Want to kill your employment chances?

Imagine that you’re not a wealthy, privileged “kid.” Imagine you’re just a regular Joe, or Jane. Imagine that you are going into a job interview and the people interviewing you have looked you up online to see what you’ve been up to. Are you at all concerned with what they’ll find?

I mean, yeah, they’ll probably see those pictures of you from college or high school, the ones where you’re acting the fool and making an ass out of yourself. They probably will find that angry blog post you wrote about your girlfriend. But will they find anything that will prevent you from getting the job?

If you’re a self-professed epidemiologist, and you want to get a job as an epidemiologist, do you think it’s a good idea to spew anti-vaccine, anti-science nonsense? Never mind the misogyny and racism, or the xenophobic language, but what about the anti-vaccine nonsense?

Would you hire someone as an epidemiologist if they said something like this?

“How is it that so many women march on Washington against something the president said on a hot mic 12 years ago, but not against the mandating of a vaccination that causes ovarian failure, paralysis and death? While the drug company Merck bought off feminists to lobby for the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, thousands of women and girls have been killed, paralyzed or sterilized as result of its side-effects.

All that was done in the name of preventing a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer, even though early screening remains far-and-away the most effective prevention. Meanwhile, the vaccine offers a limited duration of immunity and virtual uncertainty that any risk of cervical cancer is reduced.

InfoWars and Daily Mail have more on the story.”

InfoWars? Daily Mail? Those are the source of your scientific information on the HPV vaccine? Jesus H. Christ. There is no credible evidence that the HPV vaccine causes “ovarian failure, paralysis and death,” but there is plenty of evidence that it prevents cancer.

Would you employ someone in an office with people from all sorts of backgrounds if they wrote this?

“That autistic women are much more likely to be dykes is not a huge surprise in light of how Asperger Syndrome has an even more disproportionately higher male-female ratio than the autism spectrum as a whole. This fact is likely due to Asperger’s diagnostic criteria restricting its diagnosis to people with average or above-average IQs. Men vastly outnumber women in above-average intelligence.”

Or this?

“Self-styled victims come in many other forms of identity-defined politics: man-hating feminists, cop-killing Black Lives Matter terrorists, illegal immigrants who think they are entitled to amnesty and Muslims who complain about “Islamophobia” and deny that Islam has anything to do with Islamic terrorist attacks.”

Or this?

“There are third-wave feminists who exaggerate sexual assault statistics, who fabricate claims that men have higher wages than women and who advocate the killing of all white men. There is the Black Lives Matter movement which has proven itself to be a form of social justice cancer similar to feminism – advocating racially segregated dormitories and the murder of police officers (two of whom were actually murdered in New York City by a BLM supporter).”

Yeah, I didn’t think so. Lucky us this kid will never see the inside of an office at a health department or work in any capacity to set policy. Unlucky for us that he has the wealth from his family to allow him to continue spewing this anger and hate for a while instead of flipping burgers at a local burger joint.

The real fight in the autism community is acceptance, equality, and advocacy, not vaccines

While we, the scientists and reality-based people, are fighting back the claims and misinformation of the anti-science and anti-vaccine groups and their activists, there are issues that need addressed in our society when it comes to autistic people. Those issues don’t have to do with complicated concepts like immunology or chemistry. They don’t have to do with abstract concepts like whose feelings get hurt by using “autistic” versus “person with autism.” No. These issues are simple, from a certain point of view.

In the United States, we have these sets of laws at the local, state, and federal level to require employers to pay a certain wage to their employees. We call this the “minimum wage,” and it’s been holding steady at $7.25 at the federal level. States and local governments may require higher minimum wages (e.g. San Francisco has it at $10.55 this year), but all wages have to be at least $7.25 to comply with federal law. Well, not all wages.

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Eight nurses with one neuron between them

If you haven’t heard it by now, here’s the scoop. Eight nurses at a hospital at the IU Health Goshen Hospital in Goshen, Indiana, refused to comply with hospital policy on influenza immunization and were fired. You know where this is going, right? Yeah, you do. The words “Nazi”, “Marxist”, “Forced”, and “Vaccination” are forthcoming.

First, some case law. The US Supreme Court, in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, ruled that the states have the authority to impose compulsory vaccination laws. This decision was upheld in Zucht v. King and even expanded to local town ordinances. Yes, in this Great Republic, filled with Democracy and Equality Under The Law, you must comply with immunization orders from your elected officials and their designated health officers or suffer the consequences. No, no one will hold you down and forcibly immunize you, but you may be put under quarantine, kept away from the vulnerable public, or fined/incarcerated. But, again, no one will hold you down and jab a needle in your arm.

We’re not Nazis.

Second, a word on “discrimination”. Discrimination has to do with selective reprisals or impositions on individuals based on a trait that they can’t help, like their race, ethnicity, place of birth, sexual orientation, color of their skin, etc. If someone says that you, you there in front of your computer or other digital device, cannot enter a building because of any of those traits and those traits alone, you’re being discriminated against. If you are fired because you are Hispanic, then you have a good case for discrimination.

Now, onto the nurses. These eight nurses were told that influenza vaccines were going to be required as a condition of their employment at the hospital. They were not going to be held down and vaccinated. None of their families were going to be dragged away to an internment camp. They were just going to be let go, free to find another job as nurses. (I hear there is quite the demand.) So what did the nurses do? They refused to get the flu vaccine.

They didn’t refuse because of an allergy or a medical condition that prevented them from being immunized. No. They refused because of their religion. This is what one of the nurses had to say about her dismissal:

““We all have different faith walks,” said Gingerich, who describes herself as a nondenominational Christian. “I feel like in my personal faith walk, I have felt instructed not to get a flu vaccination, but it’s also the whole matter of the right to choose what I put in my body and what I feel God wants me to put in versus someone mandating what I put in. It is a very big issue for me.” Gingerich was horrified that she was forced to choose between her beliefs and her job, but ultimately she said she knew what the right path was for her. “I feel like our religious freedoms are being challenged and not honored in a country that supposedly has these freedoms,” she said.”

Was she being told not to practice her religion? No. Was she not able to go to the church of her choice whenever she wanted to? No. Was she being forced to worship a different deity than the one she worships now? No. She was just asked to get a flu vaccine. A [expletive deleted] flu vaccine!

If you’re not familiar with the work of nurses, they play a critical role in the care of patients. They take orders from a healthcare provider and administer care, often in the form of medication. That is, they inject sick patients with medicine to make them feel better. So what did another vaccine-refusing nurse have to say about her situation? This:

“Your body has its natural responses to fight off certain viruses and infections, and if you continually inoculate your body with something that’s not even guaranteed from preventing you from getting it, why would you do it?”

The same can be said of any medicine; none of them are guaranteed to work. Why would you do it? Because the flu vaccine reduces the chances of you getting the flu, something that can be deadly for many people, especially hospitalized patients. What does this nurse have to add? This:

“As a nurse, my passion was to be the best advocate I could be for my patients. They knew I could be there for them even if sometimes it caused a rippling of the waters, but as a nurse there was no advocate for me except for several physicians who attempted to go to bat for our cause, but they were denied. So, what message is this sending to the public if this institution shoots down their own patient advocates?”

The message that this hospital is sending is that it cannot pussyfoot around when it comes to protecting its patients from influenza. If that takes firing nurses that will not comply — for whatever reason — then so be it.

And there is the hospice nurse, someone who works with incredibly frail people:

“Schrock believes that there are other steps people can take to stay healthy rather than getting a flu shot, like taking natural vitamins, eating well and exercising. The last time she had a flu shot was about 30 years ago.
“I just learned more and more about natural healing,” she said. “We’ve been using natural products for a good 20 years, and that’s the way we believe healing takes place.”
Schrock said her decision to decline the vaccination was, in part, “God-led.”
“I’m a pretty quiet, spiritual person, and for me, it was a big decision, but it was something that was very meaningful for me not to have in my body,” she said.”

Excuse me? There are other steps… Like vitamins and eating well? I’m not even going to touch the religiosity of her statements. I’ll touch the stupidity. There is no evidence that eating well and exercising prevents you from getting the flu. Washing your hands thoroughly, wearing a mask when working with people who are sick, those are evidence-based ways to prevent the flu. But a nurse recommending vitamins and exercise instead of the flu vaccine? Really?

The nurses continued to display their lack of science knowledge in the comments section of the article:

Name that vaxlie!

Can’t even spell “Guillain-Barre“, a 1 in 1,000,000 reaction. Shameful.

Also telling were the comments to the news article.

I don’t like to mention names, but, in this instance, I’m all for naming names. Thank God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, that Sue Schrock, Joyce Gingerich, and Ethel Hoover are no longer nurses at that hospital. Their inability to think critically and in an evidence-based way put a lot of people in danger, in my opinion. I mean, the all-or-nothing fallacy about the vaccine, really?

And the commenters? They said these things in public.

Others covering this:
Skewed Distribution
Harpocrates Speaks

You could work somewhere else, you know?

Some of you may not know this, but I used to work at a hospital in a previous life. Even though I wasn’t providing direct patient care – and mostly just did mop-up work, if you know what I mean – I was required by the hospital to be immunized against hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Why? Because I could get hepatitis B from an accident with a contaminated item or surface, because I could contract measles and spread it around before I had any symptoms, because I could do the same with pertussis (whooping cough), and because, well, I’m not an asshole.

Seriously, I’m not.

Now, I know that Seth Mnookin was once criticized for saying that word in a conversation about vaccines. I’m not afraid, either. I’ll spell it out for you:
People who have no obvious reason to not be vaccinated and work in healthcare and refuse to be immunized are assholes.
You cannot possibly work around people who are sick to begin with and not do your part to prevent more infections. You just can’t!

These idiots in New Zealand don’t understand this. Even after healthcare workers have been infected with measles, they’re still spreading fear about the MMR vaccine, a vaccine which could save lives. What are they saying?

“It’s obviously important for St John Ambulance to take steps to minimise the risk to patients who could be particularly vulnerable to developing complications if they contract measles. It is a sensible precaution to quarantine staff who might have been exposed to measles so they cannot inadvertently pass the disease on to other staff or patients.” Smith says.
“However, I hope that St John will respect the human rights of its employees when planning a vaccination campaign and ensure that paramedics and other staff will be able make a free and informed choice about whether or not to be vaccinated.”

For crying out loud! Yes, they have a human right to not be strapped down and vaccinated against their will, but we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about people who want to work in healthcare having to do what they must to keep the people they’re working for safe. If they don’t want to take the vaccines, then they also have the God-given right to go work at some other goddam place.

Enough with the bullshit, already. Get the goddamn shot.

Yes, I feel better now.