Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

"We owe our health to our neighbors"

Posted for Darcy V Tabotabo

(Unfortunately the formatting and graphics were not preserved... Also check out Darcy's essay "How I Found Myself While Serving Others" in the Spring '16 Honors Magazine - the one with our classmate Bell Doski on the cover!)

We owe our health to our neighbors. This, to me, feels part of a basic human duty; rather, I would go as far to say that it is a privilege. We can do what we can to give our neighbors health as they do the same for us, what better way to improve lives and work together than this simple statement. Unfortunately, that is not the case in most scenarios today, specifically when it comes to vaccines. So it then comes to how can we convince the rest of the world that this is a necessary course of action. We can look at some examples of how looking after one another, or even working together can produce positive effects, then understand why this is necessary.

Alone, many animals are easily stalked and attacked by predators, leading to technique of predators separating singles out of a herd as a method of attack. Together, however, they are able to outnumber the predators with brute force or strength and protect one another. This is the case with vaccines and herd immunity. If everyone is vaccinated, producing immunity, then there is no host for a disease. Even if a vaccine is mostly ineffective, if given to everyone, a virus or sickness has trouble bouncing around and eventually dies out. There are also some exceptions for people who can’t take the vaccine for medical reasons or who the vaccine doesn’t fully work who are still susceptible, but because of herd immunity, they are protected from the virus being unable to reach them regardless. The problem is when fully capable people don’t have the vaccine. They not only expose themselves, but those who physically can’t take the vaccine.

There is a case saying that these vaccines may cause harm themselves in very few cases, and if this were true there would be a reasonable claim. However, any of these claims have been proven false numerous times. There have only been very few cases that would even begin to link vaccines to sickness, and

these are are not truly connected to vaccines. There is no real case as to why anyone would avoid vaccines. Rather, vaccines have helped the world by getting rid of nasty diseases that have ravaged the world for a long period of time, as seen in the graphic above. It is important for people to know the risks they put onto others by refusing vaccines. There is no real circumstantial evidence that they can cause illness and their proven success at eradicating diseases are irrefutable. It is easy for people to partake in certain activities that are proven to be harmful to themselves and still do them, and that is okay because it doesn’t effect anyone else. They understand the risks and are willing to endure them for something they are passionate about or enjoy doing. What is hard for me to grasp is that when they can do something that helps themselves as well everyone around them, there are some people who choose to take the safe route. To truly convince others, it is necessary for they themselves to look into the facts for themselves, on both sides, to understand what is true and what is necessary.

Taking this class has allowed me to see the importance of looking into things through research and through introspection as well. It is important to understand that one’s own viewpoint isn’t the only one, and there are other views that likely make more sense and more valid. My biggest take away is to step back and look at situations from every possible angle before making rash assumptions.

My first post.

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