If I get smallpox, I’m going to be pissed

Today I’d like to talk about a little concept called herd immunity. I know it sounds like I’m talking about cows, but I’m not. I’m talking about the assholes who don’t vaccinate their children.

Now, I’ll preface this by saying that there are plenty of parents who have valid reasons for not vaccinating their children, such as allergies or some medical risk. But they are advised by a DOCTOR on this decision. In recent years, with people apparently getting progressively stupider over time, parents have just been deciding randomly not to get their child vaccinated against things like smallpox and whooping cough with no valid reason. Sure, there’s been that rumor that vaccinations cause autism, but it has been revealed as bullshit time and time again. But for some reason some parents are still convinced that their child will die from being vaccinated. Breaking news: Actually, they’ll probably die from NOT being vaccinated. Just FYI. And if you have real concerns, DISCUSS THEM WITH YOUR DOCTOR.

The reason I bring this up at all is because instances of whooping cough are increasing. This is one of those diseases that herd immunity is supposed to protect us from. Herd immunity means that enough of the general populace is immunized that it protects the few people who, for whatever LEGITIMATE reason, cannot be immunized (or at least lessens the likelihood those people will get infected). But when people start deciding randomly that they don’t want themselves or their kids to be immunized, suddenly the protection evaporates. In fact, it’s more likely that someone else will die when someone doesn’t immunize their children. Because there are babies that are too young to get the vaccinations yet, or people who have compromised immune systems and/or can’t get immunized. It’s THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE AT RISK. So all these assholes who listen to celebrities instead of experts and decide not to get their child vaccinated without any justification put ALL THESE OTHER PEOPLE AT RISK. Maybe your special snowflake won’t get whooping cough, but they might be carrying the microorganism and pass it along to a few babies that end up dying from it. BUT IT’S TOTALLY WORTH IT BECAUSE YOUR SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE IS STILL ALIVE. Fuck you, asshole.

Look, I understand that parents are constantly worried about their children and what will harm them and how to keep them safe. But like I said, TALK TO YOUR FUCKING DOCTOR ABOUT IT. Yes, there’s at least a small risk involved in doing anything, but guess what? THAT’S LIFE. EVERYTHING IS SOMEWHAT RISKY. But I shouldn’t have to worry about fucking smallpox because parents don’t want to vaccinate their children anymore.

I also find this somewhat hilarious because as a society we’ve become OBSESSED with antiseptics and antibacterials. There are hand sanitizers everywhere now and cleaners that kill “99.9% of germs!” Now, cleanliness is important, especially to combat illnesses where there is no consistent herd immunity involved (like influenza). But people have become CRAZED. Well, guess what? Those .1% of “germs” that survive? THEY’RE RESISTANT TO THE ANTISEPTIC AND WILL BREED MORE RESISTANT MICROORGANISMS. Soon those sprays will only kill 50%, then 25%, then 10%, etc., of “germs.” By being so crazed with sterile environments, we’re actually helping select for more resistant microorganisms.

AND THEN THESE ASSHOLES ALSO DON’T WANT TO GET VACCINATED.

WHAT….WHAT THE FUCK?

So you want to kill all the non-resistant microorganisms, leaving the ones that can survive intact to multiply, but YOU DON’T WANT TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THESE STRONGER “GERMS”? That doesn’t even MAKE ANY SENSE. My brain wants to cry just thinking about the complete lack of logic there. Breaking news: We can’t kill all the microorganisms. We just can’t. SO FUCKING IMMUNIZE YOURSELF AGAINST THEM.

But it also pisses me off that people get SO AFRAID of these VAGUE or NONEXISTENT risks of vaccines, but they don’t seem to give two shits about the SPECIFIC and PROVEN risks of NOT GETTING VACCINATED. If you don’t have protection against things like whooping cough or smallpox or measles, YOU CAN GET THESE DISEASES. They aren’t “gone.” The reason there is virtually no smallpox is BECAUSE OF HERD IMMUNITY. The viruses are still out there, so people who can’t be immunized because of allergies or other medical issues, for example, can still get it. But when everyone else is immunized, the risk goes down for those people.

However, once again people are just displaying their blatant disregard for other people. If they’re worried little Special Snowflake might possibly maybe have a somewhat bad reaction (maybe) to a vaccine, then OH NO HE IS NOT GETTING VACCINATED and there’s no reason to even ASK the doctor about it! But they don’t care if that starts to put everyone else at risk. EXCUSE ME, YOUR SELFISHNESS IS SHOWING. Because the problem is that stupidity and fear breed stupidity and fear. So when one set of parents FLIPS OUT about a vaccination, other parents they know start to do the same. “If THEIR Special Snowflake is at risk, what if MY Special Snowflake is at risk?!” And suddenly it goes from 1 child being unvaccinated to 20 children or more, THUS DESTROYING THE HERD IMMUNITY. Thanks, assholes, for spreading your stupidity and fear like an STD. ALL OF US LOGICAL PEOPLE REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

The other problem here is that people think vaccination decisions are purely personal. THEY AREN’T. Because then you go out in public and come into contact with possibly hundreds of people every day. So maybe people need to give a little more consideration to these choices that put us all at risk. Because while 1 unvaccinated person doesn’t compromise herd immunity, 20 or 30 start to, and that’s only thinking about individual communities. If there are 20 or 30 (or more) people out of every 100 who are unvaccinated, that’s a large number, and that starts to deteriorate the protection of herd immunity. So while there are assholes out there who will say “Well, it doesn’t matter if I’M the only one unvaccinated,” odds are they aren’t the only one. Because in recent years so many parents have started deciding against vaccination based on unfounded fears that the number has been steadily increasing, so much that now there are more instances of whooping cough!

So I’d like everyone to put their fucking heads back on straight and return to consulting their fucking doctors on this issue instead of using the Internet. Because I like not having to worry about smallpox.

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