Sadly, the attitude pictured above is more common in practice than one might think.
For instance, recently I was listening to a report on a radio broadcast about how measles was almost at the point of being considered eradicated in this country. Now measles rates are going up again. Why? The answer turns out to be because of the parents who began refusing to vaccinate their children years ago because they either were afraid of vaccines (due to incorrectly performed studies) or because they did not wish to subject their children to vaccines if there was no need for them.
The problem is that there is indeed a need for them. It was those very rejected vaccines that were helping to bring measles to eradication in this country. Now, thanks to those very parents, measles is returning. Yep, do not allow “egghead scientists” to mess with your beliefs.
In the same vein, there are increasing reports of parents who are delaying the whole vaccination schedule for their children, for all vaccines. In other words, if a set of vaccines is due at 12 months, they are delaying them to 18 months or 24 months. Why? No good scientific reason. Simply put, they have decided that their own conclusions are more important than those of “egghead scientists.”
Often these parents can quote with great facility studies that they have read on the Internet or stories passed around from parent to parent. All too often, it is the most “educated” of parents who are willing to buy in to the least peer-reviewed and the least verified theories on issues such as vaccinations.
I first touched upon this subject in 2010. Since then, what was happening back then has continued apace. Childhood diseases, previously considered almost eradicated in the USA, have been making a comeback thanks to all those “educated” parents who reject “egghead scientists.”
In fact, within the last couple of days, octogenarian Barbara Walters has come down with the chicken pox. It turns out that she was born in the days before the chicken pox vaccine, and never quite bothered to be vaccinated. In her case there was no rejection of science, she simply never thought that it would hit her. And so, she is another statistics, as she recovers in a hospital. You see, a mild childhood disease like chicken pox turns out to be a tough disease in an adult, particularly an octogenarian adult.
So, you see, there really is a reality. And reality can come back and get you.