I really don’t have a problem with anti-vaxxers

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.

And now, a rant…

It turned out that a group of “pro-life”/”anti-abortion” advocates showed up in my town to protest the local Planned Parenthood facilities. There were dozens of them on the town square, near the facility, with all sorts of banners and images, protesting the “murders” of “children” being performed at the facility.
The joke was on them, however. The director of the Planned Parenthood challenged donors – of which I am one – to donate a dollar per protester. The more protesters showed up, the more money PP would get. Well, I had to put out a lot of cash because a lot of them showed up.
That really got me thinking. By one count, there were over 500 protesters on one day at the town square. It was part of their 40-day protest over Lent. Can you imagine how much good elsewhere these folks, most of them young and capable, could do if they decided to work hard at something for 40 days? I did imagine, so I made a list for them.

A) Volunteer at habitat for humanity, building or repairing homes for the less fortunate (those that don’t have the resources to travel several towns over to protest a women’s clinic), or feeding the homeless.
B) Grab some trash bags and walk, en masse, down a road in the city and clean up all the trash you see. You’d be amazed how much trash 500 people can pick up (and recycle) if you really put your mind to it.
C) Give $1 each to Doctors Without Borders, offsetting the gift we couldn’t make because we decided to give to Planned Parenthood to counter your little stunts.
D) Research the things you’re saying. Abortion DOES NOT increase the risk of breast cancer in women. Having children reduces it (in some studies), but not having children does not raise it. I know it’s a difficult concept, so I’d give you 40 days to figure it out.
E) Be a Big Brother or Big Sister to children who are without adult involvement. Heck, you could even adopt them. I know you’re SO worried about them in utero, why not show the same amount of care once they’re born?
F) Clean up a river or bay or some other natural habitat near you. Just like with “B”, but in a habitat that desperately needs humans to save it, not continue to destroy it.
I could go on and on about how misled you (mostly) kids are. Adults around you have turned you into tools that are willfully trying to destroy something that is bringing good to women. Abortions are a small – yet necessary – part of the things that Planned Parenthood does. They provide essential pregnancy prevention services, health screenings, and other medical care to women who could otherwise not afford it.
I know you live in a sheltered world, where Mom and Dad provide enough for you to spend 40 days protesting places that you deem “sinful” or “unclean”. But you need to see things for what they are. Jesus Christ, whom so many of you claim to follow, spoke of loving one’s neighbor. How are you showing that love in all your protesting, all your harassing of people who go to the clinic?
God doesn’t like liars, either. So I’d suggest you look into the claims you make about the bad things that happen with abortions. You’re lying if you say or suggest that abortions cause cancer. You’re lying if you think that all women who have had one do so as a form of birth control. And you’re lying if you think you’re being self-less in this. I’ve seen how you smile before the cameras, how you love to be in the limelight.
Vanity is a sin. Who’s the sinner now?
Of course, far be it for me to judge you all. After all, I’m sure there are several specks in my eye, so I won’t point out the wood beams in yours. But you have to see that standing out there, waving banners, yelling things, chanting rhymes, and smiling for the cameras are doing absolutely nothing to reduce abortions.
You’re just wasting everyone’s time when you could be doing other things that would really make an impact.

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.