This morning I read an interesting headline about the measles outbreak-
“Measles outbreak is forcing this country to have a much needed conversation about vaccinations.”
I love conversations. I have them all the time. In fact, my most recent conversation was whether or not the leather pants that Kim Kardashian wore to the zoo was a wise fashion choice….I say it wasn’t very respectful to the animals. I’m sure other people may say the animals couldn’t give a damn. Discuss….
See, that is an example of a much needed conversation.
That leads us to the much needed conversation about measles. Let’s take a walk down memory lane.
We had measles in this country.
A vaccination was developed.
People were vaccinated against measles.
We didn’t have measles anymore.
Some false information came out about the dangers of vaccinations.
Some people stopped vaccinating their children against measles and other preventable diseases.
We now have measles again in this country.
I could put dates on these things, but I wouldn’t want to bore you with the details. It doesn’t really matter. We had it, we prevented it, it went away, people stopped preventing it and now it’s back. End of story.
I’m struggling with the “much needed” part of this conversation. There isn’t really anything to discuss. When car seats for babies and small children became mandatory – was that conversation also needed? Car seats save children’s lives. When that evidence was presented, were there also difficult conversations debating whether or not children should be buckled up? I’m guessing no, because it was a no brainer.
The important conversation here isn’t about vaccines, it’s a bigger discussion whether parents always know best. My answer, as a parent, is no. There are cases that the government must step in with laws to protect the public. We already have many laws in place to protect children. Can children purchase cigarettes? Can they buy alcohol? Why not? Because we as a society have decided that it’s not up to the parents to decide if they want their children to buy these things. We have decided that it’s not safe. The same should go for vaccinations. We have the public’s safety to consider, not if the parents’ know best. We must vaccinate children against preventable diseases or we will continue to put the public at risk. Diseases that haven’t been active in this country for decades will suddenly make an appearance.
There isn’t a need for a conversation. It just has to happen.
Now back to that much needed conversation about Kim K. She looks fab, but how about those shoes? Was that the best choice for chasing a toddler around the zoo?