Anti-Vax movement

The Anti-Vax Movement Is Still Out There, But There's No Reason It Should Be

Anti-vaccine arguments have been proven by health professionals and researchers to be untrue time and time again, so why would people still choose to believe false, and possibly harmful information?

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In 2000, measles was officially declared eradicated from the United States, but since I started college, I've had two cases of emails regarding a fellow student in different lectures being diagnosed with measles. I don't think these cases are directly linked to anti-vaccine rhetoric, but we can attest this rhetoric to other outbreaks. In 2018, there were just over one hundred cases in twenty-one states. Considering this disease was eradicated almost twenty years ago and the vaccine for it is required for many children to enter school, that's a pretty concerning number.

I don't mean to discount the right of parents to raise their children however they want nor people with fears of needles so great that the idea of vaccination may be too much for them. We cannot guarantee that vaccinations will prevent a disease every single time. However, when we're seeing diseases like measles reemerge slowly but surely throughout the country, we need to remind ourselves of what's the truth about the anti-vaccination rhetoric. It's vital to remember who to really go to about these issues beyond ideas posted all over the internet and remind ourselves of what the actual facts are behind popular anti-vaccination ideas.

With the case of Ethan Lindenberger, who testified to a Senate Committee recently about his experience opting to get vaccinated after doing research in spite of his anti-vaccine mother, we can all learn a lesson about sources to go to when it comes to this subject. The first person you should always go to if you have any questions or concerns about any kind of vaccination is your doctor, especially when regarding children. If you don't necessarily feel comfortable asking your doctor or a certified health professional, then I recommend taking a look at the same sources Ethan Lindenberger cited in his testimony, including the CDC, the World Health Organization, and other accredited medical sources.

These sources are based entirely on scholarly, proven research done by credited, respected professionals in the health field who know what they're talking about. Base your stance on vaccinations on these sources and not the hearsay or speculation of unproven research many anti-vaxxers seem to rely heavily upon. Your doctor took an oath to work for the health of their patients and went through years of schooling on matters like these while almost all anti-vaxxers didn't, so know who is the right source to listen to on the matter.

On the subject of sources, we need to remind ourselves of the study that began the modern anti-vaccination movement and the fact it was all fabricated. In the 1990s, Dr. Wakefield claimed to have found a link between autism in children and the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine, a vaccine required by most schools even today. The story was picked up by several media outlets, and created the anti-vaccine movement of the modern day, with celebrities like Jenny McCarthy using the ideas of the study to further spread the ideas of the movement further. However, it was later revealed and confirmed through research done later that Dr. Wakefield and those researching with him had created false conclusions and had therefore made up the link between autism and vaccines.

As a result, Dr. Wakefield has been discredited and had his medical license revoked. This kind of falsified information still runs through the veins of the anti-vaccine movement. Not only are these kinds of claims insanely incorrect, but they create a stigma that autism is caused by an outside source, instead of a natural and complex developmental disorder that cannot be explained away by false claims. Autism has been around much longer than any vaccines have, and saying that any vaccinations put children at a higher risk of being on the spectrum is an extremely incorrect and disgusting claim to make.

Vaccinations are not an easy subject—neither is medicine in general—and to think you know everything or as much about them when you are not a health professional is extremely ignorant.

Professionals have spent years doing proven, accredited research on the subject, and to believe one person who has no idea what they're talking about on Facebook say vaccines are bad undermines the proven vaccination research done for the good of all people, and puts others at risk.

We live in a society privileged enough to have vaccines for diseases like measles, influenza, and polio that used to wholly change the way people had to live their lives and even killed people. Not all of the world is privy to such technology, as there are people throughout the world who still risk having to face and fight such diseases. So consider nothing but facts when looking at issues like vaccinations, and consider the amount of proven research and heart that has gone into both sides before truly deciding your stance on this issue, which is extremely important both in personal and more widespread terms.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Temple's Tobacco-Free Policy: Not Necessary Or Bright

This non-smoker has some choice words for the tobacco ban.

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Temple's tobacco-free campus policy was just revealed, and as a non-smoker with asthma, my first instinct was to be glad.

However, upon reflection, it becomes obvious how disastrous, counterproductive, and yes, even elitist, this plan is.

The obvious problem with having a "tobacco-free" campus is that we also have an "alcohol-free" campus and a "marijuana-free" campus. Do you see where I'm going with this?

The other obvious logistical problem everybody is seeming to ignore is that Temple is smack in the middle of North Philadelphia: which is an urban campus with local residents constantly on Broad Street and obviously, these rules do not apply to them.

So, given the fact that there will already be a high number of people with the rules not applying to them, why does Temple think it can enforce this?

Speaking of enforcing the rule, how exactly does Temple plan to enforce this? Will the Temple police be riding around looking to confiscate various cigarettes and vapes? Do I really need to explain to all of you why this is a terrible idea?

Is this the type of environment we want to promote? I do not think anybody has a "right" to smoke, but giving some sort of authority to yank things out of people's mouths? I do not think it would not be radical to think of the slippery slope this could lead to. We are a public university with our own police force.

Not only that, but should we really be taking Juuls away? Now I personally think Juuls are the teenager version of a pacifier, but despite that, some people that use a Juul are doing so to quit their addiction to cigarettes. We should not be in the market of interfering with a person's attempt to quit.

This is doubly ridiculous when you consider all of the alternatives, too.

Temple has a policy where one is forbidden from smoking 25 feet from a building. Why not just enforce that? Or stop selling nicotine products at the 7/11?

And how can we claim that tobacco is the immediate problem when there is a bar right on Liacouras Walk?

This entire policy is the result of a bunch of annoying liberal children wanting to feel like activists and enshrine themselves in a veil of moral superiority. The "Task Force" is just some liberal elitist students that want to show off how woke they are and ruin everybody else's fun so they took this cause because it seemed easy.

You can see this by how I just poked all of those holes in their platform.

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