When my first son was born I was suckered into the anti-vax crowd. It started with a book a friend gave me by Dr. Sears - I don't remember the name (something something vaccines). Anyway I read it, and it scared the living shit out of me. So it prompted me to look online, and, holy ever-loving fuck. It was something - having your first kid, with no idea what you're doing, hearing all the horror stories of these parents who had vaccinated and now their kid was never gonna be the same.
Before all this I always trusted my doctor, and I still do. But I started questioning everything. By the time my son's 2 month shots came up, I was a mess. I couldn't sleep, anxiety was through the roof. My wife works in health care and we were arguing about it. For every one page she could show me on the safety of vaccines, I could find 10 that said they weren't. I found myself saying things like Big Pharma, and evil government. Which is messed up because prior to this I was rational and sane.
It gets kinda messed up at this part. I called a natural doctor. I wish I was making this up, but I did and I asked about natural vaccines. I was given information about them via email. And now this is where my brain clicked back on. I read the info, the ingredients and how they were "supposed" to work. And my brain said WTF. Not a single ingredient had any proven effectiveness on anything. I had fallen down a dangerous and stupid rabbit hole. I felt conned and used. My wife said "finally you got some sense back.”
By this time my son was 2 months behind schedule, and I booked a doctor’s appointment immediately. I rage quit all the anti-vax pages I was on. And began the apologies to everyone I had told off for trying to make me come to my senses.
In the words of South Park, I learned something that day. New parents want nothing but the best for their kids, and when you're new parents you do a lot of reading to make sure you don't fuck up. When you Google vaccines and the first 10 pages are on how vaccines will mess your kid up, it’s alarming. Just out of curiosity you click and read, by the end you're terrified and your brain turns to mush.
I can't blame new parents who are curious, and I can't blame new parents who fall for it either. It's easy to fall into, there's a lot of fear and shame thrown at you. That is why now I try to comment as much as I can on anti-vax sites. There's a parent just like me, reading and trying to decide what is best for their new addition. Trying to make that decision while sleep deprived, stressed out, and wondering if they're failing already.
I appreciate everyone who came on those anti-vax sites while I was on the dark side and tried to talk some sense into me, gave me information, called me an idiot. It kept me a little bit skeptical. It might have even saved me from not vaccinating at all. Not everyone on an anti-vax site is full blown crazy that can't be swayed to reason. So please keep doing what you do, for every bunk study they throw, throw 2 back. Just maybe there's a parent on the fence that is reading them.
Wow this was long. Peace out.