It isn’t often that I can’t come up with a topic to write about for a Sunday’s post, but this week, after days of brainstorming, nothing satisfied me. Not wanting to waste any precious time, on Friday morning I cruised through Google news to see if anything there grabbed my attention. Something did. But it wasn’t the pro-vaccine article that grabbed my eye and got my wheels spinning. It was someone’s comment that piqued my interest.
Paraphrased, an obviously very pro-vaccine individual told another commenter, who happened to have a vaccine-injured child, that Parents like you who choose to not vaccinate should not be allowed to mingle with the public.
As terrible as that comment sounded, I wasn’t shocked. I kept reading.
Other pro-vaccine commenters began to leave similar messages. They were in agreement and clarified that The Unvaccinated should be barred from public schools, from stores, and from society in general.
The Unvaccinated should be corralled into their own society.
With the hopes that child protective services would soon pay a visit.
And maybe the sheriff, too.
To take unvaccinated children away and to arrest The Unvaccinated’s uneducated parents who willingly choose to expose the public to disease.
Because it’s unfair for vaccinated people to be subjected to The Unvaccinated, that’s why!
Image source: Natural Mother Magazine FB page
The belief that The Unvaccinated are icky and selfish and enchanted spreaders of disease is off-base especially when it’s the vaccinated who are not as immune as they have been lead to believe. Just last week, we learned that once again, another “outbreak” of a vaccine-preventable disease - this time the mumps, has included individuals who were vaccinated for…wait for it, wait for it…the mumps! Despite that undeniable fact, comments toward The Unvaccinated continued to be full of unwarranted accusations.
Ironically, the vaccinated and unvaccinated have been living and breathing alongside each other for quite some time. I’m sure it wasn’t all peace and harmony in the past when the topic of vaccines was broached, but they’ve lived side-by-side. Not only that, somehow they survived. Sure, people likely had strong opinions about disease and vaccines then as they do now. And sure, people also more than likely disagreed about those topics then as they do now. But now, with multiple social media platforms and countless online article comment sections open to anyone who has access to the internet, everyone can share their thoughts wherever and whenever they want, nice or otherwise.
Many do share their thoughts. Sadly, it isn’t just a random thought or a strong opinion being offered; it’s a vicious attack.
It’s too bad that that happens because many who chose to maintain an unvaccinated status clearly have well-thought out reasons supporting their choice. Likewise, those who wish to fully vaccinate themselves or their children have their own supporting reasons as well.
Each side, for lack of a better term, is so very passionate. It isn’t too often that I see it, but I think that each side could quite easily meet in the middle. How?
By sharing personal stories.
By having discussion.
By reviewing studies together.
By listening to opposing viewpoints.
By trying to agree to disagree.
All that’s been done before and continues to be done as I witnessed late Friday morning while reading. Sometimes exchanges end with positive results. Other times - like that recent thread of comments left on that random article I chose to read - not so much.
Knowing it was a pro-vaccine article even before I opened the link, I told myself not to go near the comments, but I was curious. So I read them. All of them. Now, I could have been all sorts of sad and frustrated knowing that a handful of pro-vaccine commenters continued to have zero respect for parents like me, but when I reread their posts, I thought, Hey! These guys might actually have a good idea.
Hear me out.
Remember one of them suggested that The Unvaccinated should be corralled into their own society? Knowing what I know about The Unvaccinated and how they’re years ahead of Science and also so very knowledgeable when it comes to natural health options, I don’t think kicking us out of society is a bad idea.
I think it’s a great idea!
After we’re shuttled off and settled in, I imagine the space that The Unvaccinated would be calling home would evolve into a ‘green’ initiative. With all of us working together, it would be holistic, therapeutic and cultivated for organic gardening. It would be free of what ails The Unvaccinated – things like gluten, dairy and toxic chemicals. It would be free of other things, too, like situations of having to defend my stance on a particular topic that’s now constantly referred to as controversial. I’d be free to have respectful conversations about vaccines and such, but I don’t think I’d spend too much time on that. I would instead focus my efforts on other topics like healing my child. With the help of some of the hardest working parents I’ve ever encountered, who are also not allowed to mingle with the public, I know that healing really could happen.
Free to be in a place to think and do what’s best for my vaccine-injured child isn’t terrible. It would be an oasis. Would I miss anything from the real world though? Of course.
If ever I do find myself sent to a concentration camp-like setting that one the pro-vaccine commenter suggested I and other parents belong, I’d miss those closest to me who don’t view vaccines as I do. I’d love nothing more than to have them join The Unvaccinated. Our opinions differ. Our vaccine statuses differ, too. That could happen but not until our major differences in opinion ceased. Unlike the pro-vaccine commenters, though, at least my friends are respectful of my opinion that vaccines are not entirely safe or entirely effective.
Friends I have may not like my opinion, but they respect it. So, yes, if I became a castoff, I’d miss them dearly. But after reading the hateful, negative comments online the other day, and after the week of vaccine-injury and autism-hell that Ronan’s been through – the seizure activity, the public meltdowns, the unfortunate communication struggles – well, if pro-vaccine commenters are willing to send me away to a community where parents like me and families like mine can live in peace, I’ll take it.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.