A Round of Shots!

So naturally, as human kind would have it, we are constantly trying to scare the shit out of each other.  Whether the scare takes form of a friend jumping from behind the corner in a dark hallway, telling stories to your younger siblings of the local boogie man, chain mail threatening you of 7-10 years of bad luck for not forwarding this email to everyone on the planet, or even the local bully threatening to beat you up after school (or PTA meeting)… scaring people is the sick and twisted form of entertainment we all are guilty of.

Fear isn’t always so innocent though.

We’re constantly put into fear from religion, politics, and science as well.

Fear from religion forces us to act right in the eyes of our Gods.  It forces us to take an internal look into our thought processes and form self-judgment calls before our final day comes, so we can make it into whatever afterlife we believe in.

Fear from politics has us biting our nails about if my generation will receive the hard earned social security money we’ve worked for, or if our federal employees will get a paycheck at the end of the week because of government shut downs.  Some of us fear that we can’t trust our government so much that we can’t live day to day without thinking we’re being watched, tracked, bugged, or put on some list that will inevitably have “the man” kicking down our door demanding to take away our freedoms and liberties.

But then there is science.

Over the years science has benefited the world so much, yet taken away just as much in the same amount of time.  As our technology rapidly develops, scientists figure out ways to do things that weren’t within human capabilities before the initial invention (ie, caveman invents fire–something that’s never been on earth before).  Well with this fire, some smarter cave man was like, “check this out,” and he puts the fire on a stick… boom… a torch is created.  Torches burned out with a nice gentle breeze, some smarter caveman was like “hey put some tar on that stick first before you stick it in the fire…” Boom… eternal flame… that turns into refined wicker lamps, and once electricity is made, flashlights, search lights, lasers… so on and so on… get it?

This goes for all aspects of science.  Decades ago bacteria owned the bodies of man, and killed them swiftly.  Penicillin was created.  Bacteria got stronger.  As did Penicillin. Then the bacteria. Then the penicillin… and this revolving door of Darwinism repeats itself.  Basically, as our medications become stronger, so do the viruses and diseases.  This is why when we get flu shots, some people still get sick… because the virus has evolved and found a way to survive and spread.  Why do you think we haven’t found cures for the common cold yet?

There is a fear in science that feeds science.  Marinade on that…

(*Side note… I actually am one of those guys who believe there are cures for this stuff, but there isn’t money in cures are there…*)

Regardless of my beliefs, what I’m hinting at is that as the force to destroy gets stronger, the will to survive becomes greater.  This brings adaptation… or evolution.  Genetic mutations if you will…

So enough of the science lesson.  What does this have to do with anything?

Well, for one thing vaccinations are a hot topic within our social circles now.  Should we, or shouldn’t we vaccinate our children?  Some have very strong opinions for yes, and make very good cases about why we should.  Most of these cases revolve around statistics of unfortunate children who didn’t make it, assumingly due to not receiving their shots as babies.  While other individuals make very good cases about why not to get shots with the argument of the outrageously high rate of autism in America right now.

Now the non-believer of ‘shots = autism’ will argue, “We all got the same shots as children, and autism wasn’t flourishing in the 70’s and 80’s.”  Well they may be right.  However, we are in fact diagnosing more and more cases of autism today because we also know the signs better today than we did in the past, meaning we may have just missed a diagnosis, or even MISdiagnosed. For instance, naturally walking on their tip toes, or not interacting with other children are now tell-tale signs of possible autism, whereas when I was growing up, the kid walking on their tip-toes was just perky, and the kid not playing with anyone was just really shy.   (I also have my own opinions about this… but that’s to be argued over drinks along with politics and religion…)

But this is where my earlier science class plays a part.  Now I’m no scientist… and this is really all just speculation off of what I observe on the news or via clinical studies and articles, but just like the virus and disease, vaccinations have had to evolve to keep up with the always-mutating micro organic killers.

This is the real reason why people are scared.

Shots aren’t seemingly as mild and helpful as they once were and are actually dangerous…….. if–your child has autism.

However on the flip side… if you have a healthy baby who turns lawyer, and they’ve had their shots as an infant, shots have done their job.

The thing I fear is that I can only pray for a healthy baby.  I can only pray that JR will be able to run like Usain Bolt, and be able to think like Steve Jobs, while have the heart of Rocky, and the leadership traits of Dr. Martin Luther the King Jr.  I can only pray; because you can’t be a firm believer in science OR God.  You have to believe in both (well you don’t have to… and you is a very general term).  Shots or not, what happens to him is out of our hands… scientifically.  There is no right answer…

If we don’t give our kid the polio shot, will baby JR develop polio?  Probably not.  But do I want to find out?  Probably not.  These are thoughts that cross my mind, and I’m sure thousands of other parents are thinking the same as I type this.

Paps and I have had the “shots talk.”  She’s absolutely for them, and because I don’t have a strong stance on either side, she’ll pretty much lead the way on this decision.  But I do have one stipulation…

They will not all be at once.

I’m not sure of how the shots were administered back in ’82 when I was just a wee lad… but I’m certain that they weren’t all at once like it is now.  I’m actually not certain, but I’ve convinced myself that they weren’t, and I will ask the pediatrician whenever we finally meet them.  But not all at once is the only way I can feel comfortable about making this tough decision of injecting dead viruses of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella into a baby that, because of living in a first world lifestyle, may never even come in contact with a scenario where he could catch it…

But then again, I’ve seen Outbreak, Contagion, The Stand, 12 Monkeys, 28 Days Later, and every other Zombie movie that is practically a documentary on what viruses can do to us… and I don’t want to be the one to start the apocalypse with my diseased atom bomb baby.

So vaccinations it is…

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