But, there’s a problem walking amongst these beautiful, yet ultimately-doomed children. Schools are, at their core, contained populations. Populations of which up to 4% could be unvaccinated against highly infectious diseases.
But of course, it’s the minority opinion which we notice. It sticks out like gleaming turd on a freshly upholstered carpet, or a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey on your mom’s bookshelf. I have a personal stake in the abolishment of anti-vaxxers as a relative of mine was infected by a non-vaccinated child. Also, as an active psychology enthusiast, I wanted to delve in why these people think like they do, and what we can do to help them realise they’re dicks.
Anti-vaxxers. We all know them. They’re most notable for being wealthy, out of touch with reality, and being the idiots who brought an eradicated disease back to life. If devolving our species to a previous state wasn’t enough, anti-vaxxers continue to peddle their made-up science to anyone who will listen, mostly from the comfort of their middle class suburbs. They truly believe that they themselves, whether they be talk show hosts or woman-beating alcoholics, have discovered things which actual scientists haven't been able to. Giving scientific weight to an anti-vaxxer’s argument would be like taking mortgage advice from a homeless person.
Why would a person think like this, you ask? Well, it will come as a shock to absolutely no one that the anti-vaxxing mentality has less to do with genuine concern for children’s health and more to do with ego.
What this reeks of is rich entitlement; or as it's known by people more cultivated than me; affluenza. At the point that wealth becomes trivial, certain mentalities often feel the need to seek out other means of superiority. In this case; assuming a greater knowledge and awareness than those beneath them. So this assumes a hierarchy of rank with the majority of anti-vaxxers near the top.
The Privilege Of Putting Everyone At Risk
You’ve probably heard of herd immunity. When a high enough percentage of the population is vaccinated, disease can’t spread because the chances of two unvaccinated people coming into contact with each other are extremely low, unless you count elastic-faced comedian Jim Carrey and his equally stupid ex-wife, whose coming together had affected society more than measles ever could.
Herd immunity reduces the risk of the unvaccinated and the infected coming into contact. But the less people who are vaccinated, the more the herd is put at risk. When a racing pigeon is infected with spreadable disease, it is often killed immediately in order to prevent the spread. But in 2016, comparing humans to pigeons would earn me a ruinous Twitter hashtag calling for my arrest, so the best hypoethtical outlook I can suggest is to ask what would happen if herd immunity came down to an ineffective number? Anything below 92% is considered no longer a ‘herd’, so assume that number was 10%. What if a highly infectious disease was an ever-present threat, and the likelihood of you and everyone you love catching it being a 100% certainty?
If this was the case, I’m pretty sure most anti-vaxxers would shit their pants. If we quarantined every one of them on an island together and told them that one of their group was infected, you can be pretty damn sure they’d start to panic about their well-being. No longer would they be peddling their garbage through other people but they themselves would be in immediate danger. History has a way of causing even the most spiritual of people to become gigantic hypocrites when faced with actual physical harm, right Ghandi? The ‘it won’t happen to me’ mentality of privileged dumbasses will be out of the window. Besides, you can guarantee that most anti-vaxxers are vaccinated themselves.
Not All Of Them Are Assholes; Some Of Them Are Pussies
Although being an anti-science dumbass is the number one reason anti-vaxxers refuse medical treatment, some other reasons exist too. For example, some of them are plain old chicken shit. A fear of needles, or being concerned about the distress of willingly putting your child in physical discomfort is enough to make people not take their kids to the doctors.
At the above link, you’ll see a copious amount of people claiming that even as kids, they rationalised that pain in the doctor’s office equalled extended health benefits. I assumed this was common knowledge, a sort of instinctive lesson universally understood by everybody. In fact, the day you realise you’re less perceptive than Charles Manson is the day you should start to worry.
If you said genocide, you might be right. It seems there’s nothing we can do. Science has not yet found an answer for the rejection of science. Hundreds of doctors have bombarded evidence at anti-vaxxers but very few of them are willing to change their minds. In fact, all the evidence being thrown at them is having the opposite effect.
The backfire effect, as it’s known, means that any information to communicate the risks of not vaccinating a child will make an anti-vaxxer even less likely to do so. The more we point out that they’re wrong, the more they think we’re lying to them. It’s basically the Pervert Effect but with vaccinations. Those four magic words you should never say to a woman you’re hitting on; ‘I’m not a creep.’ The second you say those four words, you’re a creep forever.
Other than quarantining them on an island and documenting it for future sociology classes, there doesn’t seem to be a lot we can do. Anti-vaxxer science is science in the same way ‘you eat eight spiders a year while you sleep’ is science. You don’t, but we’ve heard it so many times that we just sort of nod along because we don’t really care enough to check the facts. I believe that the only way this these idiots are going to change their minds is when their children contract a disease from not being protected, or we put them directly in the firing line of danger themselves. A very sad situation on both accounts.
Disclaimer: this article was originally posted on http://www.rustled.com, but due to the site now being defunct, all publishing rights have reverted to the author.