the first place.
- Camp 2 is full of ignorant, filthy American hippies and it’s their fault we have measles…
- Camp 2 should be imprisoned for not vaccinating their children.
- Camp 2 should be segregated away from society. As a former friend put it, ‘I don’t want my kids around their little shits.’
- At this point I’m tired of finding my research and hyperlinking. You can find the stuff easily yourself.
- Camp 2 should pay a huge fine for not vaccinating to “pay damages”.
- Camp 2 should have their children taken away.
- Camp 2 just needs to be educated, because they’re getting the science *all wrong*!
- Camp 2 is being lied to.
- Vaccines do NOT cause autism EVER!
- It’s Camp 2’s responsibility to protect our children and maintain herd immunity. Don’t they know there are immunocompromised children out there. What if their child sneezes somewhere close to one??
- “Because someone with the measles was in my doctor’s office the day I brought in my 2 week old for their shots, my child is ‘Schrodinger’s Baby’ until we know if they’re going to get measles. My child’s life is in danger because of this, and it’s all of the unvaccinated people’s fault everywhere.” (No, I am SO not making that ridiculous one up.)
- Some of us chose not to vaccinate and our children died.
- Okay sure Camp 2 is reading up on stuff, but what do they know… nothing because they aren’t doctors and nurses. Only doctors and nurses understand a medical journal.
- Oh, come on, autism isn’t the end of the WORLD y’all… (Again, not making up this stupid shit.)
- Because of Camp 2, measles is going to kill us all. So will chicken pox, apparently.
- Camp 1 doesn’t care for their children.
- Camp 1 might care for their children, but they only care for convenience. It’s more convenient to pump your body full of chemicals than it is to have a balanced, healthy lifestyle.
- We do not vaccinate our children because of the medical information we read online at the National Center for Disease Control among other places.
- See this article for a court awarded vaccine induced autism case….? They can TOO cause autism!
- Some of us looked into this situation for years before deciding not to vaccinate.
- Some of us vaccinated and the side effects made our children very ill and in some cases ended their life.
- Some of our children legitimately can’t be immunized but you don’t see us threatening YOUR children and life…
- Religion! (Okay I’ve not seen that anywhere except as a recommendation to others in Camp 2 to legally not vaccinate, but Camp 1 said that’s why so it must be true.)
- Some of us are preppers.
- Some of us learned about a certain whistleblower…
- Some of us noticed when the side effect “autism” was removed from the listing AFTER the whistleblower came forward….
- It is not our responsibility to do what we feel harms our children for your personal comfort and moral stance. Protecting YOUR child is not our responsibility.
- Camp 1 is being lied to.
- Vaccines aren’t 100% reliable, you know. If they were, you wouldn’t be cowering behind locked doors against us now would you?
- Most of us doubt the method of vaccine testing performed by the companies that want to sell their vaccine and would prefer it if such testing were done by an outside company that has no idea whose vaccines they’re testing – being as lobbying and bribes are real things.
- (From a pediatrician who was actually in Camp 1) “MEASLES IS JUST A FUCKING RASH!”
- Camp 1 can raise their little shits how they want, and we’ll raise our kids how we want. Land of the free, indeed.
- For about 2 weeks after being vaccinated, your child is “shedding” the vaccine which makes him or her a greater threat to any immune compromised child than ever my healthy child could hope to. It might also be important to note that you and everyone living with your child are also a threat for those 2 weeks.
- I’m tired of trying to be logical about this with Camp 1. They’re never going to listen, so let me just say “Fuck off”.
Through it all… all of this that I have read… I have only found one article by Camp 1 that maintained an effort to back up facts and logically explain why Camp 2 is fundamentally in the wrong. When it comes to Camp 1, it’s straight angst and ignorant finger-pointing. I’m waiting for the Nazi trucks to arrive and pick up everyone in Camp 2 any day now.
The fact is, this isn’t about health. I’m beginning to wonder if it ever was. I know what happens when a health issue is valid regarding something like this – or at least, what used to happen. Campaigns to educate are put out there… kind of like the way I was educated as a child and again as a new mother. Facts are put out there. People are reached on their level.
Instead, what I’m seeing is a bunch of finger-pointing at the new bad guy (TM). And this new bad guy is being used as another legislation tool. Have you heard of some of the measures that are being proposed in our government? Things like that fine I listed, children being taken away, and enforced segregation. Mostly the fines, though. Yep, it’s all about the fines. You know, to pay for the damages not vaccinating has done to society on the whole.
All about health? It’s quickly been turned into being all about money. It probably was about money from the start. And more of our rights as parents are being flushed away by this vitriol. But everyone is too caught up in spreading the vitriol to care.
Do you remember being allowed to play in the park as a kid? Letting your own children go to the park? Play outside? Yeah. There are kids in my neighborhood. I’ve *never* seen them. I only know they exist because someone told me they were there.
Even after going through the information Camp 2 put out, I still would vaccinate my children – on a spread out schedule of course. Which is an excellent and, to me, healthy compromise. But no one wants to compromise here, or reassess what’s in the vaccines that’s got those parents so frightened, or really do anything that actually solves the problem.
And as for autism, which appears to be the biggest part of Camp 2’s debate? Doctors thought my son was mildly autistic when he was small. Not the end of the world? Only a total idiot could say that. Only a selfish bastard would suggest a child possibly being permanently crippled in any capacity is preferable to the risk of them getting, of all things, the measles. I can’t begin to articulate the job loss, time loss, inability to find childcare that could manage him, his stunted intelligent development, inability to integrate with other children, and how all of this crippled the quality of our life while I struggled as a single parent.
All of this while strangers in town constantly got into my business, I was targeted by local government, and other factors. And… yeah. I know how you feel Camp 2. I agree with Camp 2 100%.
I would still vaccinate my children. But they’re MY children. I would let my children play with an unvaccinated child. I wouldn’t judge another based on their parenting decisions. Land of the free. Screw you, Camp 1.