Pictured with this particular entry is an iron lung. They used to use these for patients who were so paralysed that they couldn’t breathe.

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Pictured with this particular entry is an iron lung. They used to use these for patients who were so paralysed that they couldn't breathe. Of course, these days, you have much slimmer ventilator machines that usually help the patient breathe by means of a pipe surgically added to the patient's throat. These things, like Polio, are almost unheard of in the twenty-first century. Fortunately, there is now a vaccine that prevents Polio from paralysing children for the rest of their lives.

Unfortunately, there is also a movement that says vaccines are bad because having a child with Autism is apparently a fate worse than death. The target used to be simply the MMR vaccine, but now all vaccines are evil and can cause Autism, according to these people. Some just don't want to stick their innocent and vulnerable baby child with a bunch of sharp things. Some fear Autism. Some swear blind that vaccines can turn kids gay.

I worry about some of those folks.

What I really worry about is how those people are the most likely vector by which COVID-19 [aka "The Coronavirus" aka "the Wuhan Coronavirus"] will spread to new and interesting places. Often very unwelcome places, because the people behind all health concerns are trying to contain this hell-plague.

Remember SARS? That was another Coronavirus. Remember how some nasty terrorists weaponised it and tried to infect as many people as possible on purpose? Yeah. That's what you're doing when you let little Maqkayliegheigh and little Aeshlyvoughn run about anywhere they want whilst also sick with whatever... Karen.

No slight meant to those trying to do the best by their kids. I get it. I am also a parent. I want my little darlings to have healthy food and wholesome home life and so forth... and you've made some decisions based on what's closest to your heart and your conscience. That's okay.

What's not okay is allowing your decisions to affect people who were never involved in your life before young KVIIItlynn sneezed or coughed on them. You probably think it's not that big a deal, but you don't know if that someone is immunocompromised, or vulnerable to certain diseases, or recovering from something else and just not able to defend from whatever.

You doubtlessly think that the things we vaccinate against are "harmless" or not even worth bothering about because you never caught it, so why should it be a big deal?

I'm old enough to remember a time before the MMR vaccine. I remember when measles could, and did kill people. I have since learned that if a child is not killed by measles, they can be killed by it later since measles erases a child's extant "immunity memory". Small and harmless infections they survived earlier come back and cause more harm the second time around.

I caught measles the old-fashioned, natural way. The fever wouldn't break, in my case, and the spots would not emerge. If things had been allowed to progress naturally, I might have died. A home remedy was all the rescue I needed, in this case a bath of warm water and vinegar [I think it was apple cider vinegar, but I'm fairly certain the mild acid was the active ingredient].

I caught rubella shortly after that. Like, just on the cusp of returning to school, whilst my little child body was still weak, I caught rubella. It's not nearly as nasty as measles is, but it still has its long-term impacts. It has far-reaching impacts, too. Rubella can harm a fetus in utero, making the baby deaf or blind... or stillborn.

Next on the queue was chicken pox. Again, straight after rubella. Again, just on the cusp of returning to school. I was very much not a happy camper. Yes, I survived, obviously. I remained allegedly healthy. What I don't know and will never know is how much those three infections affected the rest of my life.

How much of all that left me vulnerable to catching the pertussis that left me with chronic bronchial asthma? I don't know. How much of that drove my overall health down to the point where, if I'm significantly and physically stressed, I will catch chicken pox again? I don't know.

It's made worse, by the way, with a subsequent run-in with Shingles. Every. Single. Time. I get over the chicken pox. I've done this four times. It's worse than fucking annoying.

So. Thanks to all these "harmless" childhood diseases, I am now in the "at risk" group. If COVID-19 comes to my neck of the woods, it could kill me. Speaking strictly for myself, I do not want to die.

You might feel a little warmer about that, given how much I've been in Lecture Mode in your direction, but bear with me. Please try to understand. Everyone you see around you, everyone you know, everyone you've ever met... they're all someone's baby. They're somebody's darling. They are someone who has been worried about, fretted over, and nursed by someone just like you.

Someone just like you held them in their arms and wanted the very best for them. Someone just like you made decisions like you made, to give them the very best they could manage.

Their life is important too.

Yes, there are people who should not get vaccines. Pregnant people. People who are already immunocompromised. People who are already sick with something. People who are allergic to vaccines. These are lives that the rest of us protect by vaccinating.

You may have never caught any of these diseases and that's because vaccinating worked. A little thing called Herd Immunity protected you, because the vaccinated people around you couldn't carry a disease in your direction.

When you decide not to vaccinate your children, you're not just deciding for them. You're deciding for your neighbours, your kids' friends, the people they share classes with, the people who go to the same shopping centres as you, the people who share the same vehicles as them, the people who -basically- share their air.

I remember when measles was scary. I remember the "Measles Chair" at the GP's office, because measles lingers. It can hang around on a surface for two hours and still infect someone. It is nasty.

By comparison, COVID-19 is just scary. You can protect yourself with hand-washing and face masks.

If they came out with a vaccine for COVID-19 tomorrow, I would be there. You might want to be there, too, but think nothing of picking up any other jabs you or sweet Laqkynn might have missed out on. I promise you, those other vaccines are just as important as protecting yourself and your family from this or any other Big Scary New Virus.

It only takes one asymptomatic person or a person with blatant disregard for other people to turn a virus into a plague. The asymptomatic people can be excused for being unaware. Those who choose to ignore public safety?

They're the terrorists.