Commentary: Anti-vaxxers putting public in danger

I just finished reading two great columns in the Feb. 7 edition of the Northern Virginia Daily. I speak of the columns “Seeking a vaccine for ignorance” by Kathleen Parker, and “Bipolar disorder is not the ‘latest fad'” by Leonard Pitts Jr.
It is unconscionable and downright stupid for people to be against having all children vaccinated for measles, rubella, polio, and whatever inoculations are given nowadays. To deny vaccination is to put your child and those of others in harm’s way. I have to ask myself, “Were these parents vaccinated themselves as children by responsible parents?” Were Chris Christie and Rand Paul vaccinated as children? Were all the anti-vaccination pundits of the far right and far left vaccinated as children? I am inclined to believe they were. Had they not been, certainly we would have had outbreaks of measles, rubella, polio 30 to 40 years ago. And iron lungs would not be museum pieces, they would be keeping polio victims alive.
This could be one more reason to bring back the draft, for you definitely get every inoculation in the book on your first or second day in the military. Or could this avoidance be some sort of way to avoid military service? Hmm.
The Affordable Care Act needs to be re-written to say that if you have not had these innoculations you cannot have affordable health care.
When it come to denigrating bipolar disorder, the  right wing really gets my goat.
Bipolar is a seasonally affected disorder. People living in areas like the Gulf Coast or the southwest where it is primarily sunny and warm most of the year may not be severely affected by bipolar. But those living in the northern states or Canada, where the summer light is shorter and the weather cold and dark, can be severely affected.
Fifty years ago people suffering with bipolar had two options — lithium or electro shock treatments. Neither of these are very pleasant to undergo. As medical science and research have advanced, drugs and treatments have come about to treat this disorder. Depending on the individual, it may require only one medication; for others it may require more than one. The different drugs available treat different areas of the brain, so at present no one drug can do everything. Another aid bipolar sufferers have available to them is a thing called a light box. These can be helpful in winter when available natural light is decreased. I shudder to think about what it must be like to be bipolar living in Alaska, Scandinavia, and other northern places.
So, for some of the people mentioned in Pitts’ column to make the totally uninformed comments about bipolar and other mental illnesses is totally uncalled for, and not wise. They should try walking a mile in the shoes of such people.
Bob Brookfield is a Wardensville, West Virginia, resident

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