In honor of the breaking news reports surrounding the coronavirus I did some reflecting and decided to take this time to remind everyone of something so important: individuals who are immunocompromised.
Whether they are tiny babies who just don't have the immune system yet, individuals with autoimmune diseases, individuals going through chemotherapy, or any other person who may not have the option of vaccines, here is a word of advice: wash your damn hands and vaccinate your children.
I happen to love someone very dearly with an autoimmune disease. The medications he is on lowers his immune system. With his other disease, the common cold can even turn deadly due to the compromised position his immune system is in. Please, for the love of all that is holy, be a decent human and wash your hands.
Your child had a fever last night. Should you send them to school the next day? If the answer isn't obvious, it should be, because it's absolutely not.
Do you have a slight cold but really want to see that cute newborn baby? When you see that baby, do you not have the resistance to bend down and kiss their little hands or feet, despite mom not wanting people to kiss their child because of RSV season? Can you not fathom how easy it is to literally stay away?
Can you not imagine the reason you need a flu shot? Does it just burn you up at the thought? How dare your friend who is going through chemotherapy request everyone around them to get flu shots.
Do you think that vaccines cause Autism? Do you believe that, despite being debunked and losing his medical license, the idiot who published the study is actually being truthful? Would you rather your child possibly get ill and die because, you think, my lord, I would never want a child with Autism?
If you said yes to any of these I think you need to do some soul searching. Truly reach down into your soul and assess what went wrong. Looking out for others who don't have access to vaccines or others whose immune systems are so low that a public place is literally seen as a giant petri dish is not hard to do. Looking out for others who can get extremely sick from what we call, "just a cough," or, "just a little cold," is the right thing to do. In fact, I think it's very obviously common sense, however, I would not be writing these words if it was truly just that: common sense.
My message to you all: wash your hands. If you're sick, don't go around others whose lives depend on NOT being sick. If your child is sick, keep them home rather than send them to school. Do NOT think about secretly smothering the newborn with love when the parents have made it perfectly clear that they want to eliminate as much risk as possible, and my God, do not judge them for it.
In parting, remember this: herd immunity only works if most people in the population are vaccinated.