I just saw the phrase “whooping cough party” and I can’t… I can’t.
Okay, so here’s the thing. Whenever someone asks me “how are you still alive” my favorite
flippancy is usually “spite”, but in all honesty it’s vaccines. Spite
And not just me being vaccinated, but everyone
around me too, because there are some vaccines I cannot safely have and I
rely on everyone else around me being vaccinated to avoid it.
like, oh, say, whooping cough, which I actually had as a child because I
went to school with the victims of antivaxxers, and we all got super
sick and coughed so hard the blood vessels in our eyes ruptured and
every fit felt like you were going to die choking for breath.
tonight, a friend of mine who happens to be a mother, hauled me into an
argument on Facebook where people in her neighborhood group were hosting
a “whooping cough party” cause one of their kids got sick, and the tag
line was “come on over and get it over with lol”, and words cannot
convey how much visceral hatred I had for this person in that moment. If I could have set them on fire with my brain, I probably would.
can wholly remember sitting in bed clutching my little
chest, desperate for the pain to stop, making that horrible wheezing
sound, with tears streaming down my face, utterly convinced I was going to die if I couldn’t draw breath. And that went on for months
because even with treatment, the cough can take up to three months to
subside. And that is a horrible thing for a child to go through. I
cannot stress enough how painful and terrifying it was and my parents
for all their faults could do nothing. They’d done everything they could
to keep me safe from other illnesses. I had all my other vaccines, I
just couldn’t have that one.
And the thing is, you can get it
again, it’s not a one time deal. You can get it more than once, and
doctors actually recommend you get a booster shot for it every ten
years, and I can’t do that. I cannot protect myself from it. I rely on
other people being responsible, and taking the necessary steps to keep
whooping cough outbreaks low, and the only way to do that is through
regular routine inoculation.
And these fuckers are throwing a party??? What???
Let me be clear, it is through profound measures of willful ignorance, hubris, and yes privilege,
that people have allowed for things like measles and whooping cough to
make a come back. It is a privilege to live in a healthy society where
you can expect all your children to make it out of infancy. It is a
privilege to not die young from TB, it is a privilege that many people
before you had to suffer for and work hard to bring about, all in the
hopes that another child wouldn’t have to go into the iron lung from
polio. And through the privilege of never having had to suffer, you have
elected to do harm. You have elected to allow for the resurgence of
mumps, and measles and coughs that sound like a death rattle in the
lungs of infant children, and then you have the absolute audacity and
malice in your souls to celebrate and throw “sickness parties” because
you’d rather let your child suffer through unnecessary illness than be
How dare you. You have a moral and social
obligation to protect your children and the people around you, and not
only have you chosen to wave this responsibility, but you are actively endangering others?
How dare you.
the thing is I know, I know in your own misguided way you think you are
doing what is best for you child. But if the road to hell truly is
paved with good intentions, I can tell you now with absolute certainty
that you fuckers have got your own burning stars on the walk of shame.
your god damn kids. And get your booster shots while you’re at it. You
might just save someone’s life without ever knowing or trying.
(Note: This is not aimed at people who cannot be vaccinated or whose
children cannot be vaccinated. I know that struggle, I know it is real
and I’m so sorry other people are putting you and your loved ones at
Also yes, I know chickenpox parties used to be a thing, I
went to one of them as a kid. Thankfully there is now a vaccine for that
too! Isn’t living in the future neat!
And just so you know, if
you come onto this post telling me that vaccines cause autism, you will
be afflicted with the condition known as my foot up your ass. I will not
engage on discourse over this, there is no discourse to be had. You are
wrong. And that is the end of the discussion.)