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.


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.



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

Dreamworld: This tragedy won't stop us going back

"Dreamworld still has my support 10000% percent."

Appeal for information over assault on woman

Police are appealing for information in relation to an assault on a woman in Woolgoolga in February.

Police release description of man wanted over assault

Dreamworld miracle: How two children managed to survive

TWO children watched their mother die in Dreamworld horror

Local Partners

Liam Payne wants to wed Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne

Liam Payne reportedly wants to marry Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Bindi Irwin 'honoured' to make MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Len Wiseman files for divorce from Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale

Len Wiseman has filed for divorce from Kate Beckinsale

First look at Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life series

Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel in a scene from the TV series Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

NETFLIX drops first trailer for its revival of fan favourite.

Hugh Laurie will get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie is set to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

How Kristie blind-sided everyone to win Australian Survivor

Kristie Bennett wins Australian Survivor.

FAN favourite says she was underestimated by her competitors.

Unique riverfront home sells for almost $1M

SOLD: Ray White real estate agent Alan Bruchert has just put a new sticker on Maclean's most expensive house to sell in a decade.

Maclean's highest house sale this decade

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June