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.

'All I heard when my baby cried was ‘you’re a terrible mum'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Katie Dykes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

KATIE'S battle with PND is not unlike many mothers.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

ELECTION 2016: Mental health high on agenda

Plans and promises for the Clarence from Page candidates

LISTEN: Scam victim gets one up on phone fraudster

Lismore resident Janet Wetzler was almost the victim of a phone scam and wants to use her experience to warm others.

Listen to fraudsters try to scam Lismore woman

What’s on in July

Nick (left) and Josh Marsh blaze over the jumps at the night meeting at Clarence BMX Club.

There's something for everyone this July.

Latest deals and offers

Nocturnal Tapes video "Pattern"

The first video for Yamba duo "Nocturnal Tapes" - Pattern.

Too Many - Tullara

tullara connors

Too Many - the debut single from Grafton singer songwriter Tullara

Gummyaney celebrates Naidoc Day

Sami Zacek helps out with some traditional weaving at the Gummyaney Aboriginal Preschool NAIDOC day.

Gummyaney Aboriginal Pre-school invited more than 80 other pre-schoolers from...

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

DIY: How to build a backyard fire pit

DIY stars and Weekend magazine columnists Ayden and Jess Hogan.

Would you build this for your backyard?