Monday, April 24, 2017

Bebe Vio raises her foil against anti-vax hysteria

     You don't need to speak the language to have your attention snagged by the April issue of the Italian edition of Rolling Stone magazine.
     The cover is a fashion shot of Paralympic fencing champion Bebe Vio, dressed in Dior, her dark brown hair short, her deep blue eyes staring straight at the camera. The scars on her face are concealed by makeup, but those on the stump of her right arm are on display as her left prosthetic hand points directly at the viewer.
     "Vaccinatevi!" the headline reads.
     In English, "Vaccinate!"    

     It's tempting to think of resistance to vaccination as being a particularly American form of selfish ignorance, like belief in healing crystals or denial of climate change. But the phenomenon is, sadly, global. While some 380,000 people die each year of meningitis, mostly in Africa and other underdeveloped regions, a significant number of parents in supposedly developed countries still resist vaccinating their children. Italian Rolling Stone calls it a "real civil battle" and Vio, 20, is their poster child in the fight.
     Born in Venice, Vio was 11 when she contracted meningitis — the Centers for Disease Control suggests children of 11 or 12 get inoculated against the disease, with a booster shot at 16....

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  1. Though I agree that Vio makes a vivid and persuasive poster child for vaccination, it seems that she might have gotten the disease even had she been on schedule to get vaccinated. I suppose there's a reason Disease Control Centers don't recommend vaccinating at a younger age.


    1. That's very true. Her point is that parents are letting their kids be susceptible to these and other ailments. Plus, had other parents vaccinated their kids, maybe she wouldn't have gotten it from them.

    2. Ah, that's the whole point, isn't it? The more children vaccinated, the chances of contagion become fewer and fewer.

    3. It seems those embracing extreme ideologies can become blind to common sense. Because of their resistance to vaccinations pockets of leftist territory become vulnerable to measles. Yet pockets of right wingers are against vaccination for human papillomavirus, and leave woman to grow up susceptible to contracting cervical cancer. Smallpox has been eradicated worldwide, a few pockets of superstitious Islamic beliefs has prevented the elimination of polio.
      GMO's in the last few decades have transformed the third world's ability to feed itself and raise people out of poverty. A good example is the cultivation of golden rice. In spite of the obvious benefits environmental activist have successfully lobbied governments to ban such scientific advances, leaving populations susceptible to malnutrition and famine.
      There are few if anyone who actually deny that climate changes. The questions surrounding the issue are things like, how much of the change is caused by natural variability versus man made influence. What is more cost effective, government spending and expensive mandates, or adaptation as changes may occur. A sure sign of an ideological blinded activist is someone who can add up all the costs of a warmer planet, and refuses to acknowledge any benefits whatsoever. Things like areas of the planet that will have a longer growing season, more acreage at the temperate extremes becoming arable, producing more food. One of the most inexplicable things many climate scientists do is hide the data used to calculate global temperatures along with the algorithms used to generate graphs, and make projections of future climate.

    4. "What is more cost effective, government spending and expensive mandates, or adaptation as changes occur." This seems a version of Hobson's Choice. Mankind will necessarily adapt, much of that adaptation with costly government spending and mandates as, for instance, coastlines retreat inland and populations will have to be resettled. Investment in measures to minimize the need for such adaptation seems not an alternative but only good sense.


    5. Since the last ice age the sea level has risen about 125 meters over the last 18,000 years. Rapidly at first now it's down to about 3 or 4 millimeters per year. Because of isostatic rebound some coastlines are actual rising, areas in Florida are sinking because the underling limestone is dissolving. Depending on which tidal gauges are used in a study, there can be news stories proclaiming the sea level rise is far worse then we thought. The problem I have is government solutions invariably makes things worse. We have the National Flood Insurance Program that subsidizes flood insurance for homeowners with a cap of $250,000 per home. Who doesn't want a gorgeous beachfront property? More and more of our coastlines have housing developments all the way up to the high tide mark. The NFIP is a government program that should be phased out, the sooner the better. As homes are washed away buy out the owners and don't rebuild again. These are the areas that should be converted to National Parks, not grazing land in western states. But it gets even worse if you think I'm all wrong, don't take my word for it. Just take 14 minutes to watch a 60 Minutes expose of fraud in FEMA dealing with the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. It's an ugly marriage of government with crony capitalist.

  2. If your child was vaccinated and yet still came down with the mumps from exposure to another child, you should be able to sue that child's parents. We banned secondhand smoke because of the danger to others. If we can't require vaccinations, you should be able to sue for damages.


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