Twenty years after the measles virus was successfully eliminated from the United States, there are several outbreaks of the disease happening across the country – thanks in large part to the “anti-vaxxers” who shun the measles vaccine.
Recently, one anti-vax mom’s panicked post about a measles outbreak had people crying/laughing at the irony.
“My 3 year old is not vaccinated and there is currently a measles outbreak in my state,” the mom wrote in a natural health anti-vax community.
“Any suggestions for precautions I can take to protect her would be very much appreciated.”
Sadly, the post is in a private community. We may never get to see their answers to this ridiculous question. Seriously, aside from vaccinating her child, what should she do?!
One bold soul did screenshot the question and post it to Twitter, where people tore it to shreds.
“If only there existed some kind of medicine to protect children from getting such illnesses,” one person joked.
“Thoughts and prayers?” another offered.
Big, big sigh.
The measles used to be a common childhood disease, much like chicken pox. Before vaccines, an estimated 3 to 4 million people were infected with measles each year, per the CDC.
Most children recovered, but many didn’t. Hundreds died each year.
Then 1963 rolled around and someone invented a measles vaccine. Hooray! Immunity!
By 2000, the disease was declared “eliminated” from the United States.
But then the anti-vaxxers showed up.
Anti-vaxxers are people who believe that vaccines pose harmful side-effects. Anti-vax parents refuse to vaccinate their kids against diseases like the measles.
The problem is that vaccines don’t really work unless everyone participates. One unvaccinated person leaves everyone around them vulnerable.
So, here we are, in 2019, in the midst of a measles outbreak in America – as if life in 2019 couldn’t get more surreal!
That brings us to last week, when an anonymous mom posted desperately on a natural health anti-vax community on Facebook for help.
Her 3-year-old is unvaccinated. She wants to know how to protect her… from the measles outbreak.
Someone from the Richard Dawkins Foundation saw the post and tweeted it with a tongue-in-cheek question:
“Can anyone guess how this person could protect their child from the measles?”
And, because Twitter is a dark and hilarious place, people actually did chime in with some “suggestions.”
Most of them were mocking the all-natural approach to health that led us to this predicament in the first place.
People suggested everything from “thoughts and prayers” to “.~•*^eSsEnTiAl OiLs^*•~.”
Because that will definitely protect this poor kid from this completely preventable public health crisis.
For reference, there have been three reported measles outbreaks in the US so far this year: one is in New York State, one is in New York City, and one is in Washington State.
There were 17 total outbreaks in 2018.
The measles virus is still common in many other parts of the world, so these outbreaks usually occur when an unvaccinated person travels outside the US and brings the disease back with them.
While the Twitter thread is mostly humorous, some people could not help but express concern and anger at anti-vaxxers like the mother who posted this question.
The vast majority of people who contract measles are unvaccinated.
The CDC reports that the disease will likely continue to spread in US communities with “pockets of unvaccinated people.”
One Twitter user joked that, to truly protect this child, she should go to some more responsible parents.
Another pointed out how ridiculous it is to turn to Facebook for advice on a matter as serious as this one!
If you’re really concerned about protecting your child against measles outbreaks, make sure that your child is up to date on their vaccines – especially if you plan to travel outside the US.
The vaccine is very effective, and its side-effects are mild and temporary.
And no, crystals/essential oils/thoughts and prayers don’t do the same thing. In case you were wondering.