Tag Archives: vaccines

Oh really? You think vaccines cause autism? Huh?

You always hear about crazy people on the Internet who don’t believe in vaccinating their kids, but have you ever actually met one of those wackos in real life? It’s like, I personally think it’s nuts, the anti-vaccine argument. And pretty much every single person I know thinks it’s nuts also. And so you don’t really have to defend your position that often. We just kind of take these things as a given. Yes, we’re supposed to give out vaccinations to stop the spread of really bad diseases. And yes, there exists a small group of people who don’t believe in vaccines, but they all live far away, and so it’s nothing that I’ll probably ever have to deal with in real life.

But one time I met an anti-vaccine guy. He was my age, so he didn’t actually have any kids yet. I don’t have any kids either, and so, in retrospect anyway, I’ve tried to go back in my mind and think about how this conversation about vaccines actually got started. If I’m certain about one thing, it’s that I didn’t bring it up. No, like I said, I’m part of the majority of normal non-looney human beings who don’t doubt vaccinations as being what they are: a crucial tool in helping to keep us alive and healthy. So I don’t go up to random people that I’ve only just met and start talking like I’ve got to go on the offense against the controversial arguments of a fringe group of vaccine deniers.

My friends and I had gone out with a bigger group of friends, and so there were a lot of people I didn’t know. Like I said, I don’t know how I started talking to this one guy about vaccines, but all of the sudden there I was, this dude was in my face, challenging me to defend the use of mass vaccination. At first I thought he was joking. I thought he was making an over-the-top vaccine joke, and so I responded in a similar fashion, making some remark about Jenny McCarthy or Rob Schneider.

But this guy got a really serious look on his face. He was like, “Look man, I’ll send you some Internet articles, and I’m telling you man, you read this shit, you won’t put your kids anywhere near a vaccine.” And again, I don’t have kids. “You have kids?” I asked him. “Nope.”

And what do you say to a person like this? Because no, I’ve never done any hard research. I’ve never gotten under a microscope and checked the actual science. I’m not qualified. But every single news source that I trust, every doctor I’ve ever met in my life, they all tell me the same thing, that these vaccine deniers are deluded, that the overwhelming majority of actual science doesn’t really have anything to say to these people other than, you’re wrong, you don’t know what you’re talking about, please stop spreading misinformation.

So when I was actually confronted with a vaccine denier, I had nothing really to say. I just kept being like, “Oh yeah? Really? You think vaccines cause autism? Huh? You think the government’s trying to control us through vaccines? Really? Is that what you believe?”

And the guy was like, “Yeah man, that’s exactly what I believe. And they don’t want you to know that I know that they know. You know? I’m telling you man, just check out these Internet articles. What’s your email address?”

And what do I say? What could I have said to change his mind? Nothing. He had that crazy look in his eye that all fanatics have. There was nothing to be done. This guy was already lost. So I gave made up a fake email address and said I had to go to the bathroom.

That’s a Nonstarter

That’s a nonstarter. Making me get up earlier than I want to? Sorry, that’s another nonstarter. Don’t like the way I dress? Telling me to wear something more appropriate for work? Asking me to stop taking so many breaks? One, two, three, every one of them a nonstarter. Of course I want health benefits. Of course I don’t want to pay a cent for them. Nonstarter. You guys give out bonuses? Big ones? A couple times a year? Cash? Nope? Yep, nonstarter.

I’d say dealbreaker, but we’re not even close to a deal that might get broken. We haven’t ever started. Hence the whole nonstarter. Let’s talk lunch breaks. How many are we talking about? One? I’m going to need a little more than one. Two? You’re asking me? Keep sweetening that pot. That’s a potsweetener by the way. We’re going in the right direction, so keep throwing out numbers, let’s go three, four. Yeah I’m hungry baby. Nope. Nope? Nope. Dealbrea … I mean, nonstarter.

I’m not wearing a tie. I’d wear two ties, but only if it were Halloween, and only if I were dressing up as future Marty McFly from Back to the Future Part II. But I haven’t even decided on my Halloween costume for next year, that’s still a ways off. Do you guys dress up for Halloween? Do you have a contest for best costume? Do you give away any prizes? Like a cash prize? Or a prize where you don’t have to come in to work for a few days? Or maybe an extra lunch break? No, thank you. No, I’ll be in touch. No, I decided to go with somebody who better meets my needs and qualifications.

Why do I have to ask them if they want their sandwich toasted every time? Won’t they just tell me to toast it if they want it toasted? Why are you trying to make so much extra work for me? And I seriously have to wear these gloves all the time? What if I have an itch on my face? Will you at least itch my nose if I ask you to? You know what you should change the name of this sandwich shop to? Nonstar … I already told you about that? Well, it was true then, it’s true now. I don’t care if this was only a trial period. Well it’s not a lunch break if I’m eating while I’m working. And what was I supposed to just throw it away? Well if you want this hat and apron back you’re going to have to do a lot more than just tell me to hand it over.

Look, it’s my body. Because I don’t like needles. Because I’d much rather if you just squirted it in my mouth. Well can’t I be the judge of whether it works or it doesn’t? You’re not even a real doctor. What the hell is a technician anyway? What is that like a fake nurse? There’s no way you’re sticking that needle in my arm. It’s a nons … get your hands off of me! Ow! Hey! I told you not to stick that it my arm! Who the hell do you think you are! Who are you? Don’t touch me! No you stay out of Rite-Aid!

Well I’d like a little bit more unemployment. Because I didn’t stand here on line all day for this. What am I supposed to do with this … this pittance? I didn’t push you. I didn’t. You pushed me. Come on, those cameras are fake, you’re not pulling any of that garbage with me. So what … what are you saying you can’t doctor the footage? Big government agency pushing me around? Just give me some money. No, you calm down. That’s a n … ow! What the hell, did you just stick me with a needle? No, I don’t need to calm down! No, this will help you relax! No, you stop struggling! No, you’ve gone ahead and soiled yourself. No, maybe the dosage was too weak. No, I should be swallowing my own tongue. I’ll do the opposite! Don’t tell me what to do! That’s a nonsta …

Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots!

I just got the flu shot today. This year’s shot hurt so much more than all of the other years combined. I hate shots. I hate the idea of somebody puncturing my body with a needle. How do they know exactly where to stick it? Isn’t my arm just muscle? So are they really just taken all of that liquid and squirting it inside my muscle? How does that get to where it needs to go inside of me?

I figured I’d write something all about shots. Mostly complaints. Mostly out of order and out of context, little sentences and anecdotes that don’t really have anything to do with each other. Like when I was a little kid and the nurses had to hold me down in the doctor’s office so the doctor could inject me. Or about those crazy moms and dads in America that think that the US government is injecting autism into their children via regular immunizations.

I’ve gotten tons of shots. When I was in the Peace Corps, the first three months were devoted to basically receiving vaccines on a full time basis. We got the flu shot. We got the swine flu shot. They gave us vaccines for everything. And we couldn’t opt out of anything. Not that I wanted to opt out of any shots. I’m not a huge fan of communicable tropical diseases. But there were some other people that put up a big stink.

Some of those shots were harmless. Whooping cough. Yellow fever. But I remember that everybody got the Typhoid shot and felt really sick the next day. That was kind of an unsettling thought, that this preventative injection gave us all a twenty-four hour bug. But whatever, I’d rather be sick for a day than to have Typhoid. I don’t even know what Typhoid is. I don’t even know what yellow fever is.

And I don’t want to know. I don’t know if anybody else feels the same way, but whenever I look up diseases or infections, I get crazy, I get to thinking that I have magically contracted whatever it is I’ve looked up. Or worse, I’ll know that I don’t have it, but I’ll be reading the symptoms and imagining what they’d feel like if I did have them, and a lot of the time that’s even worse than actually being sick.

Because really, what are the symptoms for most diseases? Chills. Headache. Fever. Aching. That’s why whenever somebody tells me that they have the flu, and this totally depends on who tells me, but usually I’m going to call bullshit. Really? You have the flu? I’ll be talking to somebody one day, and they’re fine, and then the next day they have a fever, and it’s automatically the flu.

You know the flu kills tons of people every year, right? Maybe you do have the flu, I have no idea. But I’m just guessing that you don’t. Every once in a while I’ll get sick for a day or two, and I’ll have a fever. I’ll take a bunch of Advil and hopefully after a few days I’m good. But the flu? I’ve always imagined the flu, for an adult in his twenties, to be two weeks incapacitated by a virus that would kill a man in his seventies. This is something that’s going to confine you to your bed, that’s going to put pain and pressure on every bone in your body.

Most every day that I have to go to work, I think to myself, man, I wish I were just sick enough to warrant staying home and calling in sick. I picture the flu to be you stuck in bed wishing that you could work indefinitely for little to no pay only for an hour’s relief from the hell that this virus is wreaking on your whole body.

And that’s why I get a flu shot every year. I’m in my prime right now. I know I probably don’t need it. Whenever I talk to people my age about a flu shot, nobody ever gets it. Nobody takes the flu seriously.

But I get it every year. And getting back to where I started, I think that there has to be a bulls-eye in your arm, the sweet spot of where that needle is supposed to hit. Because sometimes the needle goes clean in, like you’re waiting for the nurse to give you the shot, and you’re clenching your teeth and holding your eyes shut, but the nurse goes, “OK, that’s it,” and you don’t even need that band aid, like it’s totally not necessary.

But then you get days like today, where I got my shot and I not only felt the needle pricking my skin, but I felt it enter, I could tell ever millimeter of the way how far it had penetrated into my muscle. And I could even feel the liquid vaccine being pressed by this person’s hand into my arm. And now my arm’s very sore, like I can’t even lift it up all the way.

Why can’t we do it like they do it in Star Trek? Seriously, you ever see that? It’s called a hypo-spray. You can inject it through the clothing. That would make my year so much better. Because even after this sore arm heals, I’m going to have to deal with emotional trauma for months, of being pricked, of being hurt.

You know what? I think next year I’m going to ask that nurse if they have any sort of a vaccine that can stop me from constantly whining about all the shots I have to take, from complaining about how the band aid used after the injection, about how it hurts so much when it’s on my arm all day and I have to pull it off at the end, and it’s all stuck to my skin. But I’m going to ask if they have an oral vaccine because, I don’t know, after today I really don’t feel like getting any more shots, not for a while anyway.