Dear Anti-Vaxxers, You're Wrong, We DO Need Vaccines

Dear Anti-Vaxxers, You're Wrong, We DO Need Vaccines

Anti-vaxxers have a large megaphone, and it needs to be counteracted.
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Jenny McCarthy. Jim Carrey. Donald Trump. All three have either espoused anti-vax views or acted as mouthpieces for the movements. The anti-vaccination movement has a relatively large following in the United States; Around 30% of all Americans either say the risks involved are either medium or high. This is alarming. Vaccines have created a society in which we can roam freely without the threat of debilitating or fatal diseases like polio, Measles, or mumps. Without them, kids will suffer.

Most people know what vaccines are; an injection involving a weakened or even killed-off strain of a disease-causing agent, such as bacteria or viruses. This concept was first explored in the 18th century, when Edward Jenner vaccinated a child against smallpox with cowpox, which granted the child resistance to the disease. This was revolutionary; people young and old had died as a result of these diseases prior to this point, so finding a means through which people could avoid even having the disease in the first place would be momentous. Jonas Salk went even further, developing the first polio vaccine back in the '50s. They helped lead to the immense decrease or even the “eradication” of diseases such as polio and smallpox, as well as others.

Now? They are making a comeback.

Since 2010, there have been over 1,000 cases of measles. Keeping in mind the disease was officially considered to be eradicated in the United States in 2000, this is a drastic uptick in the number of people who’ve contracted the disease. A lot of it can be attributed to people from other nations who have not been vaccinated, as well as individuals here. Another disease experiencing a resurgence here is mumps. In 2016, nearly 6400 individuals contracted the disease, compared to just 229 FIVE YEARS AGO. This skepticism in vaccines, whether it be from a religious perspective, a “scientific” (dare I say pseudoscientific) perspective, or even just a plain conspiracy theory, is unfounded.

Vaccines have led to an overall healthier society. No, the government is not masterminding a plot for population control. No, the chemicals inside the vaccines are safe (formaldehyde, for example, is synthesized in the body as well).

Another bit to consider; kids with compromised immune systems. Kids who are currently suffering from debilitating diseases or cannot receive vaccines depend on the idea of herd mentality, or the concept of a society in which people who CANNOT be vaccinated are protected due to the overall high vaccination rates of a society. Now? Kids are at higher risk. Kids can die from these diseases. That is simply unacceptable, and these conspiracies are bunk. They make no sense and contradict ALL lines of research done by a multitude of scientists.

Vaccines have improved our society as a whole, making us healthier overall and protecting us from many diseases. We now find ourselves in a society that has far more unhealthy skepticism about the method. It is to the detriment of our society.

Do yourself, your child(ren) and others a service. Get vaccinated ASAP.

Cover Image Credit: carlosreusser / Flickr

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Florida Is Starting To Rethink The Whole Reefer Madness Narrative And I'm Diggin' It

It's a dope change of pace.

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Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that will allow people with medical marijuana cards to smoke weed legally and, personally, I think it's dope.

I didn't even know people with medical cards in Florida couldn't actually smoke the weed they were prescribed until earlier this year. My friend who suffers from lupus just started smoking hers after the bill was passed. The stinky plant comes in a prescription pill bottle and she's supposed to vaporize it, kind of like a humidifier. I went with her to a dispensary (no laws were broken, I waited in the lobby) and she explained the whole process behind it. Apparently, there's a lot of ways people consume weed. There's cannabis pills, edibles, patches, dab pens, the list goes on. Like, what?

I mean, that's cool and all, but I couldn't wrap my brain around it. What's the problem with the act of smoking? The end goal has the same effects. Granted, it can mess with your lungs, but cigarettes are legal. Vapes are legal. Think about it: the things that are actually legal to smoke don't have any positive effects. Do you see the disconnect?

I still don't fully understand the negative stigma behind weed. Yes, it does for sure mess with your memory and yes, we don't know a lot about it in general so it's hard to say the drug is 100% safe. But then again, JUULs are legal and we don't even know those long term effects. There are so many awful drugs the FDA has approved and yet, they can't get fully on board with weed. Xanax is a highly addictive, dangerous as hell drug if it's abused and it's rarely monitored. Some doctors hand it out like candy. Even Tylenol is awful.

No one has died from weed. How many people have died from alcohol poisoning? I'm just saying you never hear about a stoner overdosing on weed—it's just not a thing.

What we do know about weed is that it does have some positive effects on people's health and it can actually help those in real pain. Even people with cancer are suggested to smoke weed to help with their symptoms, so what's the issue? I'm glad Florida is starting to recognize that this stigma is old-fashioned and is starting to move away from the devil's lettuce narrative.

I'm not saying everyone should dress head to toe in weed paraphernalia and spark a blunt in the middle of Downtown, Orlando (although, that would be interesting to watch) and I am not condoning any illegal use of marijuana, but I think the Reefer Madness mindset is extremely outdated. People who actually need weed for medical issues are not using it recreationally, so any prior beef with Mary Jane should not affect their health.

Florida is finally making changes for those who medically need it and it's lit.

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