Well, look who’s back! It’s our old pal, measles. Yes, that hugely uncomfortable, highly contagious and more-than-occasionally life-threatening disease that we stomped out with a single vaccination back in the “Bonanza” years is showing up in New York City in ever-increasing numbers.
Naturally I blame Jenny McCarthy.
It was McCarthy who, years ago, claimed that the measles vaccine gave her son autism and, even after this was soundly debunked by, you know, science, she continues to beat the “anti-vax” drum today.
If there’s one thing that Suzanne Somers taught us all those years ago, if we can’t get our most essential health care advice from B-list celebrities, really, whom can we trust?
Last week, reality TV “star” Kristin Cavallari announced that she won’t vaccinate her children because vaccines are harmful. The backlash from Sane People Everywhere led the former star of “The Hills” to assure us that we can vaccinate our own kids if we like.
Whew! That’s a relief. I wouldn’t want to go against a former reality TV show star AND the woman who used to live with Jim Carrey on matters of public policy.
Now keep in mind that these celebs aren’t vaccinating their children for any diseases. Not measles, mumps, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, none of it. In my mind, they are as nutter-butter brained as that wacky preacher who handled poisonous snakes and died from a snake bite a few weeks back.
Except he only killed himself. Even that lunatic probably gobbled up the little sugar cube with the polio vaccine in it back in the day because he knew it was good for him.
Here’s the really scary thing: There’s a trend afoot in which rich people don’t vaccinate their kids. Studies show that vaccine compliance in ultra-elite private schools is as low as 20 percent.
That would be fine if these unvaccinated children didn’t ever inflict themselves on the rest of us, but chances are they do. That kid dipping into the gummy worms at the yogurt bar next to yours after school could be incubating a raging case of chickenpox, at the very least.
Nobody’s exactly certain why rich people aren’t vaccinating their kids as often as parents in lower income brackets. One theory is that they don’t like the egalitarian nature of vaccines. The vaccine their child gets would be the exact same as the one given to the poorest of the poor, so, well, ick.
I don’t buy that theory because that would make rich people evil, and since I hope to be one someday, that’s just too unpalatable.
Fortunately, Bill Gates, who is rich as they come, is working overtime to convince parents to take advantage of the vaccines that have kept children safe and disease-free for generations now.
Who can you trust? Gates, who has traveled the globe witnessing the devastating effects of preventable diseases on unvaccinated children, or Cavallari, who tweets about hair extensions and recently “rocked out” her new leather pregnancy leggings? Yeah, I thought so.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less