Thursday, March 20, 2014

Portraits of anti-vaccination (AVXN) mom

Since becoming a mom-dent, I too have had unfortunate encounters with the supremely exasperating AVXN mom. That is, the anti vaccination nut-job (AVXN) mom. As a mom I am appalled and horrified by their decision to deliberately and willfully put their children in harm's way and as a dent my first instinct is to observe and then categorize. I have finally been able to condense them down to three basic types of AVXN moms. Most moms will fall within some sphere of these categories or may share attributes of one or more (shudder!).  I also have a nifty Venn diagram (its all science-y here,bitches!) to help with the classification. This does not however include the freaks who don't vaccinate for religious reasons. That is a topic for a whole different blog.

1. The Belligerent AVXN
The belligerent AVXN mom is argumentative, ridiculously hostile and has the confounding ability for self-validation. No matter what profound gem you sprout, or how many irrefutable facts you provide, they will find a way to validate and confirm their own bias. They can often be found prowling the mommy forums and their written communications is littered with the over-use of emoticons and CAPS. They belong to the school of thought that those who shout the loudest are the ones who are right and on forums will try to outshout you by typing in all CAPS (ugh so jarring!) and emotional but mostly made up horror stories about how utterly terrible vaccines are. They are also convinced with unshakable certainty that the"media" is waging a propaganda"and there are nefarious plots being hatched by the Illuminati to take over the world... * cue  X -files themes here*.

The paranoia they exhibit is a notch or two higher than the normal and healthy level of expected skepticism. This is 'green lizards are masquerading as world leaders territory'. There is no reasoning with this one friends. They are shockingly manipulative and will twist your words until it fits their narrow and cookoo's nest mindset. For example,
 Belligerent AVXN: What is the purpose of a vaccine?
Me: It improves immunity against preventable diseases.
AVXN: What's in a vaccine?
Me: A laboratory prepared and biologically inert safe agent that resembles the organism that causes the disease. This primes the immune system to recognize it and in the event  the body is exposed to the micro-organism,  the immune system already has the tools to fight the outbreak.
AVXN:   So.... vaccines cause measles,  it doesn't work!!! BAM! you suck, you suck! you SUCK!!
Me: ...... You're a moron.

2. The Misguided AVXN
The misguided AVXN is perhaps the most pitiful. She has totally given in to the fear mongering and espouses the same nonsense that comes out of Jenny McCarty's mouth. They will usually start off with  "studies have shown.." and are very earnest in their conviction that they are protecting their children from" autism" and  the "bad" stuff that is in the vaccine. They religiously follow their favorite pseudo- scientific website and take their cues from the Jenny McCarty's of the world (Its mind boggling why this vile, botoxed creature is still on TV). They hem and haw and also chose to go with 'alternative vaccinations' (snake oil and sewer water) packaged as an organic and natural replacement to conventional vaccines. This assuages their on the fence stance and they feel "really good" about themselves and honestly feel they deserve some award for their diligence.  Its funny really. The 'alternative vaccines' more often than not have a fruity, mystical name that appeals to their tree hugger mentality like 'root of whatchamacallit"  which is a centuries old miracle herb hand-picked from the banks of the holy Ganges river (Seriously, this white man's mystical and mysterious India fantasy has GOT to stop).
I KNEW set theory would be useful one day..

The  fallacy of their argument becomes apparent within a few minutes but they are also the ones who will quickly end the discussion by pulling the 'mommy card' that is they are doing what they think is 'best for their child'.  Also the majority of them are middle to upper class and ...wait for it.. white.  As they say, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing and in this case, it can truly be disastrous.

Case in point is the recent news about some actress called Kristin Cavallari who has not vaccinated her first-born and is also pregnant again. When asked about her decision, she mumbled some inaudible and ridiculous crap.
In my mind the imaginary conversation went something like this...
Dumb blonde actress: " There are a lot of statistics about you know... stuff in the vaccines. Dangerous stuff.....
Anchor: Like what?
Dumb blonde actress: Ummm.. mercury... you know....
Anchor:  The level of mercury is highly regulated and its Ethyl-mercury not Methyl-mercury. Two different kinds...
Dumb blond:. ... I'm doing what's best for my children! Stop asking me so many questions! My head hurts! Ooh you like my shiny, shiny golden hair??
Me: ...You're a moron. Please for the love of god stop procreating.

3. The Righteous indignant AVXN mom.
They annoy me the most. They get so angry that I dared to question their RIGHT to choose. They will sprout freedom of speech, thought and action and are morally outraged, no livid, that I attempted to infringe upon their sacred right to raise their child as they see fit. They talk about persecution and Nazis and actually equate themselves with the Mendela's and freedom fighters and feel they are fighting for something noble, true and righteous. Bull fracking shit.

I have no problems with their right to chose, but what about my freaking right? The right of the  immune-compromised? Or the elderly? Or children who are too young to be vaccinated? Why am I being forced to have my child in the same school or environment with a potential carrier of the zombie virus!?!   *Side note* Zombies scare me. They consume my nightmares. 

Look, I'm all for personal freedom and all this talk about forced vaccinations is ridiculous and never going to happen. What I don't understand is why the identity of those parents who chose to not vaccinate their children and still send them to public school is not made public?  There are registry's for dangerous offenders and dangerous pets then why not one for stupid parents who with their actions are putting every one at risk for crying out loud!

I want to know if there is an un-vaccinated child in the little prince's orbit so I can make the decision to remove him to minimize his risk of exposure.  While I know that when majority of kids are vaccinated, the risk is thankfully low for any major outbreak. BUT an un-vaccinated child is at the least a carrier and will certainly be a receptacle for whatever shit-storm mother nature has unleashed that week and bring it into the shared space. At which point even children who are vaccinated may get a milder form. But why even come to this? I feel very strongly about this. If you don't vaccinate please, home school your progeny.

There is a fourth kind....  all Venn diagrams have an intersection and with three sets there is the dreaded middle intersection AVXN mom who is a nasty, mutant hybrid with all THREE traits. I call her  the 'bat shit crazy mom'. If you meet her. DO NOT  ENGAGE. WALK AWAY. Don't make eye contact. Nuff said.


My parting thoughts:  I was born in a country where the lack of vaccination due to poverty, non existent infrastructure, a dismal paucity of education and a  clusterfrack of economics and socio-political reasons has resulted in a wholly preventable disease (Polio) devastating a generation and countless kids. I imagine their lives would have been vastly different without their affliction. So when I hear about people deliberately choosing to NOT vaccinate, it really drives me bonkers.

Call it a culture shock but are they freaking nuts!?! Have their privileged lives lulled them into such a complacent state of idiocy that they are are willing to take such a huge risk? And to think that they are influenced by Jenny McCarthy and that scoundrel Wakefield (true evil!) who  initially came out with his fraudulent and totally self-serving claim of the MMR vaccine causing autism (It does not. He fabricated the data).  His aim was to advocate for an another vaccine, from a pharma company which funded the study and employed his services on their board of directors (vested interest anyone?).  The countless lives affected by these people.... It really makes me wish that there is an ultimate hell reserved for these fools.

I'm also attaching a link to an article which lists all the concerns that AVXN parents have and are responded to by a real doctor.. not Jenny McCarthy. It quite good. Really.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/an-infectious-disease-specialist-answers-common-questions-from-vaccine-hesitant-parents/article17551842/