Letter to the Editor: It’s Not Just About You

By ED SANTIAGO
Los Alamos

For years I sneered at getting a flu shot. I’m healthy, I’m strong, why should I? Even if I do get the flu, so what? I will come out stronger afterward.

I am forever grateful to a friend who put it into perspective: you don’t get a vaccine just for yourself, you get it for the ones you love. Some of those are elderly; some very young; some have weakened immune systems.

The bug that I’m incubating when I shake hands with Alice will spread to her infant son Bob. Suffering ensues. By vaccinating I’ve removed that link in the chain. 

Perhaps, though, we’d be better off if we allowed these diseases back into our lives. Perhaps we should allow them free rein, and allow only those strong enough to live.

Smallpox has been eradicated, polio almost. (I’m told vaccines may have had something to do with that). It almost sounds like some people wish to see them return. To see their loved ones in agony, suffering for months, then crippled for life — or dead.

It makes me wonder if these people have really thought things through.

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