Opinion

WATERCOOLER: Chicken pox parties a symptom of our times

HEARING that parents are willing to take children to chicken pox "parties" to expose their children to the virus sets fire to feelings that can shut down the ability to form a coherent sentence.

As a baby the virus struck me severely, I was told, as I have no memory of it.

READ MORE

The varicella-zoster virus then lodged in my spine and decades later, at a moment of stress, it struck in a completely unforgettable way, as shingles.

In a grimly humorous way, it was probably Christmas which triggered it.

While I was working on a Christmas Day my youngest sister had complications during the birth of her first child. At the same we were learning of the first indications Dad could have some form of dementia.

I remember going home feeling shattered in a way I'd never experienced before.
 

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT CHICKEN POX 'PARTIES'?

JOIN OUR WATERCOOLER CONVERSATION TODAY BY LEAVING YOUR COMMENTS BELOW


A week later some nasty little pustules erupted on the left side of my chest and spread quickly around my ribs. The rash was accompanied by a fiery itch which was impossible to quell completely.

Once the rash subsided, the itch and pain went away. Not all shingles sufferers are so lucky, as the virus can cause nerve damage that lasts for years.

Mum and Dad are children of the 1930s. They saw diseases like polio and whooping cough infect friends and relatives and destroy lives. When vaccines arrived that could almost guarantee immunity, it was a no-brainer.
 

Would take your child to a chicken pox 'party'?

This poll ended on 30 December 2015.

Yes, the sooner they contract it, the safer it is for them - 26%

Wilfully infecting my child with a disease? No thanks - 71%

Maybe, if my doctor suggested the idea - 1%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

There were no parties if we became ill. If Mum and Dad discovered any of our friends were sick, they were strictly off limits.

Vaccines do their work in two ways. Firstly they immunise a large proportion of the population. In the case of chicken pox it's about 80%.

Then herd immunity kicks in to inhibit the spread of disease, protecting the other 20% and those too young or ill to have the vaccine.

Sabotaging this by wilfully exposing children to disease is not a demonstration of free will. It does not free them from the predations of the big capitalist pharmaceutical industry.

It just leaves them and others in the community more vulnerable to a disease at its best irritating and at its worst lethal, but as it turns out almost wholly preventable.

Topics:  chicken pox, editors picks




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

OPINION: Impact of turbines on birds blown out of proportion

Scale of carnage pales in comparison to those killed by cats

Roller derby takes on Grafton

Jammer Kira Campbell tries to get around a blocker from the opposing team at the Grafton Sports Centre on Saturday, May 28.

Roller Derby scrimmage takes on Grafton.

Championships off to a fighting start

Peter Schmid of Mittagong and deputy captain of Fire Rescue NSW Grafton Mark Aspinall test out the hoses as they setup the venue for firefighter championships.

Fire and Rescue NSW Regional Championships kicked off this Satuday.

Latest deals and offers

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest