In a country where a television network previously called The Learning Channel can have a programming lineup filled with shows about about fat illiterate families that yell all the time and people who didn’t even know they were pregnant, it probably isn’t incredibly shocking that there is an anti-vaccination movement in America. However it may be surprising to read that the movement has become popular enough to create a resurgence in diseases like measles, meningitis, mumps, and whooping cough (a disease that immediately makes me think of gold panning prospectors and people losing their jobs as slaves to the cotton gin). Despite overwhelming data that vaccines do not cause autism and avoiding getting vaccinated can be flat out dangerous, these people are convinced they are the gatekeepers of some hidden scientific knowledge.
But the dangers of the anti-vaccination movement always seemed like this distant thing surrounding an intangible group I had no direct contact with. That is until someone I knew who actively avoided vaccinating themselves and their children had a intensely weird looking baby. I had previously spent months arguing with her about various fad medical miracles and the risks of not getting inoculated but, just when I thought I had made some headway on a topic, she refused to speak on it any further. After her first child, she became convinced that traditional medicine was a farce and that all she needed to be healthy was eat organic foods and avoid GMOs. While I insisted that she see at least visit a general practitioner, it was her assertion that God would protect and bless her family.
A few months later it was pretty clear from the initial viewing of her second bundle-of-joy that God had blessed her with a spectacular dud. I am aware of that being an incredibly insensitive thing to say but it was truly breathtaking, and not in the good way. The colossal and potentially hydrocephalic head has its mass focused unusually high. This creates an oversized load for an already feeble neck, so the cranium bounces around a lot. The fingers are formed but not separated so both of the hands are lumpy orbs of singular flesh. The eyes bulge out and appear too old and tired to be those of a child. They are also widely spaced and black as anthracite coal. It is not what I would call a handsome baby. It looks more like something witches would summon out of a bubbling cauldron than the result of love-making between two human adults.
This was all well documented on the infant’s social media page. Some of the first images of it were in a neonatal intensive care unit where the mother added the caption that it was the baby’s “personal limo.” The thing received more CT scans in the first 48 hours of being alive than I have had in my entire life. Yet everyone seemed content to just pray and hope for the best. Nobody acted like anything was the matter or as if avoiding traditional medicine might have contributed to any of the health issues in some small way. Of course there is the possibility that this baby’s deformities could have absolutely nothing to do with improper prenatal care, avoiding vaccinations, and not having a medical practitioner examine the mother before the actual birth. But there is also a chance that this family’s passionate ignorance helped to ensure the birth of a human-amoeba hybrid and not a healthy baby girl.
It didn’t take long before I got really tired of people commenting about “how cute” the baby is when this thing was clearly a disaster. I’ve complained about the phenomenon before, but things felt different this time. I eventually went completely insane and started posting anonymous photos of the poor creature on websites in the hope that somebody could tell me what was the matter with it. I needed to know if it was some genetic snafu or if this person had ensured this breathing cataclysm through their personal hatred of science. They named it after a flower and have yet to publicly acknowledge exactly what is wrong with it. I want to know why it has skin mittens and if it is going to suffer from mental deficiencies. I’m curious as to what its life will be like and if any of this could have been prevented.
In the end, I know I’m a vile monster for worrying so much about this. It isn’t my family, my life, or my business. I should be like everyone else and just say “congratulations on your offspring” and hope that it leads as happy and healthy of a life as it can before it suffocates in its sleep like the Elephant Man. But there is this thing in the back of my skull scraping away at proper etiquette and begging me to get to the bottom of this. Just having doubts about her ability to properly care for a child is terrifying. The quality control for parents is appalling. A woman in my neighborhood smothered her eleven-month-old son last week. Then she put him in a white silk suit, placed him in bed, and posted a bunch of photos of the body on the internet with captions like “RIP, Tinkabutt.” It was all over the New York news.
Of course I know that not every angry parent is going to resort to murdering their child and that my now ex friend probably isn’t responsible for her infant’s maladies. But there is a piece of me and that will never know for sure and that bothers me. I don’t want to be some internet hall monitor but social media has really become a stage to showcase bad parenting and general idiocy. Almost any moron can have a child and every single one of them has the potential to ruin it. But that is sort of the name of the game. It’s just much more difficult to remain idle when someone makes dangerous choices for their offspring. There is a almost a subtle joy that comes from witnessing a person you don’t like destroy themselves by eating too much fast food or abusing steroids. You think to yourself that there is a hint of natural selection remaining in humanity’s perverted relationship with evolution.
But nobody wants to see a child suffer. No one feels vindicated when idiots produce a baby and then raise it into an ignorant and unhealthy child. However, we allow people to do it every single day with zero repercussions. If I were President I would solve the wealth inequality gap, because that’s obviously the bigger problem. Then I would form a coalition that would employ people to go to Jenny McCarthy book signings with giant ice-cream scoops to rescue infants from all expectant mothers before it is too late. Once the program received the necessary funding, they would hit up ICP concerts, Tea Party rallies, and every Walmart in existence. Eventually I’d like to just have them patrol the streets in purple squad cars on the lookout for people in oversized Tweety Bird shirts, talking too long about celebrities, or using incorrect grammar. Those scooped-out babies would receive the finest schooling available and be given to a loving family. Meanwhile, their mothers would get free tuition for two years and a chance to see those babies again if they can pass a basic intelligence test of my design. The test would be short but a single incorrect answer would result in a failure.
Of course it’s easy for me to tell other people how to raise their children when I haven’t bothered to have any of my own, and I can almost hear all the angry parents cursing my name as they read this. However “don’t tell me how to raise my kids” isn’t a fair rebuttal when you’re doing a shitty job. I haven’t the slightest idea of how strict you should be, if spankings actually work, or how to effectively get a child to use the big boy potty. But I do know that you should vaccinate it and that you should see an obstetrician before any of that other stuff is even a concern. This isn’t about personal preference; it’s about public health and common sense. There is no place for anti-intellectualism in a progressive and thriving society.
This makes me unnaturally happy…. I shouldn’t have laughed at some things (skin mittens??) but your point is the exact same one I’ve been trying to make for years. Luckily, I haven’t run across any friends who disagree. All the little humans around me appear to be happily vaccinated.
Hi! *waves from the west coast*
So… What would you say the medical necessity is to have infants given vaccines for Hepatitis within hours of their birth? That’s standard procedure. Thank goodness the Little Prince was born at home. It’s kind of scary to think that the cleanliness of hospitals in such a questionable state that the need was there for protection.
I’m not against vaccines. I just think the rate at which children are given them now is sort of ridiculous. What is actually medically necessary and what is just convenient?
Our generation received how many shots when we were growing up, 20 something over 5 years?
The Little Prince was expected to get 60 something within the first 2 years of his life…
And, yes, you could argue that the new vaccines are just making the world safer, healthier, but our generation seemed to come through it okay, right? Also, how much is the brain developing during those first two years and what exactly does introducing all these viruses and other chemicals with such frequency and intensity do to them? Nothing? Perhaps. Probably even most of the time. 99% even. But, there is still the possibility that it could be bad for our child. I have an Aunt who has a lovely daughter, who was perfect and happy and normal, hitting all the milestones, until she received a certain subset of vaccines, and then everything changed… she stopped learning, stopped growing, stopped being happy. Coincidence? Perhaps. Some sort of genetic rejection of the vaccines? Could be. Worth the risk?
Before he starts school, the Little Prince will get all his vaccines. We just aren’t following the recommended schedule.
Recommended by those who make the drugs, anyway.
Our pediatrician fully supports the alternate vaccination schedule (which is also supported by Dr. Sears and other well known and respected individuals), and keeps tabs on outbreaks in our area and around the country. Funny, how the “resurgence of whooping cough etc… ” is grabbing headlines, but they usually fail to mention that half of those who are getting sick received the vaccines anyway…
If the road rules aren’t a matter of personal choice then neither should vaccination be. They are equally a matter of public safety. Just as you can’t follow them if you’re legally blind you can’t vaccinate if you have some (very few) medical reasons. That’s fine, that’s what herd immunity is for. But then you can’t drive. That means if you’re not vaccinated you have to declare yourself as such in a public work or school space for the protection of others. It’s pretty simple. It’s not an individual right any more than it is to drive on the wrong side of the road.
Spread the word…
What I have to ask is this. If vaccines were so excellent, why are the schools filled with copious amounts of whooping cough epidemics and chicken pox outbreaks?? In my state, the children have to be immunized before they are allowed to enter school. So why the issues?
Hell, three years ago one of my sons brought home Fifth Disease and I was the ONLY one in the house that got sick! This is a CHILDHOOD disease, Why did I get it? Because I am immunocompromised. There was a mass outbreak at the school a week before but no one told the parents.
And before anyone asks, my children ARE immunized.
As for your ex friends baby, any number of things can cause those abnormalities. Pesticides, and medications are BIG contributors. I’d have to actually see the child to come up with an idea as to the disorder. Definately sounds like mass deformities. Poor little thing.
Yes schools say you have to be vaccinated but you just have to register your status. There are way more than 6% (non)conscientious objectors who aren’t vaccinated and so herd immunity doesn’t work well anymore.
As it happens I have a family member with severe egg allergy (can’t have mumps vaccine). Then there’s pregnant women, people on chemo, newborns… They all rely on the herd. And the herd is increasingly dumb, just because it’s too young to remember a deadly epidemic it thinks it’s choice is just another choice, like whether to breastfeed. Sure some say one is better but the other won’t kill you. This is not like that.
hmmm…. I know this really shouldn’t be my response, but I really want to know – did you find out what was wrong with the child??
Way to stir the pot. So was the absence of vaccination found to be the cause of this babies deformities? An interesting article, especially if vaccination had nothing to do with it. Speaking as a non American I am strangely fascinated by how much “compulsory” vaccination (even flu shots) has become part of the National Agenda. Celebrities on TV getting shots on camera to encourage the population (poor Piers). There seems to be an undercurrent of panic/fear occurring on this front in the US resulting in posts like this. Now I’m not going to weigh in on this debate either way, it’s just too grey. I only want to make the observation of the changing psyche of the American public, one that always seems to change in the direction of fear. You’re either fearful of compulsory vaccination (& the potential hidden agenda behind it) or your fearful of incomplete vaccination (& the potential community health risks behind it). I guess we should be relieved that previous generations of humanity got through the maze safely to allow us to be here today.
Congrats on a provocative post, your humor & great artwork.
The combination of signs in your friend’s baby points to a syndrome, probably of genetic origin. Interestingly, here in Australia, pesticides and medications are NOT big contributors to birth defects (although there is increasing notification of fetal alcohol syndrome and it’s variants- alcohol being a potent teratogen in the fetus) and there is excellent free antenatal care available to all pregnant women. We also have a small, very vocal fringe who choose not to immunise their children and there is a push to drown out their bleating (thank goodness). If your friend had, had adequate antenatal care, chances are the defects in the baby would not have been avoided, but at least she and her doctors and midwives would have known about them and she would have had the option to choose a different path (or not) for the pregnancy.
I am sure the baby is loved and she and her partner will do their best for her.
You’d do fine with a baby. All it takes is love, which any decent parent has for their child, then all decisions are made in the child’s best interest, which would include seeing a doctor, doing as they say before and after the birth; then you try to get them to have fun without being completely lazy, which is something most of us adults still struggle with.
I wouldn’t fuck Jenny McCarthy if she paid me, simply because she has contributed to suffering.
Yep we have people like that over here worried about the MMR jab giving kids autism even after the research that claimed this was proven conclusively to be Kack.
As a result measles is making a comeback, but some degree of herd immunity is slowing its progress.
Don’t get me started on mumps and rubella… :(
God Bless my friend and keep on blogging – pity people don’t sodding well listen… :(
i can’t, couldn’t pass the test
At least now you know.
Is it wrong that I was giggling furiously and sanctimoniously while reading this post at the exact same time as feeding my perfect, non-mutant newborn? Having shared many similar thoughts on the ever increasing need for parenting licences and/ice cream scooping I was actually quite surprised not to have been smited with some kind of alien creature myself…which must then prove that we’re right.
Yeah. It’s wrong.
“Once the program received the necessary funding, they would hit up ICP concerts, Tea Party rallies, and every Walmart in existence.” I would have to say this sentence was perfect, even though I had to google ICP.
I am sorry you had to google ICP.
I have nothing intelligent to add to this conversation, just that I have an 11 day old son and this article is perfect. I really hope you become published if you’re not already.
Funny. The rule I live by when raising my 3 yr old is to try and survive each day and never trust him or turn my back. He’ll be fine, it’s me I’m worried about. Thanks. great post.
How much actual research have YOU done. All my children have been vaccinated. Yet my eldest child has what they call celiac (glutton allergies, it’s an intestinal glutton allergies) guess what is in the hib vaccination. They have to use a wheat substance. So guess what the vaccination never took.
Many of these vaccination are just a temporary immunity. You don’t have to believe me. Have you been vaccinated, yes, well then try to go and join the medical field as a nurse or dental assistant. Guess what happens you have to take a whole new round of the vaccines/ boosters. :-) Because it is just temporary. You my adult friend aren’t immune to damn thing even though you’ve been vaccinated as a child.
So if you really believe in you’re gibberish of vaccinations you’d best go get yourself some boosters.
I’m not sure what you were trying to say or if you even read the article.
Thank you for being a fan.
Thankfully in Ireland the anti vaccination group haven’t gained a huge following. But it does lead to a question, if you need a licence to own a dog, drive a car, hold manual handling courses if you are lifting a box over 5kgs, why don’t you need to do a parenting course or have a licence to become a parent?
Your post has sparked an interesting over the table argument, but we all agreed on one thing, common sense is lacking in most human beings.
Reblogged this on Sarcastic Mommy – Dash of Sparkle and commented:
I completely agree. Anti vaxxers are evil – but they DO have a direct effect on everyone! Look at the unprecedented whooping cough epidemic in Texas and California. The outbreaks were all traced back to one unvaccinated child.
It baffles me how one mans UNscientfiic paper still carries this much weight.
LOVE the quiz.
This makes no sense. If only ONE child was unvaccinated – and supposedly magically started the epidemic – and all (or most) of the other kids had been vaccinated, and there was still an epidemic … doesn’t that suggest that the damn vaccination didn’t work?
You would have to know the demographics of the outbreak, what were the ages of the children affected- perhaps too young for vaccination? Were they part of a community that tends away from vaccination (so-called “alternative lifestylers”). Were adults affected? Here in Australia, it is now recommended that adults receive booster shots prior to being with small children (and this includes grandparents) as immunity can wear off over time.The truth is that vaccinations work for the majority and most of us are in that majority.
I don’t often snort through my nose reading stuff on the internet. Thank you for that. Oooh and the replies just added to the humour.