What felt like pinpricks for my husband, felt like plastic injection molding into my arms. He went first – announced “Doesn’t hurt!” and easily slipped his shirt back on. I am the other hand, had to hold firmly to the chair with other arm to avoid violently reacting to the cheery nurse stabbing my arms with her life saving medicine.
But I have this strange feeling of being protected – like getting a power up on a video game – a little glowing shield all around me. Ha ha! Hepatitis A! Watch me walk right through you! I can engaged in risky behaviors – like eating food from a street cart in Costa Rica without repercussion!! (Though I’ll admit the traveller’s diarrhea could get me – I couldn’t stomach the $85 for a 67% reduction in chance)
From time to time I reflect on the great gift that we have been given in Canada and North America. Few families have to watch their children die from what seemed a cold or fever at first. Rubella, Whopping Cough, Smallpox, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Influenza – we don’t need to worry about our children (or ourselves) catching these diseases.
Or do we? For some reason – despite the risk to society – some parents choose not to vaccinate their children. And while this may on the surface appear to be a decision that affects only that child – it doesn’t. It increases disease prevalence, and creates a situation where other children – who may be only 97% protected due to their vaccination – could catch something that could maim or kill them. Suddenly – historical sounding diseases are showing up again because selfishly some families want to impugn the rights of others to impose the minority opinion on the rest of us.
Yeah, I know – I’m opinionated on this topic. And I don’t even get a flu shot. So you could say the same about me risking others with my flu-y self. But seriously! Come on!
February 5th, 2014 Extra-Ordinary: I secretly like my smallpox vaccination scar.