There used to be a time when diseases that are now vaccine-preventable used to be, well, non-preventable because there were no vaccines for them. Because we made it far as a species, it is the sincerely held belief from some anti-vaccine people that we don’t need vaccines. That, or they think that vaccine-preventable diseases are not deadly.
Take, for example, chicken pox (varicella). Before the vaccine was introduced in 1995, about 100 people or so died form it, and over 11,000 were hospitalized per year from chickenpox. In a country of several hundred million, 100 deaths don’t seem like a lot. You probably wouldn’t call chickenpox “deadly” at that rate. But try telling that to those 100 families. See if they agree with you.
Since the introduction of the chickenpox vaccine, the number of deaths per year from it in the United States has dropped to less than 5. Let that sink in for a little bit. Each year, 95 people who would have otherwise died from chickenpox are alive to be productive in society, to hug and love and be with those who love them. Let THAT sink in a little.
Ah, but no! Anti-vaccine advocates will go as far as organize chickenpox parties to expose their children to the virus. Willingly or not, they want to “up” that number from 5 to 10 or 20 or, why the [expletive] not, all the way back to status quo at 100 if we do away with the vaccine altogether. I think they do it because they are not the ones explaining to those 100 families why their loved ones died FROM A PREVENTABLE DISEASE.
That is, IF they believed that chickenpox kills. Perhaps because chickenpox deaths are rare, there are those in the anti-vaccine camp who believe that chickenpox doesn’t kill.
The person on top was trying to show the person on the bottom that, yes, in fact, chickenpox does kill. It killed before, and it can kill again if we stop vaccinating. The person on the bottom would have none of it. The person on the bottom questioned the mental health of the other person for even suggesting that chickenpox kills. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the degree of denial that people who have swallowed anti-vaccine tropes hook, line, and sinker will go to.
In their version of reality, chickenpox doesn’t kill.
In the rest of the world’s version of reality, chickenpox not only kills. It can leave a child with all sorts of complications. It’s even worse for adults, causing swelling of the brain and other problems. In their version of reality, vaccines didn’t cause the >95% reduction in the number of deaths. In the real world, however, study after study, observational and experimental, has shown that the vaccine is nothing short of a gift from God.
In the real world, we had to explain to this family why chickenpox took their child.