Measles: an outbreak rooted in indifference

 Not long ago, measles were virtually extinct. Now it is back and rapidly spreading, and we have one factor to blame: our own ignorance.

 In an age where medical study is constantly improving the quality of life and reaching unthinkable goals, it is almost ironic to have a measles outbreak rear its head, squirming back into the lives of many. The worst part: the outbreak was definitely preventable.

  This is not a discussion of whether the public has the resources to protect their health, but rather a manipulation of perspectives. The arising belief that vaccines are dangerous and result in negative consequences is simply preposterous.  It is essential to realize the downfalls of this viewpoint, as lack of vaccination exposes society to a multitude of health issues, on top of many of the other diseases that also heavily impact the lives of many.

 According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), countries that have tourists brought preventable diseases to the United States, such as Israel, Ukraine and the Philippines. Although obvious and straightforward, the process of security check regarding international travel needs to be tightened, as even the smallest infection can lead a widespread disease.

 The misleading of popular opinion is due to a multitude of causes: from fake news articles to inaccurate data, it is effortless for public media to sway any individual’s mind by planting a seed of doubt, resulting to the ultimate decision of not providing vaccination for themselves, or family.

  As of now, forty-seven of the 50 states have laws that give citizens the option of vaccination, giving citizens the option, rather than strictly implementing immunization. It is a direct correlation- Most of the states who have a great amount of measles cases are states that have laws whose get  the choice. However, it is hard to regulate the immunization records of every citizen of America, especially since children are under the care of their guardian, and do not have the choice themselves for vaccination. A prime example is California, which holds the biggest population in any state of America. With so many residents, it is difficult to separate the individuals who have vaccinated and the ones that have not. The impact of the outbreak is devastating- those who have been vaccinated have taken the right steps to disease prevention, but ones who have been affected by measles now face heavy medical bills, and their lives on the line.

It has been stated, proven, and taken as fact: vaccines provide opportunities for people to freely experience life, without the burden of contracting unhealthy diseases. In an extremely developed nation like the United States, the choice to receive vaccination should be obvious. However, as people refuse to get their children vaccinated increases due to an inaccurate opinion spread by false information. The higher of a risk that the public, including vaccinated individuals, are able to contract the disease. This may lead to widespread epidemic, a rise in another life threatening disease and so much more, but w slid the issue of not vaccinating under the rug until it had to be addressed.

 Still, society is unaware of the harsh detriments that will be inflicted on population. What seems to be encouraging the movement away from vaccinations is the popular claim that people are still healthy, despite not taking immunization shots. However, this is clearly false due to what is called herd immunity, where a population is more resistant to a disease because the majority is vaccinated, which strongly debunks the standpoint that vaccination does not provide health benefits for people.

 This is not the only claim that people use to undermine the work and progress that modern medicine has done over the years and even though it has been disproven fear and distrust is still prevent. The only reason that for this, is having the idea that this will take away the ability of choice, but in reality it is for safety.   

 Nevertheless, an underlying issue that needs to be addressed is the bridge between the public and the scientific knowledge that seems to be hidden from society. While the idea of vaccination inserting unknown chemical components into the body may seem scary, in reality, the research and experimentation that have been conducted to establish vaccinations proves that the practice is not intimidating in the slightest. Also, many of the things inside medicine and vaccines are in the same things that people eat everyday, such as pears which have formaldehyde, a common element in vaccines.

To improve, our country should take a glance at the measure our nations are implementing to prevent this problem. In fact, Germany has recently proposed a law to mandate people to undergo the measles vaccine, if it passes, this will set an example for other countries to take action and protect their citizens. The law itself will fine anyone who is not vaccinated and ban all kindergarteners from attending school because they are more under the threat of the disease.

 Overall, it is time to face the fact: thanks to the neglectance of vaccines, the measles have become a crucial problem that affects areas throughout the country. As citizens and moralistic humans, we must realize that our viewpoints, no matter how strong, must be put aside to save the community.

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© 2020 by Editor-in-Chief Emma Chang. Proudly created by Volume 52.