I had the measles. More than once. It comes in varieties, german measles, red measles, and I suppose plain old regular measles. I caught the measles at school and I brought them home to infect the rest of us. That’s the way the mumps went to, but I was a receiver not a gifter in our house for the latter. Though in truth I got measles from someone’s child just like my sib got the mumps. We lived.
It was in the days of no seat belts and no car seats. We drank red kool-aid made with white sugar and we played in the streets on bikes and roller skates with no reflective gear or helmets. We ate fruit unwashed from trees, shared pickles stuffed with peppermint sticks, shared makeup, clothes, and drank from the same glasses. In the days before hand sanitizer we sped down freeways at a sedate ninety miles and hour and fed our dogs table scraps and somehow we got along.
We also ate meals cooked by our mothers, wore natural fibers, played outside in the fresh air and sunshine in the seasons that California once had. Our fathers had jobs. We had fathers. Homelessness was not as common as street blight and we had expectations of going farther and living longer than our parents. And we did.
Progress is a strange thing. We are now afraid of childhood diseases, we push vaccinations like dope when in fact only unvaccinated children are at risk of infection by the choice of parents who opted out of vaccinating them. But progress has brought us to a point where raising your children is also negotiated through a barrage of regulations, government monitoring and requirements. Number your children at birth , vaccinate them against diseases, and take them to public school in car seats, in cars with seat belts. Discipline and educate them in the prescribed manner or risk being at the least marginalized and in extreme cases fined or arrested.
Back in the days of fist fights instead of mass school shootings, when drugs were sold inside instead of on street corners, when you could get real food from neighborhood stores, whole communities took responsibility for their children. Ms. Maybelle on the corner might snatch you up and march you home if you were feeling yourself too much for her liking. There were fewer cases of childhood cancer and there were fewer wires strung over our heads. Fish were not full of mercury and monsanto had not created monster corn or patented human DNA. We have gained some things and we have lost perhaps just as much in our celebration of the new millenium.
The flury in the media comes not from a potential epidemic spread by unvaccinated children but as another strand of control exerted by a co-opted fourth estate whose main imperative it seems is to stop you from thinking about the things you should by keeping you in a perpetual state of overwhelming fear and need. In states of overwhelm, people taxed to the bone with matters of survival like getting to the job, so the creditors can be paid, and you can save for retirement which always promises to be more grueling than the wage war, and even more so for the first generation predicted not to live as long as their parents; people look to their leaders as iterated by the media to tell them what to do. So the new imperative is to support big pharma and vaccinate to stop the plague of measles. I can’t take it anymore the depth and breath of the stupidity at play in media headlines is more than I can take.
I am not suggesting measel parties though in truth I see little wrong with the idea. It only concerns the parents and unvaccinated children. Between unsupported reports of measles parties, we get reports of schools planning to banish all unvaccinated children. Once again unvaccinated children can only infect other unvaccinated children so their attendance in school only potentially harms the unvaccinated. The plan makes as much sense as a measles party. If vaccinations work then those that have them can sleep well or they could if they quit stopped trying to choose for others.
At the end of the day I am more concerned about unlabeled gmo’s than laws than trying to force people to submit to something they either mistrust or have some belief against. I wish there was more concern for children having enough to eat, decent housing, and useful educations but that’s me.
As an end note I began to question vaccinations when my oldest son went into convulsions and had to rushed to the hospital after a whooping cough vaccination. He survived but the sight of him blue with his eyes rolling back in his head did nothing to bolster my confidence. Nor does the history wrapped around and flowing out of Tuskegee. Not to mention this is the same country that call universal health care Obama care. Further as we strive to sanitize the world we might want to pay attention to climate change, mass inequity, racism, and fight for the right to live while we watch folks mount campaigns for the right to die. I’m just saying.
Great posts. The only issue I have is that the vaccinated can hurt those who can’t get vaccinated, not just those who won’t. Babies under the age of one and children with autoimmune issues, like many cancers, cannot be vaccinated, and if they get measles, they can get gravely ill.
Thanks for reading and I agree with the points you raise. You are correct. I intended the piece as a larger criticism as I am sure you get. Thank you again for passing through here — I appreciate you.
Thank you for writing. I always enjoy your work.