Measles and Medical Malfeasance
I am a survivor of childhood measles. This is what measles taught me about an industry that wants to sell millions of doses of vaccines by proclaiming the awesomely good news that vaccines prevent measles.
As a child growing up in the late 1950s - early '60s, I got all the childhood diseases. I had measles. So did my sisters, and all (or most of) the kids at school. It was no big deal. It was "measles". Every kid got it. Nobody I know - or know of - ever got seriously ill, or died, from measles.
I don't remember actually having the measles - it was not a major (or minor) "event" in my life. But I remember knowing I had the measles. I don't remember if I had chickenpox or mumps, but I know one or more of my sisters had them, and some or most of the kids at school.
I probably had them too, just like I probably had a few colds and flus when I was a kid. But I don't remember any of them in particular, because they are not "memorable". They are not life-altering near death experiences. They are just everyday stuff that happens in the normal life of a kid.
I remember getting the "shot" at school, the one that leaves the permanent round mark on your arm, probably when I was in grade 2. My wife tells me it was a vaccination against smallpox. I had never heard of smallpox. Nobody had smallpox. Nobody talked about smallpox. So how would I have heard of it?
By the 1960s smallpox had been virtually eradicated by improved public and household sanitation, chlorinated drinking water that kills germs, improved nutrition, and all the other lifestyle improvements that minimize the propagation and transmission of diseases and build a strong immune system that kills off infectious diseases before they make us sick.
Infectious viruses and bacteria are all around us, all the time. But they don't make us sick, because we have an immune system.
Smallpox was already eradicated. But all us kids got smallpox vaccinations.
I remember the lineup in the hallway, all the kids in the school. We weren't worried about getting smallpox. We were worried about getting a needle.
Nobody had smallpox after the shot, just like nobody had smallpox before the shot. So I guess whatever they injected in us at least didn't give us smallpox.
My Mom told me I had pneumonia twice as a child, when I was too young to remember it. Double pneumonia one of those times. She said I almost died. One of my earliest memories (age 5?) is being in a hospital room and not wanting my Mom to leave. But there were 3 other kids to take care of, and my parents had to work. I don't know how long I was in hospital. Overnight? A couple-few days? But I made it out, alive.
About 20-30 years ago - when the State of Oregon listed over 700 of the most common medical conditions in order of cost effectiveness of the available treatments - pneumonia was number 1 on the list. A $10 shot of antibiotics reliably cures what is otherwise a life-threatening respiratory disease.
I don't know if the doctor gave me antibiotics when I almost died of double pneumonia; or the other time when I only had pneumonia in one lung. Maybe my own healthy immune system fought off the disease. I don't know, and my Mom died 20 years ago so I can't ask.
When I was in grade 1 or 2 I had whooping cough. I remember, when we played outside at recess and lunchtime, I would run down the field and then stop and bend over in a fit of coughing that lasted... I don't remember. Maybe 10-15 seconds. Then I would run back down the field and cough again.
I can explicitly remember one of the fits of coughing, exactly where I was just then. It wasn't "bad" or painful. I was too young (6 or 7) to experience it as a nuisance. It was just part of my normal life. I didn't feel like I was "sick". I just had whooping cough, which made me cough a lot. I had it for what seemed like a long time, but I don't remember exactly how long. Then I got over it, and didn't have it anymore.
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