Odd Thoughts: Anti-vaxxers, button your lips!

When the War on Terror was declared in September 2001, not everyone agreed without equivocation exactly who the Bad Guys were – there was a greyish line, and some of the players were invisible, or at least difficult to recognize with certainty.

But it was pretty clear that the guys who flew airplanes into buildings on 9/11 to precipitate that “war” were not the Good Guys.

It was also clearly understood that those who sent the pilots off to do their dirty work numbered among the enemy.

Since then, supporters, whether financial backers or harbouring countries, have also been identified as populating the “wrong” side. 

There’s also a War on Drugs raging. 

You may not agree with the War on Drugs or how it has been fought over the past several decades, and you may not side yourself with the accredited warriors, but I’ll warrant that you have little sympathy for the drug dealers on the “other side” who suck children and vulnerable adults into the fray.

While the War on Terror has been escalated to battlefields, rife with rockets and bombs and flying bullets, the War on Drugs is much more a social war, pitting people’s social standards against each other, depending largely on propaganda to separate “them” from “us.”

The point of declaring a “war” at all, of course, is to create sides, and then to pit them one against the other.

Before the wars on terrorism and drugs, there was a much more popular war – a social war on disease.

It began with a growing understanding of the human immune system, how it works, but more importantly, how we can help it work more effectively.

The chief tool in our arsenal was the vaccine. With it, we eradicated small pox, tuberculosis was sent into retreat, polio has been reduced to a pitiful rump of its terrible force.

Mumps, whooping cough, diphtheria, measles, and other household-name tragedies have been pushed off the North American battlefield…

Or have they?

Measles and whooping cough are making a dramatic come-back, and others are sure to follow.

And their chief weapons have been subterfuge and enlistment of traitors.

Thanks to the anti-vaxxers who have switched sides and are now fighting for the enemy, measles and other deadly diseases that most of them are too young to have experienced first hand are popping up all over the place.

But Washington State has taken a stand, and more have to follow. South of our border, 143 kids were sent home from school because they couldn’t supply proof of vaccination.

In many places, you can’t send your kids to school with a peanut butter sandwich, on the off chance they may come into contact with a child who has a peanut butter allergy. 

For the allergy sufferer, simply touching a surface that has contacted peanuts may set off a reaction. 

Even reaching into a bag that has harboured a peanut butter cookie – without actually touching the bag itself – can cause a severe rash. 

Talking to someone who has eaten a peanut butter sandwich can set off an asthma-like discomfort that, if not immediately checked, could progress to full anaphylactic shock.

As grampa to one who carries an  Epi Pen in case of accidental contact with peanuts, I get it. 

So how come the same parents can send their unvaccinated kids to school with the potential to inflict serious – even fatal – harm on their entire class through a simple cough or sneeze or sweaty palm print? In the “unenlightened” ’50s, that would have been unthinkable.

During the Second World War, there was a slogan – “Loose Lips Sink Ships” – and transgressors were severely punished.

Anti-vaxxers need to button their lips.

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