Dementia

HumpriesLink

“Read this,” she demands.

Well, no. I don’t think I will.

You know why I won’t?  Let me explain.

First, I don’t have time for bullshit. I’ve been vacuum-packing pork and lamb all day long and I am tired.

Second, this is bullshit.  You know how I know it’s bullshit?  There are two big clues.

First, the website name.  “vaccinechoicecanada.com”

“Choice” when it comes to vaccines is code for “we don’t wanna and ain’t gonna.” So this is an anti-vaxxer web site.  It’s the only sort of place Nicole goes for information on this subject.  It’s like Trumpers who get all their information straight from breitbart.com or infowars.

Second, the author is Suzanne Fucking Humphries.  That just made me laugh.

Suzanne Humphries is a former nephrologist (kidney doctor) who fell off a cliff, lost her mind and became a “homeopath.”

Do not get me started on homeopathy.

Suzanne Humphries is a quack.  She’s the Alex Jones of the anti-vax world.

So, no.  I ain’t gonna bother with the link.

decline

But here’s the lovely, brilliant discussion on Nicole’s page about the idiotic article.

Somebody brings up autoimmune diseases and Nicole informs us that she thinks that vaccines cause them.  She has no basis for that idea. She just “suspects” it.

Remember celiac disease that I wrote about last night?  The one my mother has?  It’s genetic?

Vaccinations cause it, right?

8000years

Chemotherapy is dangerous. And only used when the benefits outweigh the risks.

This is the stupidest statement I believe I have ever read.  Exactly when would one undergo chemotherapy when the potential benefits did not outweigh the risks?  You know what the risks are from fucking cancer?

Death.  That’s the risk.

But then she compares that with vaccines, because she believes that vaccines are just as dangerous as chemotherapy.  She has no reason at all to believe this. It’s not true.  It’s not even sort of true.  It’s not partially true. It’s simply not true at all.

And she bounces from there to polio.

Polio was actually on the decline before the introduction of the vaccination. More on that later.

More later, she says. Always later. Who the hell cares?  Don’t bother, Nicole.

This claim, made about several of the diseases for which we have vaccines, is false to the core, but is used frequently by the anti-vax crowd. The idea is that vaccinations were never necessary at all.  Polio (and measles and whatever else you can imagine) were all “on the decline” before the vaccinations were discovered, and it’s just a conspiracy by Big Pharma to get you to pay money for the vaccines, or to get  your insurance company to pay money (stupid, dumb insurance companies), or to get the state to pay money (stupid, dumb statists).

Here’s the deal.  Polio is caused by a virus (you know, sort of like the flu).  Viral diseases have a tendency to wax and wane naturally. One year, the flu is really bad. The next, not so much.  One year, it’s really bad in south Florida.  The next, it pops up in terrible numbers in Boise. This is simply the way viral infections behave.

Polio remained more or less endemic for centuries. Look up that word. It means that it was there, hanging around, doing a bit of damage here and a bit of damage there, but not scaring young mothers out of their wits.

And then it sort of took off and became an epidemic (look that up to0).

The epidemic reached its zenith in the United States when I was a little girl.  I remember it well.  My mother was frightened. We weren’t allowed to go to the local swimming pool.  We pretty much had to stay close to home.

And that didn’t help, really, because the kid down the street, named Doug, caught it.

My mother’s best friend had a baby boy about the same age as my sister. My mother sat with her friend in the hospital as her friend’s little boy died.

So, was my mother reasonable to be frightened out of her wits?

You bet she was.

But what happened was that medical science began to learn how to treat polio before they learned how to prevent it.  Some brilliant person invented the iron lung and saved a bazillion lives by doing so.  Then somebody else invented the ventilator and bypassed the cumbersome iron lung and did a trach and put the patient on the ventilator, which worked much better.

The point is that the death rate did, in fact, start to fall.

They call this the mortality rate, how many people died from a particular disease.

Suzanne Fucking Humphries and her ilk love to deal with mortality rates. They carry on about them.

They ignore a different stat called the morbidity rate, which is how many cases there were, or how many people got sick. Doug didn’t die.  But he also didn’t walk again. There are plenty of people living right now today who have residual damage from a bout of polio, but they didn’t die like my mother’s friend’s little boy died.  Polio killed people, yes, but it also crippled people.

Here’s the morbidity rate for polio.

poliorate

See the jagged line prior to the introduction of the vaccines?  See how it went up and down and up and down but always hung around?  See how, in 1955, when my mother was having a freaking shit-fit, when I was six years old and nobody could go swimming that summer, see how it started to climb again?  And then see how it dived down?

In 1961 the oral vaccine was introduced.  I remember that too.  I got my first sugar cube at a local elementary school on a Sunday afternoon.

Then it just all went away.  By the time I went into nursing school in 1966, it was pretty much gone, and everyone had had a sugar cube. In my entire nursing career, I never had a single active polio patient. I had recovered polio victims who were having procedures to try to fix their battered, shattered legs, but no active cases.

Anti-vaxxers use the phrase “vaccines didn’t save us.”

But they are wrong.  Vaccines did, in fact, save a lot of people from some really bad shit.

If you’d like to see more graphs like the one above, here’s the link.

The polio morbidity rate was not “on the decline” prior to the invention of the vaccine.

What is on the decline is Nicole’s ability to reason.  They call this “dementia.”