Measles Is More Than A Measly Annoyance

A response to the anti-vaxx movement.

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

My father grew up poor. He was the oldest son of six children, four of them girls. They lived in a three room house, the six kids in the living room where the wood-stove was and my grandparents in the one bedroom. There was a kitchen, an outdoor pump-house (from which they drew water) and further back a two-stall outhouse.

These conditions were not what made my father’s life a hardship per se. Yes, he never cared for “roughing it” later in life with his own four boys. “I roughed it enough when I was young,” he said to me once, chopping wood at 4:00 a.m. to keep the home fire burning.

But even that wasn’t the hardest part. The more severe hardship came when his younger brother Cecil got the measles at age six. After a high fever of unknown duration he remained mentally debilitated the rest of his life.

There were no facilities for children and so in addition to everything else, my father had to care for Cecil. Yes, it was a shared responsibility amongst all the family, but as the youth became a teen he became increasingly challenging.

For example, he liked to take off all his clothes and run up the street. Someone would have to catch him and wrestle him back to the house. As he grew in strength my father, a skinny teen himself, had to “man up” and take on the task.

On one occasion Cecil had run off and no one knew where he’d gone. Later that day they found him, up to his neck in the outhouse muck. He had to be pulled out and cleaned up, and you can be certain this was no pretty picture.

Measles is a pretty serious disease, with side effects that include, pneumonia, deafness, permanent brain damage and sometimes death. It is most dangerous for children and babies.

Those who know the truth about this serious disease find the current anti-vaxx movement to be pretty depressing, and with good reason. Side effects include pneumonia, permanent brain damage and even death.

When you choose not to vaccinate, you’re choosing to take a major risk. I myself have always chosen to be risk averse, especially when it came to my loved ones. I once had an opportunity to go to Hollywood at the invitation of a Disney producer, but there were risks involved. Providing for my family came first.

I understand not trusting the government, but measles is nothing to mess with. I am serious.

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon

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