My daughter had taken her first shot of the measles, mumps and rubella. It goes in a three part series. She and so many children had already taken these shots. So what was the big deal. A pediatrician gave them. I trust my daughter’s pediatrician. She is a wonderful doctor. But something terrible was happening.
The autism epidemic phrase was something we were all getting way to familiar with. But little did we know at the time of this so called epidemic of autism and its uncertainties was going to give birth to a whole new real epidemic. No congratulations for this birth. It was the year of 1998 when this dangerous epidemic was born. It didn’t need to be fed much, though still it’s growth rate was as rapid like a wildfire. And like most wild fires it takes little to no effort to start. Just a tiny spark and it spreads quickly. They are hard to contain and harder to stop. It was this year when a British doctor Andrew Wakefield at Free Hospital and School of Medicine in Royal London did a study claiming the possibilities linking autism with the mmr measles, mumps and rubella immunizations. This was that tiny spark and soon came the fires. Like all fires there is always plenty of damage.
It was a great scientific find so Lancet Medical Journal published it. One man, one study, one publication and the rapid discourse on immunizing our children. This was a real epidemic. And a dangerous one.
The autistic community is wide, large and global. People’s emotions were already fragile. If anyone has gone to therapy one lesson taught is our state of mind. The wise mind, the reasonable mind and the emotional mind. I think you understand that decisions are best not to be made with our emotional mind.
But this was a whole lot bigger. It didn’t just affect the autistic community it was hurting the world. We all have kids and we travel. If people stop with immunizations it could be catastrophic. If you lose trust in one immunization then why or how do you trust in others? When there is no trust there is fear. When there is fear there is panic. When there is panic there is chaos. Immunizations are not made available for our convenience the are here for our protection.
Note: This video is May of 2016
Though cases haven’t stopped forming in our country and this still a heated debate.
I understand deeply this hurt, this fear, the worry and so many other frightening and overwhelming feelings. I am a mother of a child with autism. Well now she is a beautiful young woman:) I understand sometimes we need to blame someone. I too cried wanting, wishing, hoping and needing answers, anything, just anything. I wanted to know why, if I did something wrong or could I have done something different? After I would wipe my tears I believed I already know my answer. Outside of my emotional mind I didn’t blamed the shot for my daughter’s autism. I had seen autistic characteristics before she took the shot. Plus I myself am in the autistic spectrum, Aspergers, so I know logically it was more likely to be genetic.
A new twist, but still no reason to dance…
A British journalist did some good investigating. Brian Deer reported something very different then Andrew Wakefield study showed. It ended up that the study was falsified. Wakefield’s work was discredited, he lost his licence and Lancet did a retraction of their story.
It all sounds so simple and easy. Well it is not. The damage was done. The wheels were already in motion. Back to our fire analogy. You lose so much when a fire comes and destroys. It takes some things that cannot be replaced. Trust is something very hard to replace. It is 19 years later and with many different researches to substantiate or discredit Wakefield’s study nothing was found except confirming he falsified his documents. Though this issue still leaves a remaining doubt. Many people have stayed reluctant in immunizing their children.
We all wish that people in all roles of life, professionally or personally would be more mindful of their choices they make and think of the repercussions first. But it is a good thing we have friends and family to put us in our place and call us out when we have done wrong. And that is why it is also a good thing our nation has our press.