Doctors and medical experts are concerned about a new trend taking place on Facebook. Parents are trading live viruses through the mail in order to infect their children.
My BFF Mandi recently brought this to my attention. People are sending viral infections in the mail. Viral Infections. In the Mail. Motherfucking viruses in the USPS motherfucking mail. Varicella (chickenpox), to be specific. Some people are actually attempting this for measles, mumps, and rubella. Why, God, why? We have vaccinations against these, people! Vaccinations!!
It's like, "here's your 2011 newsy newsletter, the kids are all right, here's what we've done the past year, little Janie is off to school, oh, and here's a snotwad lozenge of rubella. No big."
They are mailing tainted lollipops, wet rags, and clothing, all covered with saliva and the like, whereupon you let your child suck away to his heart's content on a herpes-zoster pop (MMM) or perhaps scrub a nice wet rag covered with mump and pox debris all about your previous poor poor mump- and pox-free person.
My horror is so great I can't even.
Now, I'm sure a lot of you have heard of chickenpox parties, where one kid has chickenpox and mothers choose to get their kids together with the sickie to expose their chidren young so that they get their kids catch the virus and get it over and done with as children, when it's less likely to be dangerous. (The virus can be pretty vile if you catch it as an adult.) There are wildly mixed feelings on this, but it's a pretty old-fashioned idea, especially now that there's a vaccine. Although I confess, this partic'alar one was the hardest decision I made as a vaccinating mother.
Now, the vaccine of course is imperfect. Not only can there be (very very rare) complications like it as with any vaccine, but it doesn't guarantee your child will never catch chickenpox. It just drastically cuts down on any severe case or horrible, life-threatening reaction. Dr. Swanson says "We’re giving the shot to prevent the serious, life-threatening complications that can come along with the virus, such as a brain infection or flesh-eating bacteria in the sores."
Mmm. Flesh eating bacteria all because of a simple childhood illness.
Warning. Warning. Click at your leisure, if you have a strong stomach.
I confess, this was the most difficult vaccine for me to come to terms with. I do understand both sides of the equation here. We personally stagger vaccines and delay them, some by weeks or months (MMR), some by years (like Hep and and B), although we DO vaccinate. I was all about the Pertussis vaccine, for example. Whooping cough scares the living shit out of me. The only vaccine we semi-purposely, semi-accidentally we skipped altogether was Rotavirus, because (1) getting a case of the trots didn't seem like a big deal or worth taking any potential vaccine risk; and (2) we accidentally waited too long and Maya couldn't get it anyway (they're supposed to get it before six months old I think, oops). (She still hasn't caught it by age four, I'll have you know.) But we thought long and hard before getting the varicella vaccine, and finally conceded. I mean, who wants their kid to get a raging case of chickenpox?
I had a terribly bad case as a tiny two-year-old kid. My mom said I was in agony and would just sit there and shake and quake and writhe and sob, itching so desperately but not knowing what to do with myself because I was too young to know how to scratch. Any chance I have to reduce the chances of my child going through that, I'll take. And if she didn't get lifelong immunity and needs a booster in 10 years? Who the fuck cares? If that's the main problems with the varicella shot, that (1) it's not a 100% guarantee and (2) you'll need boosters, wowee, big whoop. And some people say that it sets you up for being prone to getting shingles later in life. I'll have you know what I had about the worst natural case of the pox I could possiblty have and only a few months ago, I broke out in the dreaded shingles. So you never know. It's all kind of a crapshoot, but I erred of the side of protecting my kidlets.
I REPEAT: I don't even want my kids licking "clean" saliva off a lollipop. what has this world come to?
Anyway, I digress.
It's totally up to you whether you want to get the vaccination or not. I understand both sides. But you might want to skip the tainted-lollipop 2001 Chickenpox Internet Party approach. Just a word of advice you might want to heed: "It is a federal offense to mail infectious agents in the mail." A FEDERAL OFFENSE, people.
So keep your germ-lollies to your self. Criminy. It's on par with sending Anthrax through the mail. Would you ever do that? I didn't think do. So listen. I don't even want my child to suck on your pristine disease-FREE saliva-covered sucker, not to mention your sucker covered in a viral infection. So please keep your herpes zoster and your rubella to your DAMN selves, thxusovmuch.