link love: deuce-seven off-suit

Anti-vaxxers give us incandescent levels of rage (and sadness).  There are a lot of vaccine links this week.

First up, a quick set of links to counter anti-vaccine claims.  And a really interesting article talking about why the timing of vaccinations is what it is (and shouldn’t be delayed).  [Disclaimer, I did wait on the Hep B vaccine at birth with DC2– but that was weighing the weird allergies I’d had during pregnancy against the fact that I’d only had one sexual partner and no blood transfusions … the hospital pedi kind of went, oh, you’re upper middle class, you’re probably low risk and there’s a chance your infant is allergic to stuff so you can wait until you see your real pedi. He didn’t really say the upper-middle class part, but I’m pretty sure he was thinking it as he mumbled something about me being low risk after asking about blood transfusions.]

People who legitimately can’t get vaccinated want others to get vaccinated. A plea from Roald Dahl after the death of his daughter from measles.

So why do anti-vaxxers proselytize? Why don’t they vaccinate?

These reasons from the 1940s still hold true.  And here’s how we would cover the story if it weren’t the US.

I used to be on mommy forums, including one that had a lot of people from LA and the OC. It seems to me that there’s two types of moms (on the forums) who refuse to vaccinate their kids (and of course, the dads are also responsible, but they weren’t on the forums!) The first type of anti-vaxxer is beyond help. These women get a feeling of power or privilege being the repositories of fake knowledge preaching at all the unbelievers. Not vaccinating is what makes them important. Only mandatory vaccinations will budge them, and even then… they might choose to unschool so they can keep their mental images of themselves. The other group of women are the more casual non-vaxxers. They are easily pushed one direction or another by what’s convenient, what’s popular, what the strong personalities are saying, what story they’ve heard most recently (someone getting a bad reaction from the vaccine vs. someone getting whooping cough), how easy it is to find a pediatrician who will delay or not do vaccines at all.

An anecdote from my early fora experiences: Say you’ve got women who don’t vaccinate their children because they’ve heard there’s mercury in the MMR vaccine. What works is to tell them to be sure to ask their doctor for the “Thimerosal-free vaccine.” What doesn’t work is to tell them that MMR has never had thimerosal in it in the US. What especially doesn’t work is to say that vaccines with thimerosal have so little mercury it doesn’t matter. What does work is to say that NOW there’s a version that doesn’t have thimerosal in it that they can request specifically from their doctor. (Ditto formaldehyde and all the other “toxins” that were never and have never been in the MMR vaccine in the US.)

Another thing that works for this group of women en masse is when Oprah makes a big deal out of something. She’s got a lot of people’s trust. Unfortunately, a lot of women don’t vaccinate their kids… because of Oprah.

Thought provoking article on why some white men are scared of political correctness.  (But most of us know why already… this just uses more words to explain it.)

take precautions

These are beautiful

Confused professor needs advice on resignation.

A second Harper Lee novel.

J. K. Rowling answers one of those tricky tumblr harry potter questions.

How to motivate yourself to do something.

“Every so often, I’ll hear about a friend or acquaintance whose marriage has collapsed because of infidelity. And every time, I ask my wife the same question: Where on earth do these people find the time to have affairs, anyway?”

hic.  hic.  hic.

On being a woman engineer.

How one woman dealt with harassment at work.

A man is making terrifying videos about Brianna Wu. It takes congressmen getting involved for the police to even listen.

Short and long-term consequences of teachers’ gender stereotypes on students.

An interesting point about the impact of computerized testing on high stakes testing.

Man brings bagged lunch to cut down on joy in life.

It’s surprisingly hard to find a recording I like of this song:

This one has a weird instrumental solo in the middle, but it keeps the beat going better than other versions (I originally learned it with a train sound underneath for the beat).  And it’s a better arrangement chorally than the other major competitors (IMO).

This lovely video below has a subtle humor… stay with it…

13 Responses to “link love: deuce-seven off-suit”

  1. Awfully Chipper Says:

    Thank you for the lovely linky love. Much appreciated!

  2. sciliz Says:

    For tests our school will be pencil and paper a bit longer, but at the last PTO meeting I suggested the schools start to build up their computers and if possible purchase the types of keyboards and mice found in the local libraries. Reason one being I know that kind stands up to abuse, reason two being at least parents would have the option of getting their kids practice.
    But really, it’s a huge equity issue we usually don’t think much about. I was at a geroscience seminar, where they were reporting data on elderly individuals response to a technology focused intervention. For that group, they used these oversized track ball mice (the research participants knick named them rats) that I’d never seen before, but as soon as I did I had an “oh, DUH” moment (my father had never used mice well. He got by with the keyboard by banging away like it was a manual typewiter, but the mouse was angst provoking).
    Eventually, touch screen tech and the like may solve some problems, but this moment is definitely one of huge disparities in the actual functionality of technology.

  3. Tragic Sandwich Says:

    I have to say that a lot of pediatricians aren’t doing themselves any favors when it comes to how they present the vaccination schedule. Mr. Sandwich and I asked about alternate schedules, because we wanted to get a better understanding of what was needed when, and why, and from more than one doctor we got a very patronizing “lots of medical professionals have developed this.”

    The tone was incredibly condescending and dismissive. Now, I know that they get these questions all the time, and usually they’re coming from someone who is not coming from the same place we were, but I DON’T CARE. We are both pro-vaccine–we just wanted more information, and we were talked to in a way I wouldn’t talk to my child, because it’s disrespectful.

    We are vaccinating on the standard schedule (although we also waited on Heb B at birth, for many of the same reasons, and she did get it with her 2-month shots), because we are pro-vaccine. But I’m still irritated by how we were treated when we asked questions about it. And the thing is, it didn’t have to be a long discussion. A change in the tone of voice and facial expression, and “Studies have shown that the highest levels of immunity for most people are conferred by vaccinating for X at ages a and b” would have sent us as educated laypeople away with a better understanding of why it works the way it does, and I wouldn’t get irritated every time I think about those doctors, none of whom became Baguette’s pediatrician–not because they required the standard vaccination schedule, but because they didn’t treat her parents like adults.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      *Shrug* some doctors are jerks and some doctors are wrong about things (and some just don’t know why and are blustering). That’s true in every profession. There’s nothing like having a chronic disease to realize the problems with the medical profession. And it’s a huge shame that most people don’t have the education and resources (since most aren’t open access) to read PubMed articles and evaluate them on their own.

      At the same time, usually the standard recommendations from these big associations are reasonable. Sometimes (like their feeding instructions) they’re not grounded in any science, but they very rarely recommend anything with even a hint of being dangerous given the science of the day.

      It’s also a shame that those two anti-vax celebrity doctors in LA are so charismatic and so willing to replace real research with quack medicine.

      We like our current pedi– he’s up to date whenever the AAP changes a recommendation and knows why they changed it, and he seems to have a deep understanding of childhood concerns, so he can say things like, “if this iron test was done right after DC1 was sick it might be low because of that, so let’s retest in two weeks instead of forcing supplementation right away [like the previous pedi].”

      • Tragic Sandwich Says:

        We’re changing pediatricians due to an insurance change. I hope we like the new one; our original one seemed fine, but I actually liked everyone else in the practice better than him. I was never thrilled with him, from the moment I first encountered him in the hospital, but Baguette has so few health issues that we never got around to changing doctors (even though there was that time that he said, “Well, she could have had a virus that settled in her hip,” but no, they had gotten a bad angle on the x-ray and in fact she had broken her leg).

        Fingers crossed for the new doctor, although hopefully we’ll need to see her as infrequently as we have the previous one.

    • Thisbe Says:

      I am not a pediatrician (although I think I’d be good at it – clients tell me that they wish I were their pediatrician with some frequency). I am health care professional though, and according to reports I have a pretty good bedside manner.

      There are some people who are Very Difficult – suck up a ton of my time, consistently do not follow my recommendations, put me in very awkward positions with regard to ethics and patient care. One can’t always tell who those people are until it is Too Late and the day (or even week) is already ruined, but there are some pretty reliable indicators. And one of those indicators for me is a conversation that goes:
      Me: My assessment of this health condition is [XXXX]. My recommendation for action is [YYYY] because [Yprime].
      Client: I am just curious, can you tell me why you are not doing [inappropriate treatment or preventative medicine plan that I read about on the internet] instead?

      So with people who set off my Meter (this meter in real life is named after the most dramatic of these clients I have had, or will ever have because I learned my lesson from her, but of course I’m not going to put her or my name on the internet in this context), my answer might actually be a thinly-veiled version of “Because I said so.” If Difficult People are offended by that and don’t want to see me again, great! That is actually my preference. If they want to keep seeing me, at least I have not given them the idea that I might be open to considering nonsense treatment plans from the internet as viable alternatives to my own.

      Note, I am not saying that every person who asks that kind of question is going to be a Very Difficult Client, and there are plenty of people who ask me lots of questions that I enjoy answering. And it is possible that clinicians end up losing some clients for their practices by snubbing people who accidentally come across as That Kind of Person when they aren’t really. But most practitioners would probably rather that. They’re already too busy.

      (I don’t know if I’m right here about other clinicians’ motivations; maybe most don’t really think about it that much, they just get annoyed at people who do things they find annoying, act annoyed, and move on with their day.)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Probably the worst doctors I’ve had (both as substitutes for regular doctors) in terms of both bedside manner and advice were 10-20 years behind on what their particular medical societies were recommending.

        Most recently I did *not* go to the hospital despite “being in labor” until my regular OB got back from a vacation. Then my regular OB didn’t induce me until there was an actual reason (with monitoring and explanations) 3 weeks later. The sub OB also crossed off half of my birth plan that my regular OB had *already approved* (like being able to drink water). I’m fairly sure I would have ended up with an unnecessary c-section and all sorts of complications had I done what that replacement OB told me to do.

        But I don’t tend to come in with sketchy ideas. I might have thoughts on the appropriate dosage of metformin (based on published clinical trials and what worked and didn’t work with previous pregnancies) and a preference for extended release pills, but I would never, for example, suggest natural progesterone creme because you don’t know what dose you’re actually getting.

      • Tragic Sandwich Says:

        I have questions because my child will never be as important to her doctor as she is to me. And I’m sure those doctors have plenty of patients without us. I’m sure they are perfectly fine–perhaps even excellent–doctors. But in this case, they lost parents who would have been really easy to deal with, because they presented themselves as difficult to deal with. Similarly, if we’d been borderline, there was a chance for education that was missed, all because of tone. It’s a two-way street.

      • Tragic Sandwich Says:

        In fact, my second-to-last sentence is my real point. That attitude meant that we didn’t become patients at that office. So what? Who cares? Plenty of pediatricians and patients to go around (in my city, anyhow). But for people who are borderline, that attitude can push them to doctors who are more accommodating than they need to be for a particular patient. And that can cost vaccinations. The benefit of patronizing is that it can get the person out of your hair, but maybe it can have longer term ramifications. That’s where some medical professionals may not be helping the overall cause as much as they’d like to be.

        Plus, really? Very little excuse for treating people that way, regardless. If the patients are, in fact, Very Difficult, then better to say that your treatment philosophies differ too greatly, IMO.

  4. Thisbe Says:

    NB: “thiomersal”. Or “thimerosal” sometimes. But I’ve never seen “thermisol”. Not really important though. :) We all know what you mean.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Spelling corrected. When spellcheck didn’t squiggly underline it I figured I’d gotten it right, but apparently spellcheck doesn’t even know the word. It’s amazing I spelled anything correctly.

  5. Carly Says:

    Thanks for the link! :)


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