As no doubt many of you have heard, Disneyland right now is far from the happiest place on earth due to a measles outbreak that has reached 70 people at last count. State officials are urging people who have not been vaccinated to stay away from Disneyland, and local schools have begun sending unvaccinated students home.
Now you may wonder what this has to do with me, as I have been vaccinated. The problem is several-fold. First is my proximity to Disneyland — approximately 10 miles. Second is that one case of measles has been traced to somebody who visited my local grocery store, 1.5 miles from my house. Third is that the vaccination rate in some of the wealthiest schools in my county have a vaccination rate *equal to that of Chad or the Sudan.* (just in case you still honestly believe that this happened because of the “diseases those filthy brown people brought with them when they crossed the border illegally”).
The problem, in a nutshell, is that thanks to people who trust the medical advice doled out by a former Playboy model or a former doctor who got paid a princely sum for his fraudulent research that started this entire Mongolian clusterfuck of anti-science, I cannot even go as far as that grocery store without being side-eyed as one of those willfully ignorant idiots who “knows what is best for their family.”
To wit: Last week, I went to run errands and grab some lunch while I was out. Two women with babies sit down at the table across from me. One of them came over to me.
Woman: Excuse me, but would you mind moving further away?
Me (puzzled): Why?
Woman (making vague hand-waving gestures at my legs): Well, its your rash…and all the stories out of Disneyland.
Me: Uhhmmm…I don’t have measles. I’m not contagious
Woman (now making shooing motions at me like a fly): Well, could you move anyway? Better safe than sorry, right?
Me (in my best professionally polite voice): I have told you that I do not have measles and am not contagious. Which, actually, is more medical information than you have a right to, unless you are my doctor or my health insurance company. If that is not enough for you, perhaps you should instead move.
So let us recap what just happened there. Because of a Playboy model and a profiteering snake oil salesman of a doctor, my right to exist anywhere outside my own home has come into question. Furthermore, I am now associated with their slack-jawed acolytes who reject scientific fact in favor of some whackball conspiracy theory about big pharma making a fortune off vaccines.
Here’s a fucking clue — vaccines are dirt cheap. The CDC price for the MMR vaccine (that’s the one against measles, mumps, and rubella) comes out to a whopping…no wait for it…$19.95 for a 10-pack. Even the private sector price of $56.14 for a 10-pack is dirt cheap. Know where big pharma makes its money? *TREATING THE FUCKING DISEASES THAT VACCINES PREVENT*!!!
But no, by all means, you know what is best for your precious offspring, for whom the miniscule chance of them being autistic is so unbearable that you reject common sense because you’ve “done your research” of reading a dumbed-down summary of Wakefield’s original article or watched YouTube videos of Jenny McCarthy’s impassioned pleas that a mother’s instinct is worth more than established scientific fact.
Meanwhile, I should just be expected to…what? Never leave my house? Provide complete strangers with access to my health status that federal law says is none of their business? All so that you can smugly declare that you have no need to immunize your kid because those of us who have been immunized will protect them, even though we are all dupes and sheeple for buying into the immunization scheme to begin with.
Fuck that. And also? Fuck you.