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Herd Immunity Demo
February 8, 2013 11:23 PM   Subscribe

A series of simulations demonstrating disease spreading through a population and the benefits of herd immunity
posted by mulligan (33 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
Reminds me of the classic Zombie Simulator, which is like this but with more CONTAGIOUS FLEEING PANIC.

Bonus: enforce sensible quarantine measures with Cluster Bomb Mode!
posted by Rhaomi at 11:35 PM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I want to show this to every antivaxer I meet. It's funny how the same people also like to think of themselves as non-freeloading, up by their bootstraps individualists who don't take handouts or leech off of others. If they can grasp the concept of herd immunity (theoretically) they can be made to understand how inconsistent with their values anti-vaxery is.

But maybe I underestimate the power of cognitive dissonance.
posted by clarknova at 12:12 AM on February 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


Unfortunate choice of colors for us colorblind people. :/
posted by wayland at 1:02 AM on February 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


If they can grasp the concept of herd immunity (theoretically) they can be made to understand how inconsistent with their values anti-vaxery is.

Smart anti-vaxers would keep their mouths shut :)
posted by empath at 1:34 AM on February 9, 2013


But maybe I underestimate the power of cognitive dissonance.

I don't have any phobia about vaccines, but I respect that other people do - for whatever reason - and I respect their right to choose what they put into their bodies - or not put into their bodies. Herds are for sheep not for people.
posted by three blind mice at 2:26 AM on February 9, 2013


and I respect their right to choose what they put into their bodies - or not put into their bodies. Herds are for sheep not for people.

Except when my kid comes home from kinder with whooping cough because some fuckhead has decided that the DTaP is poison.
posted by mattoxic at 2:39 AM on February 9, 2013 [27 favorites]


Except when my kid comes home from kinder with whooping cough

Well, that one should be simple: you shouldn't have the right to send an unvaccinated kid to a public school. Aren't anti-vaxxers the type to want home schooling anyway? Let them home school; it would be safer for their kids and for everyone else's.
posted by pracowity at 2:47 AM on February 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


You shouldn't have the right to send an unvaccinated kid to a public school

Except that one of the rationalizations that anti-vaxers use is that these diseases aren't really that dangerous anyway -- they think because they never seen anyone with serious complications of measles or mumps that vaccinations are just part of fear mongering by the government. So not only do they insist that they have the right to send their kid to school, they have no problem with sending them to birthday parties and playgrounds when their infectious!

I unfortunately have a nephew who is not only anti-vax but quiverfull and homeopthic. We had one family Christmas weekend end abruptly when he and his wife brought their 8 kids, several recovering from measles (and still contagious) to a gathering including an infant, a two year old, and my parents, both over 80! There was a lot of family drama over that.
posted by pbrim at 5:04 AM on February 9, 2013 [13 favorites]


This really needs a mortality simulater built in, so you can get the "congratulations, you killed you child, and maybe a bunch of other children as well" achievement medal.

I don't have any phobia about vaccines, but I respect that other people do - for whatever reason - and I respect their right to choose what they put into their bodies - or not put into their bodies.


So, you respect my right to choose that the vectors of the preventable contagious conditions you are carrying don't get put into my body? Excellent. You are quarantined until you accept vaccination. Surely that is fair -- you are respecting my rights, and I am expecting yours, while preventing a public health crisis.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:05 AM on February 9, 2013 [11 favorites]


"I don't have any phobia about vaccines, but I respect that other people do - for whatever reason - and I respect their right to choose what they put into their bodies - or not put into their bodies. Herds are for sheep not for people."

If we intend to live in community with each other, there absolutely must be basic practical limits to this. For example, while city dwellers have an otherwise absolute right to the privacy and sanctity of their homes absent a hell of a lot of due process and good reason, they do not have a right to keep firefighters from invading their homes, ripping them apart with axes, or drowning them with water or chemicals as part of efforts to prevent fires from spreading. The bare communal necessities of firefighting and epidemic control can absolutely require ways to set aside otherwise inviolate rights to personal integrity when there ends up being no other way.

Currently, the public health need for the vaccination of free loaders is no where near this dire, but infectious disease doesn't care about your civil rights any more than fire does.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:08 AM on February 9, 2013 [14 favorites]


"Except when my kid comes home from kinder with whooping cough because some fuckhead has decided that the DTaP is poison."

We have lost our cultural memory of the magnitude of what it means for a child to come home with Pertussis and the whooping cough it causes, but that sound should send fear down one's spine especially with infants.
7 weeks old
12 weeks old.
3 moths old
~2 years old
64 years old
Losing a Baby to Whooping Cough: One Woman's Story (4:12) PBSNewsHour
It is disgusting that the sound of that whoop is something that in this day and age we should all know well enough to recognize.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:38 AM on February 9, 2013 [13 favorites]


I unfortunately have a nephew who is not only anti-vax but quiverfull and homeopathic. I'd never heard of Quiverfull. Your poor nephew is exactly the sort of person who should not be having eight kids. They'll outbreed the smart people (which I guess is the plan).
posted by pracowity at 5:44 AM on February 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't have any phobia about vaccines, but I respect that other people do - for whatever reason - and I respect their right to choose what they put into their bodies - or not put into their bodies. Herds are for sheep not for people.

We may not call close-contact social groups of humans "herds" or "prides" or "congresses" or "schools" or "murders", but pathogens don't care about our feelings or nomenclature. Herd is as good a name as any. We're gregarious primates and our physical behavior is synonymous.

Negligent attitudes towards the health of those around you is irresponsible. I respect the individual choice of paranoids who don't want vaccines: just as long as they isolate themselves from the rest of us.

Otherwise it's they who are being grossly disrespectful.
posted by clarknova at 6:13 AM on February 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


A vaccination isn't something you only put in your own body. Once it's in your body, you affect your environment by having resistance.

It's like paying taxes. You may not like paying taxes, but you get a civil society for doing so, and so does everyone else. Except it's, you know, life and death.

No vax, no school.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:00 AM on February 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


Ah, the terrible irony that so many people seem to have been inoculated against logic...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 8:49 AM on February 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I understand why people are concerned about aluminum adjuvants and other ingredients in vaccines. What's hilarious (if your sense of humor is black) is that these people who are afraid of a tiny minute quantity of toxin destroying the health of their body is that these are the same people who think the human system is perfectly capable of fighting off exposures to extremely harmful bacteria and viruses. Yes the body is equipped to detox from toxic exposures of certain types and certain amounts. Each persons body is unique and will have differing capacities to eliminate "toxins"-- but toxins are in all food and throughout the body in various amounts because essentially the body constantly is going through various processes that result in materials that need to leave the body. So... we piss and shit and everything.

It's a thing. Some people are sick... meaning they can't process normal toxic exposures (or even the normal compounds found in the body on a normal basis) and reducing those exposures to a bare minimum can be beneficial. These are... ALSO the same people who SHOULD NOT BE EXPOSED TO BACTERIA AND VIRAL INFECTIONS. Are you kidding? You think a persons who body is so sick/allergic/sensitive they can't handle a vaccine is equipped to handle whooping cough? Or the flu for that matter?

I have a compromised immune system and I have had extremely bad reactions to vaccines, though I am up to date. I am totally sympathetic to the idea that some people who are allergic to EVERYTHING (such as myself) could quite literally have seriously bad reactions to them.

I also think you have to be out of your mind to not think vaccines are a really brilliant invention that have wiped out terrible disease from our population. Herd immunity will only protect people with compromised immune systems such as the sort who are really so sick and sensitive they can't handle minute quantity of aluminum adjuvant/methyl mercury what have you-- if we HAVE herd immunity.

I don't personally think hatred of anti-vaxers will solve this. I do think anti-vaxers need to be reached. I also think people who parent badly need to be reached since the prison population is filled with abused/neglected/underserved kids who become adults who carry out crimes. Rearing kidsinconditions that produce criminals is also a public health hazard.

Again I don't think such parents need to be ATTACKED because often the problem is a combination of poverty/lack of education/and values about parenting that are false and a lack of resources to realistically parent better.

I guess to me, if you want to sell something to people you need to know your audience, and you need to be smart about it. Learn the vulnerabilities in their thinking and guide them toward the light, ya know? I also think if we had a bit more compassion for people who have immune problems and really do LITERALLY have reactions to every substance under the sun and have pretty legitimate reasons to worry over their kid (who has the same problem) receiving 5 vaccines at once we might get further in working with parents whose kids are really healthy and should vax to look out for other vulnerable people. What's more, some kids who are sick but don't have any reactions to the ingredients in vaccines would be better served by getting the vaccines because the bacteria/virus could cause way more damage than the vaccine itself.

I think doctors are exhausted caught in the fire of this and we need to do more to educate the public from the perspective that anti-vaxers are going to be very unwilling to recieve education from the government. I think most people here could probably be sympathetic to the idea of not trusting the government? There has to be a way to acknowledge that western medicine IS INDEED fallible, that pharma can indeed be a monstrous industry that spreads misinformation and is designed for profit, that there are legitimate reasons to want to avoid pharmaceuticals if possible-- while also valuing the benefits western medicine and knowledge have to offer. (Which is a shit ton). I think doctors get numb to the idea of side effects. They prescribe drugs all day, they can't sit around freaking out that x cancer treatment might actually CAUSE cancer later in life. They're busy trying to keep people alive and healthy in the here and know and worrying over future ramifications clouds the ability to do that effectively (and with sanity in tack).

Meanwhile, individuals are often willing to explore lifestyle changes, healthy diets, exercise programs, nutritional supplements and other options that might heal their condition better and more permanently than anything the doc has to offer. Doctors aren't very well equipped to deal with this- (see being busy keeping people alive and out of serious disease in the here and now). I think if we embraced preventative medicine-- from a science based perspective.. I.e. actually did a lot of good research on lifestyle patterns, nutritional and diet based treatments and had SCIENCE BASED recommendations to give people about these conditions

You wouldn't have preventative medicine over run with quacks and well intentioned loons who have never taken a serious biology or anatomy course in their life. Preventative medicine, and lifestyle based healing often sqaure with science but misinformation and LACK of quality information abounds leaving much to the imagination.

I think addressing this gap in quality research would do a lot to restore faith of parents who like preventative medicine and healthy lifestyle to maintain health in the words of doctors on matter of vaccines and such.

(And I think this is an important thing to do for MANY reasons, the vaccine issue being one of them)
posted by xarnop at 8:54 AM on February 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I have a compromised immune system and I have had extremely bad reactions to vaccines, though I am up to date. I am totally sympathetic to the idea that some people who are allergic to EVERYTHING (such as myself) could quite literally have seriously bad reactions to them.

It's people like you the rest of us have a duty to protect by taking our damn shots.
posted by clarknova at 9:21 AM on February 9, 2013 [13 favorites]


This is a fantastic simulation.

Herds are for sheep not for people.

As others have said, bugs don't give a shit what we call ourselves, they care about how we act. And we act like social animals. Also, remembering where you live (Sweden, for those who don't know) made me laugh really hard when I saw who posted this bit of nonsense, so thanks!
posted by rtha at 10:30 AM on February 9, 2013


"......... Herds are for sheep not for people."

Shorter three blind mice: "there is no such thing as society".

I've mentioned it several times before but my daughter is/was* one of those honestly unvaccinnated kids because of her chemotherapy. This concept of "herd immunity" is not that hard to grasp unless you actually don't believe in community. Finding out someone is an anti-vaxxer is pretty much the most devastatingly damming thing I can think of finding out about someone. It's worse than a lot of crimes I can think of because it is made in such cold blood, so calculatingly self-serving and such a damming example of freeloading and utterly pathetic dependence on the righteous actions of others. It's like a wealthy person going to s soup kitchen.

* I say "was" because she is now able to start getting re-vaccinated, two years after treatment. Yay for that, though it has ruptured her relationship with one of the community nurses, Nikolai.
posted by Rumple at 10:31 AM on February 9, 2013 [19 favorites]


"I say "was" because she is now able to start getting re-vaccinated, two years after treatment."

That is awesome to hear, I'm really glad your kid is doing OK.

posted by Blasdelb at 11:06 AM on February 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


thanks Blasdelb -- we're pretty lucky so far -- not only is she passing her MRIs but she has only moderate hearing loss post-chemo and mild gross motor deficit post-operation so we're easily in the top few percent of outcomes for her tumour profile. She just turned four last weekend.
posted by Rumple at 11:55 AM on February 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


" Again I don't think such parents need to be ATTACKED because often the problem is a combination of poverty/lack of education/and values about parenting that are false and a lack of resources to realistically parent better."

I agree with everything else you have said but this. It turns out that most of the anti-vax people are well-off and have at least gone to college [that link does not have the stats just a claim from the author that has been born out in many surveys --plus most of the anti-vaxxers send their kids to private schools this costs $$; so, in their case it is self-evident]. It may be that they have degrees from college, but have so much stubborn arrogance that they refuse to believe that their mixed-up ideas that they got from online could be wrong. After all, aren't parents the best to understand their child's needs? It turns out that many people need to have taken several college bio-science classes to have a chance with sorting out the claims of pseudo-science, even if they have a PhD in any other subject.

I agree that the emotion from scientists and others toward genuinely confused parents needs to cool down a bit, but most people here are attacking the leaders of this movement who have had every opportunity to learn some immunology from their attackers. The leaders are criminal IMO.
posted by RuvaBlue at 12:41 PM on February 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Finding out someone is an anti-vaxxer is pretty much the most devastatingly damming thing I can think of finding out about someone. It's worse than a lot of crimes I can think of because it is made in such cold blood, so calculatingly self-serving and such a damming example of freeloading and utterly pathetic dependence on the righteous actions of others. It's like a wealthy person going to a soup kitchen.

I was recently reading Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs (because, yeah, okay, I cannot resist a survivalist book), and I was enjoying it, lots of good information, even a few things that I was going to totally try...

And then she said she didn't vaccinate her kids.

It just totally ruined the the book for me. I get that, if anything big happened, there wouldn't be vaccines, but they're here now, and if anything did happen, your kids - and all the kids around them - would have a hell of a better time surviving if they didn't have major health problems due to illness that could have been prevented.

What's the point of making sure you have a fully-sustainable working micro-farm in your backyard if none of your kids can keep it going due to goddamned polio?
posted by Katemonkey at 1:25 PM on February 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I agree that the emotion from scientists and others toward genuinely confused parents needs to cool down a bit, but most people here are attacking the leaders of this movement who have had every opportunity to learn some immunology from their attackers. The leaders are criminal IMO.

One of my wife's friends is an adamant, crusading, endless-posting-on-facebook, won't-talk-about-anything-else-at-gatherings antivaxxer. She's college educated, married to a college educated guy, etc.

After heated discussions with a doctor, she allowed her daughter to be vaccinated. Eventually, she started showing tons of developmental problems and delays, wouldn't eat consistently for months, and so on. Naturally, this turned into a tearing, bender of a rage-out that everyone heard about for months. Lobbying, letters written to magazines, the works.

Turns out her daughter had a spectrum of food allergies, and they simply hadn't been feeding her food she could easily digest. She hasn't quieted down around it, though: she now insists that vaccines caused the food allergies. I just steer clear as much as I can, and my wife and I have quietly agreed that if we have children, this friend is definitely off the list of trusted babysitters.
posted by verb at 1:31 PM on February 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Personally I don't find it impossible to believe that certain individuals might be vulnerable to effects from vaccines.

I think the problem with educated people is that the more you know about the honesty of government and research, the less you trust government and research.

I would find it utterly unsurprising to discover that there was research already done that found mild increases in certain problems for certain individuals associated with vaccines. And that it was deliberately suppressed by well meaning people concerned about causing any more panic about vaccines than is already there.

Regardless of this- the reality is that there is no other explanation that makes any sense at all for the erasure of so many terrible contagious diseases. You have to be pulling some really desperate conspiracy theory straws out of thin air to convince yourself (or others) otherwise.

AND what I wish educated people would spend a bit more time reading about-- autism, auto-immune problems, and many mental health and other disorders have a strong association with pathogen exposure in the womb and infancy and early childhood.

Meaning-- THESE DISEASES ARE FUCKING DANGEROUS. They can, not only cause DEATH which should be terrible enough, but they can ALSO quite likely cause some of the very same development problems that these parents are paranoid about their kids getting. If we could get on board with herd immunity as a course of responsible action for every healthy child, I think it could then be on the table to identify kids with vulnerable systems who could pass on the vaccines or do delayed/altered schedules due to potential for negative reactions during periods of poor health.

But I think we need more voices familiar with BOTH the suspect nature of research conclusions and publishing (who'se funding, what is their bias, are they asking the right questions, are they willing to publish results they don't like- etc etc) and also up close and personal with the actual research on vaccine effects themselves. It doesn't help for doctors who trust pharma to say vaccine's are safe. We need more doctors that share educated people's perfectly valid concerns about over use of pharma, minimizing of side effects, and doctor reliance on pharma research and advertising to shape their views on best practices on type of treatment for various conditions (i.e. what if a non-pharmaceutical solution works better? Does the assumption always have to be if it's a real condition it needs a pill?) We need doctors/researchers familiar with these concerns to break down cost benefit issues of vaccines as often as possible because I think they are the sort of folk who could make the most dent.

There may actually be a role for social shaming of people who won't get on board with vaccination in here, I don't like shaming people but I do believe in some degree of interventionism when people's behaviors are causing harm.
posted by xarnop at 2:18 PM on February 9, 2013


xarnop: "
There may actually be a role for social shaming of people who won't get on board with vaccination in here, I don't like shaming people but I do believe in some degree of interventionism when people's behaviors are causing harm.
"

Friend of mine and his wife have a two-year-old. When one of their social friend couples got pregnant and started talking about not vaxing, Their whole social group (high percent of doctors) said bluntly, you don't vax your kid/kids, you will be shunned. The couple put up some resistance, but after being left out of every playdate (including an entire holiday season), they relented and vaxed their kid.

So yeah, social shaming works.
posted by notsnot at 4:24 PM on February 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


"I would find it utterly unsurprising to discover that there was research already done that found mild increases in certain problems for certain individuals associated with vaccines. And that it was deliberately suppressed by well meaning people concerned about causing any more panic about vaccines than is already there."
There are indeed a surprisingly large number of people for whom some or all vaccines genuinely are not appropriate, for a variety of reasons. Indeed, it is only safe to vaccinate people with immune systems that will not mount an uncontrolled allergic immune response to incidental ingredients in some vaccines like egg proteins and it is only effective in people capable of mounting an immune response to the antigens being presented. Those various limited and very very well characterized ways in which vaccines can be harmful are at the very center of vaccine research, and if some new principle by which they could conceivably cause harm were ever found by more or less anyone involved in vaccine anything, that would be instant fame and credibility for any academic, a business opportunity for any company, and a dire public health crisis for any regulator to respond to. Even then all of that ignores the fact that people don't work with vaccines for the money or fame or respect or whatever because there really isn't any to speak of, hell, even Maurice Hilleman, one of the greatest men to have ever lived, is mostly only remembered by cranks who hate him.

It is also important to keep in mind that doctors and public health workers are EXTREMELY AWARE of the various ways vaccines can be more bad for some people and are really extraordinarily willing to either not vaccinate or delay vaccination if there is ever any real reason to. While they are not a primary focus of public education campaigns, mostly because they are really boring, they are very much the center of what pediatricians are taught about vaccines. This is why infants are only ever vaccinated with the supervision of an actual pediatrician who is trained to screen for contraindications, and it is only ever done if everything checks out fine. With sixty years of experience doctors and public health workers have figured out really robust ways to determine who could even conceivably be in any real danger before they are exposed, and a big part of that is the current schedule. For example, egg allergies are tested for before exposing children to vaccines incubated in eggs, if they are allergic they either get an alternative or are SOL. Infants with allergies of any kind are only ever vaccinated against anything with an extraordinary amount of care, but a lot of infants simply can't be safely vaccinated and have to be left to the mercy of their neighbor's willingness to vaccinate.
"AND what I wish educated people would spend a bit more time reading about-- autism, auto-immune problems, and many mental health and other disorders have a strong association with pathogen exposure in the womb and infancy and early childhood."
Autism has never been meaningfully linked to pathogen exposure and it doesn't really make sense that it ever will be, while we don't really have an especially solid idea of what causes autism saying pathogens is like hearing hoofbeats and declaring them to come from stampeding pandas. Also, while some kinds of very severe infections in early childhood are known to cause auto-immune diseases like Type-I diabetes as well as cognitive delays, this seems to me like an excellent reason to educate the public to bring their kids into the ER when they have especially high fevers rather than a reason to try explaining the nitty gritty details of auto-immune dysfunction.
"But I think we need more voices familiar with BOTH the suspect nature of research conclusions and publishing (who'se funding, what is their bias, are they asking the right questions, are they willing to publish results they don't like- etc etc) and also up close and personal with the actual research on vaccine effects themselves. It doesn't help for doctors who trust pharma to say vaccine's are safe."
This really is where our doctors are for the most part already at. We already teach doctors how to properly read scientific literature, and you won't really find doctors anywhere who trust big pharma to be anything other than big pharma any farther than they could throw it. As fantastically dysfunctional, fucked by dipshit MBAs, and wily as big pharma can get; it does still produce amazing, useful, and reasonably safe medical tools that doctors really are absolutely appropriately suspicious of.
"We need more doctors that share educated people's perfectly valid concerns about over use of pharma, minimizing of side effects, and doctor reliance on pharma research and advertising to shape their views on best practices on type of treatment for various conditions (i.e. what if a non-pharmaceutical solution works better? Does the assumption always have to be if it's a real condition it needs a pill?) We need doctors/researchers familiar with these concerns to break down cost benefit issues of vaccines as often as possible because I think they are the sort of folk who could make the most dent."
This was maybe revolutionary thinking in medical practice 40 years ago in the seventies but is so standard and hard wired in to medical practice and education today as to be completely banal.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:34 PM on February 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


Bladelb, I PERSONALLY agree with you--- but I don't think that info is getting to the people who need it. Personally, all the doctors I've met have tended to be very progressive and honest about both, that vaccines are generally safe and essential in a population based sense and that if there are specific concerns we can be cautious. I've had some vaccines that haven't worked in my system because I don't launch the right response and I don't wind up with the necessary anti-bodies.

As I have both auto-immune and also mental health problems and found quite a link in my personal and family history and the research I've read, I'm curious what research you've been looking at in terms of fetal exposures (but I'll PM you about that as it seems to be getting off topic). My mother was ill while pregnant with me and I've read a good deal about research on fetal development that seemed to indicate illness in pregnancy can result in certain developmental problems. But I would like to hear what you're reading that contradicts that association.
posted by xarnop at 6:01 PM on February 9, 2013


"This was maybe revolutionary thinking in medical practice 40 years ago in the seventies but is so standard and hard wired in to medical practice and education today as to be completely banal."

Also speaking from experience I think you idealize how great all doctors of "now" are. When I still had faith in doctors every symptom I reported was met with a pill solution, as 10/15/20/25 years ago. No doctor has EVER said, "Oh you have IBS, anxiety, recurring viral infections, recurring bacterial infections, allergies to everything, severe responses to artificial ingredients, fungal infections, high bilirubin, cognitive impairment, let's sit around and look at research about what is really going on in your body and various ways you can improve that other than pharmaceuticals"

When it was allergies? A pill. When it was IBS? A pill. When it was extreme allergic reactions? Cortisone shots. Anxiety after cortisone shots? Paxil.

I get that you know or have really awesome doctors and there are a lot of them, but unless in the past ten years since I haven't had insurance doctors have gone through through this revolution you seem to think became standard 40 years ago, I highly doubt the integrity of practice you think is the norm is really as standard as you think.

It certainly was NOT in the 90's. And the few times I have tried to get in to see doctors and get some feedback about what is going on in my body I have not even remotely had any doctor really interested in figuring out what is going on from any perspective other than "Do you need a pill immediately or not, goodbye"

My experience itself is what taught me not to trust doctors to care about what is really going on with my health. It's not like going to the average general practice doctor means someone is going to sit there and listen to all your different conditions, educate you about them, talk about central mechanism or the overlapping nature of your conditions and how they react off of or cause each other, and give you lot's of science based non-pharmaceutical options to choose from. Maybe for people with really great insurance that's how it works now in a standardized way, but that never even remotely happened for me even when I had great insurance.
posted by xarnop at 3:29 AM on February 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Couldn't help but notice the call-out of Waldorf Schools in simulation #6 (freeloader pocket). I have encountered quite a few anti-vax folks in recent years and I honestly don't know where they are coming from. Some are militant about it and try to deluge you with "facts" but others are in communities where going to doctors just isn't a concern and it seems like they just don't give vaccinations very much thought at all. But at times they can seem willfully clueless. Last year some friends of mine had a new baby boy and they lived in a community with a good number of un-vaccinated kids who loved to visit and come over and play with the new baby, etc. Then last spring a group of these kids (4-8 year olds) developed pertussis. And to my amazement, their parents let them run free and interact with everyone in the community like it was just another day in the park. I think one of them even traveled on a plane knowing their child has pertussis. I was a bit shocked in a speechless "I love these people but what are they thinking" kind of way. My friends had to actively keep those kids away from their baby. But really those parents should have quarantined their children---like lock them in a bedroom together--until it was safe to emerge. It is that whimsical lack of concern I find so mind blowing.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 9:48 AM on February 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


It is that whimsical lack of concern I find so mind blowing.

I think part of this is the pervasive idea that because we think we've made the world safe, the world is safe. We've cured a bunch of major diseases (never mind that it was using vaccinations -- out of sight, out of mind is another pervasive tendency), so we don't need to worry about diseases. Animals are tame, so trying to put your kids on a bison in a state park makes sense. We don't understand the amazing amount of technology and effort that makes a cell phone work, so we just assume it will, and we get bent out of shape if there is poor reception or we lose a signal -- which can be bad if we were counting on its GPS to get us out of Death Valley.

More or less, it's a complete failure of imagination, knowledge, and critical thinking, and it's terribly common.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:59 AM on February 10, 2013


Bladelb, I PERSONALLY agree with you--- but I don't think that info is getting to the people who need it.

The people who need it, in my experience, are being told this information in a neutral fashion. They simply choose to believe cranks and crackpots who tell them that it's PART OF A GIANT PHARMINDUSTRIAL COMPLEX CONSPIRACY.
posted by verb at 11:27 AM on February 10, 2013


"Except when my kid comes home from kinder with whooping cough because some fuckhead has decided that the DTaP is poison."

What’s the Matter With Vermont? Anti-vaccine activists derailed a bill that could have blunted the whooping cough epidemic.
posted by homunculus at 1:56 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


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