When preparing to write this post I thought of a funny memory of mom. She had grown up in the depression years and knew how hard life could be. The dresses were mended over and over and patches placed on boys’ jeans repeatedly. So when decades later it was fashionable to wear ripped clothing, and beaten up jeans, she said how hard so many worked to get away from that type of clothing only to find it was desired.
In a way that is what might be said about immunizations.
I heard another news report on the radio about the spread of measles, a highly infectious and potentially deadly disease. We are all aware of the means to prevent this disease, and it is nothing more than a cheap and easily administered vaccine. We also know that if over 90-95% of a community is vaccinated, something kicks in which is termed “herd immunity” which then makes sure that outbreaks are unlikely to occur.
I was born in 1962 and a year later the measles vaccine was introduced, Millions were dying every year from measles.
The reason I post today is due to the historical punch to this entire story. (You know me and what makes my keyboard snap to attention.) The point to be made is something too many of the younger generations take for granted.
Vaccines are widely agreed to be one of the great achievements of the scientific age. A survey of eminent historians by The Atlantic put vaccines as number eight in a list of the “greatest breakthroughs since the wheel.” And an article by the US librarian of Congress published in National Geographic placed vaccines fifth out of “ten inventions that changed the world.
Mom would not have needed to read publications to know the difference vaccines made to the world. My dad, either. His brother contracted polio which impacted his ability to walk for a lifetime.
In 2000 our nation was listed as measles free. Today we are slipping down a most horrible hill of ignorance and willful nonsense as lies are spread about immunizations while under-educated parents fall for the ploy of the non-vaxers. Mom would most likely say if only those opposed to vaccinations were able to experience what it was like growing up in her day. At the rate we are moving they just might.
And so it goes.