Vaccines vs. “chicken pox parties”

I found a page on Imgur that’s “An Open Letter to Non-Vaxxers”. The short version is that the author has a son with cancer. Chemotherapy damages the immune system, so even though the son had been vaccinated, he still had to rely on herd immunity to prevent those diseases. Thus, parents who think it’s a good idea not to vaccinate their children make Dad pretty upset. They’re not just putting their own kids in harm’s way; they’re putting his kid in harm’s way, too.

I should know better than to read the comments sections on the Internet (aside the ones on here, given that they’re usually spam that I have to delete), but I went scrolling down and found that the responses were almost universal: anti-vaxxers are stupid and selfish.

However, one comment intrigued me: “She I was young my mom took me to a chicken pox party that way I wouldn’t need the vaccine, cause once you’ve had it you won’t get it again”

Strange, but it kinda makes sense. It might keep half the kids in your class out of school for a week while they all have chicken pox at the same time, but now they only have to worry about shingles as they get older.

But that’s not the first thought that popped into my head. The first thought was “If this is meant to justify not getting vaccinated, try throwing a polio party and tell me how that turns out.”

If we hide, maybe the Apocalypse will go away

Will Santa’s workshop burn faster when the Mayan apocalypse happens because he’s got so much coal to deliver for Christmas?

I’m pretty sure we won’t have to worry about the answer to that question, but it’s a thought. The only reason I’m bringing up the subject is because some people talk about how if the Mayans could really predict the future, they would have predicted the arrival of “Spanish dudes with steel and influenza” (quote courtesy of one of my favorite authors, Christopher Moore). Here’s my problem: How can a race of people avoid getting annihilated?

Think about it. “A bunch of people will be sailing into the harbor next month. Their weapons are much better than ours and we’ll get very sick if they get too close. They want to kill us, ravage our lands, then hang around for a long, long time. Hmmm… okay, here’s the plan: we huddle up in a cave with some blankets, my teddy bear and a Swiss Army pocketknife… we should be fine for the next five or ten years.”

And I can hear you all screaming, “That’s ridiculous! The Spanish didn’t invade Switzerland to steal their pocketknives before going overseas to wipe out the Mayans!” I’ll grant you that, which means the Mayans wouldn’t have had any of the little gizmos and they’d have to use spears to open canned goods while hiding in their bunkers that they built to avoid getting wiped out.

Seriously, people. Even if the Mayans knew that the Spanish were coming, what could they do about it? They didn’t have bunkers, they didn’t have pocketknives and they didn’t have teddy bears. They were screwed.