Short, maybe–talking vaccines again.

I’m alone in the house. I haven’t been waking up and immediately medicating. I think that is a lot of the reason I am feeling so on edge and irritated. I have so many mixed feelings about medicating. Taking pot makes me feel good and surely anything that lets a bad person like me feel good is bad. So I dither and snap at my family like a big jerk-face. I feel sad that my kids and my husband both occasionally say, “Mom have you had your medication?” (S–just like your mom!)

I needed a break. I haven’t been getting alone time when the babysitter has been here. I’ve been staying in the house and working and that… it doesn’t lower my stress level. Well, it shortens my to-do list, which lowers my stress, but I’m left with all the day to day stuff.

I’m not sure what I’m cranky about. People are just being people and I’m having big feelings about it. I know a lot of pro-vaccine people who turn my stomach with how they talk about non-vaccinating people. They will always claim, “Oh I’m not talking about the people who can’t vaccinate.” Well–who decides what is a good enough reason to forgo?

I have feelings.

I vaccinate my children. I have looked at the science and I decided it was a wise choice for my family given our habits. I did not fucking vaccinate because other assholes want my herd immunity. Fuck right off.

I really don’t know why I care about this topic as much as I do. I don’t want to tell people they must vaccinate. I don’t want to tell people they shouldn’t vaccinate. I think the science is pretty clear that mostly vaccines are a mostly good idea. (No, we don’t vaccinate for flu. Even though lots of people die of it. Unless I was going to West Africa soon I wouldn’t volunteer for Ebola vaccination either. The flu shot is not reliable. I’m not a guinea pig.)

But I recognize a much broader swath of “It’s ok if you don’t vaccinate” than most pro-vaccine people.

Mostly, I think this isn’t something we should legislate. I think people should be allowed to make bad choices. I think people should be allowed to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. I don’t think seat belts should be mandatory for adults.

If you want to kill yourself, well that is up to you.

I don’t believe in protecting people from themselves. I see it as highly problematic. Where does the nanny state end?

Most of my friends will not let their kids play in the front yard because they are afraid. Want to know what they are afraid of? It’s rarely cars or kidnappings. They are afraid someone will call CPS. I’m not the only paranoid one. I hear the same frightened conversation from lots of people.

I think this is a fucked up situation.

I understand that the government is finally starting to understand that they did not do a good enough job of protecting abused kids in the past (I’m a statistic on this since I pressed charges against my father) but the pendulum is swinging all crazy. We aren’t letting children learn responsibility gradually. This is bad.

I’m interested in comments on vaccine positions if you can state them without ever saying what you think people “should” do. I hate the word should. Try phrasing like: “In my ideal world people would….” “If I got to be the boss of everyone I would enforce….” I think an ideal schedule is…”

Should triggers the hell out of me and then I won’t have a conversation with you I’ll just be angry with you. And that’s kinda silly.

To me, there is a certain level at which this is a statistics argument and a much deeper argument beyond that. I remember questions on OkCupid like, “Would you kill yourself to save ten people? A hundred people? Ten thousand people?”

To me, most of the you gotta you gotta you gotta vaccinate argument usually sounds like, “YOU PERSONALLY WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF TEN THOUSAND PEOPLE IF YOU DON’T VACCINATE!!!! HOW CAN YOU LIVE WITH YOURSELF?!?!?!!?!?!?! YOU DISGUSTING PERSON, YOU!”

I’ve rarely read a more nuanced pro-vaccine position. Which is why I never ever tell my anti-vax friends that they should vaccinate.

When people say that anti-vaxxers can’t be convinced by science I say… I’ve never read an attempt that wasn’t dripping with scorn, derision, and the assumption that the target audience is stupid and inferior. Y’all fuckwads almost ensured *I* didn’t vaccinate.

But I know what kinds of wacky international travel I want to drag my kids through so I vaccinated. I’m not risking them. I want them too much. I have put so much time and effort into them that I am not risking lose them over something that science can help me with.

See: an entirely selfish reason to vaccinate. I think this would be an ideal tactic for pro-vaccine people to employ. Stop yelling that it will be all the anti-vaxxers fault if VPD (vaccine preventable diseases) happen. Each individual person bears equal spiritual and legal responsibility for EVERY PERSON WHO GETS SICK. That’s how this shit is phrased.

So much for your side being the side with calm, cool logic. Yes, lots of people have contracted Measles and they’ve had the horrible experience of being ill. None have died. I sound cavalier. I know I depend highly on the wonderful modern medicine we have.

I fucking vaccinate. Don’t give me shit.

I think we are a society who expects too much safety from life. That’s not how it works. People get sick. People die. The Pertussis vaccine lessens the severity of the disease but it doesn’t prevent it. (I have my damn Pertussis vaccine-I’ve even gotten the fucking available boosters.) I just…

I’m not going to get hysterical and say that the first person victimized by a virus (talk about the ultimate in victim blaming) is legally or financially responsible for the further illness of individuals.

That’s like saying it is all my fault my father did something (never knew for sure what) to the daughters of the woman he dated after my mom left him. I didn’t prosecute when I was 3 years old so it is all my fault he hurt other kids–right?

How much responsibility do I bear for not reporting my later rapists? Paul? Dan? Kevin? They were serial rapists. I’ve heard from other victims. I’m outside my window of opportunity for prosecution. I chose to let it go because I thought there was a lower than 2% chance that I would win in court. And I couldn’t go through another failed prosecution. That was devastating. (To be fair, the only reason my father’s prosecution failed is because he killed himself after confessing to everything. Still super hard.) He wasn’t declared guilty in a court of law. It sucked.

To me, the way pro-vaccine people yell at anti-vax people feels an awful lot like the people who have told me that I am to blame when my rapists rape other people.

Viruses do what viruses do. Rapists do what rapists do. People can only do the best they can to protect themselves. You don’t get to demand that other people jump through the same hoops to be protected from bad things. People get to pick their own risk profile.

But at what point do we (as a society) decide that, say, deciding to not vaccinate your children necessitates home schooling them or putting them in one of a few segregated private schools so that your children are not allowed to infect the general population? I think that’s different. I think that society is allowed to say, “Your choices have consequences.”

I think that is fair. Not nice… but fair.

Maybe. Not sure.

Should Disneyland have a sensor at the front that they run across everyones forehead before they come in? Temperature above 99.5 and you can’t come in unless you have a doctors note verifying that you have a higher than average basal temperature?

Not sure.

One thought on “Short, maybe–talking vaccines again.

  1. K

    “I’ve never read an attempt that wasn’t dripping with scorn, derision, and the assumption that the target audience is stupid and inferior. ”

    I’m ready to turn off feeds from a handful of people right now for this exact reason. I’m sick of the condescension and the vitriol and the downright hysteria.

    Reply

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