Tuesday 06 Dec 2016

I Hate Shots
AJ Robinson

I’m not alone, many people hate shots, a vaccination. I really hated shots as a kid. I was very upset when my parents signed a paper letting me get a shot for German measles, in school. After all, we were in America. How could that disease get from Germany to our country?

No one consulted me, on the issue. I had to get the shot, like it or not. This is life, I guess.

Fortunately, most of the other immunizations I got were not so bad. As I got older, I started giving blood, which is not an easy task given my fear. I knew how important giving blood was and the nurses were good at keeping me calm.

Then I started helping my dad with our family genealogy. He’d done a lot of research over the years and traced our family back a couple centuries. This was in the pre-Internet days, mind you! I remember looking over his papers. I was struck by the fact that families, “back then,” say, a hundred years or more ago, had lots of kids; six, eight, ten, sometimes even a dozen.

I asked my father way. Didn’t they have the pill back then? He laughed. That was part of it, but another reason was that they didn’t have those immunizations that my schoolmates and I received. Back then, many kids died in childhood from mumps, measles, whooping cough, polio, chicken pox, small pox and so on.

I was amazed. So many kids, today, lived to adulthood merely because of some simple inoculations. He told me yes, that was the case. Back when my brothers were young, polio was a major issue; a single outbreak could lead to panic throughout a community. The parks would be empty, people didn’t go to the movies, swimming pools and lakes were deserted, and many businesses suffered due to fewer customers. All that changed with a simple vaccine.

Today, we have some people who are so anti-science they condemn immunizations as overly dangerous. They also proclaim such simple protections from childhood diseases, as another example of “Big Brother” government sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong. It makes me wonder.

Do these people have a clue as to the history of our own country and the world? Do they know what life was like for children before these “wonder drugs” existed? I’m all for protecting personal freedom, but the freedom to die from a simple childhood illness.

Is it just me, or does that fly in the face of common sense?

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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