I really don’t have a problem with anti-vaxxers. We live in a country where you are very much free to make your own stupid decisions. Just this morning, on my way to work, I saw some stupid kid riding a motorcycle in and out of traffic. That was his choice to make. We also live in a society where there is a rule of law, and, if that kid were to hurt anyone due to his incredibly stupid actions, then the law would deal with him and make him pay the consequences.
Likewise, you are free to refuse any and all vaccines for yourself and for those in your legal custody. You can go on assuming that you live in a bubble and that your lifestyle — whatever that may be — will keep you safe from communicable disease and from giving those diseases to really vulnerable people. In fact, I will go to war, if necessary, to protect your right to make stupid decision. No, the government should not be in the business of getting all up in our business.
Unfortunately, left to our own devices, we will make some incredibly stupid choices, like not vaccinating against measles and contributing to the eradication of the measles virus, like we did with smallpox. (If we got better than 95% of the world’s population immunized against measles, in one generation’s time, we’d be done with it. No more measles vaccination would have to be given after that. This is the real anti-vax stance.) So we have to help people along into making the right decision for themselves and their community.
Still, there will be those who will lie and cheat their way out of a societal responsibility, like the draft-dodgers did, like the people who get on the road during a weather emergency, and like those who price-gouge during an emergency. So the government — at all three levels — has no choice but to get all up in people’s business in order to promote the public welfare. If you’re going to make use of those things for which we pay taxes, then you’re going to have to follow the rules about vaccinating and other such things. Period.
Even with that in mind, I really don’t take it personal when a member of my own family decides that their child has autism because of vaccines, that they will no longer vaccinate, that I’m in the pockets of Big Pharma because I point out the bias in their thinking, and that they don’t wish to speak to me about anything ever again. I really don’t.
What I do take personally is the continued effort from anti-vaccine groups and people to misinform the public. They continue to lie and present distorted “evidence” that vaccines are the ultimate evil. They will say almost anything to scare people away from vaccines. To them, vaccines are a method to depopulate the Earth or part of some massive conspiracy to make people ill in order to line the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies.
Then they will take it one step further and prey on the uninformed, forcing them through fear to make the same horrible and dangerous decisions to not only do away with immunization but to consult quacks and frauds for serious healthcare decisions. That’s what I take personal. That’s what makes me incredibly angry.
Why do I take it so personal?
I take it personal because I care too damn much about people on this planet. Even with 7 billion of us milling about, I still care for each and every single life… So much so that I have made it my life’s work to look after people. Public Health fits me like a glove, and I am very much incensed that these bozos are actively trying to bring it all down.
To be honest, the most frustrating thing of it all is that I will not stoop to their level. I will not lie. I will not cheat. I will not twist the data to convince anyone of my point of view. I will not accuse anyone of anything until I have the evidence to back it up. And I will most definitely not raise anyone to a level of a deity, i.e. worship them. It’s frustrating because it would make my work easier. It’s so easy to lie.