As we recognize moms all over the country this weekend, are you hip to the latest classification system – especially where a mom’s stance on childhood vaccinations falls?
There are three basic groups:
- Crunchy moms are those who prefer the crunch of granola (whence derives the crunchy name), spurn hospital deliveries, thrive on breast feeding and organic foods, use cloth diapers, and are just plain green in their outlook. They reject most vaccinations.
- Silky moms are the opposite. They rely on modern products such as infant formula, disposable diapers, and hospital births. They support vaccinations for their offspring.
- The third group falls somewhere in between; you could call them scrunchy. They may have used formula after you both returned from your hospital birth but wrapped you in cloth diapers while cooking up a healthy batch of home-grown, mashed carrots. Scrunchies can stand (new moms don’t do much sitting) on either side of the “Vaccination Wars” fence.
I thought the resistance to childhood vaccinations was a contemporary issue but research shows these “Vaccine Wars” have been going on since 1796 when Doctor Edward Jenner introduced the practice of inoculation with mild strains of cowpox to protect against deadly infections with smallpox.
Here are some interesting facts:
- Terminology can be confusing. There are subtle differences between variolation, inoculation, and vaccination but, no matter what you call it, the outcome is the same. All helped (mostly) eliminate smallpox from the planet.
- Colonists were somewhat dismayed at the thought of injecting “animal matter” into humans to the point of publishing cartoons showing cow horns sprouting from heads of recently vaccinated tots.
- Thomas Malthus, famous for his dire predictions of humans overrunning the earth, warned that vaccination would lead to serious overpopulation (you might say he was the first to promote the “save the planet – let your kids die” school of parenting).
- The Raggedy Ann doll, with her smiling face on her limp rag body, was the symbol of childhood vaccinations gone wrong.
- To contain outbreaks of infectious diseases (such as measles) vaccination rates need to be maintained above the “level of herd immunity” which falls somewhere between 85% and 95%.
So, as the struggle between individual rights and the needs of a “well-ordered society” continues, just for today ignore political discussions and wish that mom a happy mother’s day because the mom journey is a tough one that needs to be appreciated with at least one day of peace on all fronts.