Although we haven't (yet) had measles in our county, I have to wonder if her stupidity is endangering my baby- who is too young to be vaccinated for MMR. Because, make no mistake about it, this is nothing but stupidity. It's not based in fact, or research, or even the most tenuous understanding of epidemiology. It's based on the idea that a quack who wrote a book is apparently more informed than 40 years of data and CDC research. You know, the CDC, that dangerously inexperienced batch of undereducated epidemiologists. (Do you know how hard it is to get a job at the CDC?)
I think that the
1) Vaccines are dangerous.
I won't even discuss this.
2) The diseases AREN'T dangerous.
This is based in complete ignorance of both history and reality, as far as I can tell.
3) Vaccines exist to prevent community harm and, hey, I don't feel altruistic.
This is true. Vaccines also exist to prevent Grandma from getting whooping cough from your toddler, to prevent YOUR baby from getting sick from MY toddler, and so on. The vaccination schedule is, among other considerations, made up to maximize protection for both individuals and populations. You are also legally required to have automobile liability insurance. Life is tough.
4) If I don't immunize, my child won't get sick anyways.
I think it should only take a few minutes' reflection to realize why this won't work, especially when the opinion is widespread. (Forty-three thousand cases of mumps? WTF??)
(For completely infuriating logical inconsistency, she also said the kid's had a mild rash for two days and she's going to the doctor tomorrow. Urgent rash!! Every medical professional's favorite.)
I'm having a really hard time reconciling my friendship with this person- who I have seen, on average, every week for two years- with the idea that she is actually quite stupid. I can't just avoid her without making an entire new set of friends- and we're planning to almost-certainly move next summer. I don't know what to do other than be filled with fury.
(Note: I will delete any comments suggesting that vaccines are horrible, terrible autism-causing unnecessary interventions, or that the MMR vaccine should in fact be delayed until age 3 in a healthy toddler. See above regarding: WRONG.)