When it comes to immunisation there are only two positions. You either vaccinate or you don’t.
People who vaccinate think people who don’t vaccinate are self important, “it’s-my-choice,’ natural-health-obsessed, middle-class hipsters causing harm to their children, and everyone else’s.
People who don’t vaccinate think that people who do vaccinate are government pansies, brainwashed into poison-injecting compliance, causing harm to their own children and wanting to cause harm to their children as well.
There is no middle ground, I know. I live in Mullumbimby. I have five children, all of them vaccinated.
And unlike the rest of the nation, in my country town vaccinating is not the norm. Where I live, being a vaxxer makes me the weirdo. It can even see your baby’s amber beads forcibly removed and have you booted out of your mother’s group right on your gluten-free glutes.
You see, my hometown has the lowest immunisation rate of anywhere else in Australia. According to an ABC report, we have lower vax rates than South Sudan. Want the thrill of going to Africa but can’t afford the airfare? Come to Mullumbimby. Yep, your baby would be at less risk of whooping cough in a third world country than they would be in our rolling hills.
Beautiful one day, phlegm-chokingly contagious the next.
So why don’t my community go in for the jab? It’s simple. People here don’t trust the government. There is a curious irony, because many of the deeply suspicious are also deeply dependent on the very same government for financial support. I suspect it’s part of a conspiratorial mindset that goes hand in hand with a previous penchant for pot (hence ‘rolling hills’) resulting in some pretty extreme levels of paranoia. It’s part of the counter culture creed.
If it can’t be fixed by a poultice, some fermented cabbage or a coffee enema then you’re probably going to have call in the big boys and use an affirmation.
I often think that at our Welcome to Mullumbimby highway sign we need another sign, similar to the ones they use for bushfires, with a needle indicating elevating risk levels. Our current ‘government is spraying us with chemicals and giving us cancer to make money from their investment in big pharma’ levels are at ‘EXTREME’, yet to reach catastrophic.
As a government-brainwashed pro-vaxxer living in the hub of anti-vaxx I have learnt to keep my mouth shut. Most of the time.
You see, I have many many friends who don’t vaccinate their children. And while I don’t share their belief that vaccinations are autism creating poison, I still like them. I know, imagine enjoying the company of people you’d like to write off as complete idiots.