In the news lately has been a measles outbreak. Some 100+ cases linked to a start in California.
Now The Media have seized on it as a Big Deal that some folks are not vaccinating their kids. Fine. But now Fox has had a couple of shows with all sorts of high handed moralizing about how we must force parents to vaccinate their kids for the good of the community and other kids. Um “Logic Fault!”.
I expect this kind of thing from CNN (who has done some of it, though with more high moral snobbery and less moralized shouting…) but Fox? WHERE is your sense of liberty and freedom, folks?
The Logic Fault
The thing that shouted at me, but seems lost on Talking Heads with Opinions, is the simple fact that if a cohort of 90% of the kids have been vaccinated against measles, then the “at risk kids” are exactly the ones NOT vaccinated.
Either that, or the vaccine does not work, so it’s a load of crap anyway.
Yes, I know, some vaccinations ‘wear off’ over time, so some forty-something folks might be at risk. But THEY are already at risk, by definition.
So which is it? Vaccination works, so the ones at risk are the ones who have chosen, for their own reasons, not to vaccinate? Or it doesn’t work, so everyone is at some risk, and it is a bit daft to be forcing folks to inject foreign stuff into their bodies?
(And yes, I know the “herd immunity” argument. So have the ‘forty somethings’ get a booster and keep the under 9 month ones at home until vaccinated IF an outbreak develops. You don’t need to take a 6 month old to Disneyland… just as easy to do those things as to have Yet More Government Mandates)
I have a couple of biases here.
First off, a friend was put in a wheel chair by polio vaccine. She died a couple of years ago after a long, sometimes painful, and often difficult life. It ought to be the person or their parents who choose to take that risk, not a law forcing it. Many vaccines have side effects. Forcing people to do what YOU think is rational makes YOU responsible, especially when it goes wrong. The ‘bad reaction’ rate is often far higher than folks think.
If you do not own your own body, what do you own? Yes, I’m also against forced blood alcohol tests and any kind of extraction of part of your body by force for any purpose. Why? Simply that first question. If I have no jurisdiction over what is inside my skin, I am at best a pampered slave to someone else. There is no liberty. They own my blood, guts, bones, skin and all; I’m just allowed to use it at their discretion…
I had a couple of neighbors who had what I thought were a bit silly beliefs, but it was THEIR belief. They did not want to go against God’s Will or Nature or some such, so tended to eat “pure foods” and vegetarian non-GMO, no pesticides, etc. etc. Now I may think that “over the top”, but it is THEIR choice to make. They did not want mercury injected into their children, so didn’t ‘go there’. Now I may think the amount of mercury is trivial and not an issue (especially now that it is gone from many vaccines), BUT, it is their decision to make. Now, IFF they are right, there is a reservoir of folks who were not damaged by “whatever” from which population can recover. IFF they are wrong, they are happy to be wrong and I don’t care. Where is the “do no harm”? In just leaving them alone.
I vaccinated both my kids with MMR. Both are fine. Was that a ‘wise choice’ or just ‘dumb luck’ (since very early MMR puts a big load on poorly developed immune systems and has been connected with potential issues, that have not been completely put to bed, IMHO.) Now if it IS an issue, we have everyone exposed so no ‘control’ to measure against. If some folks opt out, we have two populations that can be compared. I’m fine with that. My bias is to think that three vaccinations spread over a time in a slightly older infant would be easier on them, and less risk to all, but didn’t care enough to push it 26 years ago. Now I likely would. Little risk in spreading them out, and 12 months vs 9 months is not a huge risk increase either.
One Size Fits All doesn’t. Never have seen it work out well. So I’d rather live in a world of diversity. More robust society and more robust lives that way.
In particular, each of us is a unique biological entity. “One man’s meat is another man’s poison” is very true. So, say, I have a clear family history of “issues” of allergy or sensitivity. I’m justified in being much more careful about what gets injected into me, or my kids. The spouse must avoid horses. Want to inject her with horse serum based drugs or vaccines? No, thank you. Insist? HELL NO, no thank you. I have “issues” with several plants. Yes, I play “20 questions” about most foods, drinks, and injections… “Is corn starch used in that capsule?” Now once you start to “mandate” injections and pills, you start killing “me and mine”, since substantially never will Central Control have allowed for all the various sensitivities and reactions of everyone. Notice how many side effects show up in drug commercials? That’s one example.
So it is not only a question of individual liberty and control of their own body, it is also a question of who knows best what is right for folks in my family. We live in our skins and know more about them than anyone else.
The Paranoid Corner
Now I don’t believe this will happen at all. I’m listing it only out of a sense of completion.
It is important to NOT have 100% of everyone injected with ANYTHING. IFF there is a generic failure of production (or a deliberate buggering of it), you risk a 100% loss of population. Anything from failure to completely sterilize the virus, to a mutant infecting it, to a Crazy Prince Of England wanting to sterilize or kill everyone, to Muslim Nutcakes wanting to kill off Infidels. This could, in very low probably, happen. When that happens, you want an unexposed cohort who can keep things from total collapse and ruin.
I’d be less willing to list this as a possible if it were not for the Crazy Prince
Charles Phillip having said he wants to kill off most of the people as a virus, if the Jihadis were not trying to kill off the infidels, and if production where always perfect and killer viruses never mutated. But since all those ARE true, they ought to be listed…
Diversity is your friend.
UpdateNote that I changed Charles to Phillip. While Prince Charles shares many of his Daddy’s nutty beliefs about population elimination, he was not the one of the virus quote. See comments for more detail.
I have no idea why Measles has become the News Du Jour. I had them as a kid (both kinds). Just about every kid in town did. And contrary to the Scare Story Du Jour saying that up to 50% of kids can die, we had no such statistic in my town. The Wiki lists a 30% mortality for immunocompromised folks, but not for normal folks. They list a 1 in 100,000 cases of a usually lethal complication, and I think that is closer to the actual rate.
Those rates coming from long before the existence of modern treatment and antivirals. I’d expect it to be closer to 1 in a million now. (In any case, lower than your risk of death from the drive to / from the doctor’s office and sitting in a room full of sick kids for a few hours to get your shot…)
To me, this is looking one heck of a lot like a “Scare Story to Increase Authority Power”, and not much at all like a real issue. Total US cases is about 100 ish. There were more than that in my home town when I was a kid (and I was one of them… most of my 30 kid school class was out with measles at about the same time…) So we are to toss individual choice, liberty, and responsibility out the window to protect against fear of something no worse than total risk in an ordinary year in ONE small farm town of a few thousand folks back in the ’50s? (that were a very pleasant time…) Really? How many folks died in car crashes in this same couple of months? How many suicides from too much crushing authority driving people around the bend? How many were shanked in prison, tossed there for stupid things like smoking a joint that harmed no one? How many died in wars this week, often with US participation, funding, or advocacy? In all that, 100 kids with measles, who will universally recover if the stats are correct, that’s worth a good panic and yet more Nanny State Mandates? More power grab to the Central Authorities? Really?
To me, the whole measles story ought to rank just behind reporting the status of road stripe paint in Texas and the state of disease among illegal immigrants. Both of them put more people at risk of death and injury… Heck, I’d wager more death and injury have come from the process of arresting folks for drug use. So maybe we ought to stop arresting folks to improve community health…