Anti-vaxxers are fleeing California and calling themselves 'refugees'
File this under "previously unsaid sentences in human history," I guess. Anti-vaccine parents who moved to states like Idaho to avoid states who hold parents accountable for vaccinating their children have started referring to themselves as "refugees."
Parents like Shalee Brindley, pictured below, fled California due to laws like California's SB277, which removed the "personal belief" exemptions for vaccinations. The law now requires children in schools or daycare in California to be vaccinated, unless there is a legitimate medical reason otherwise.
Brindley left San Francisco in 2017. At an August 2019 public hearing in Idaho, she said " I'm a mother. And I'm also a California refugee. I came here in search of medical freedom."
As Leah Simpson reported in the Daily Mail:
Nearly 600 pages of written testimony and several hours of recordings from the hearings in Boise, Twin Falls, Lewiston, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Falls and Grangeville last year were obtained in an open records request by the Idaho Statesman.
Documents from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare hearings show one person wrote: 'I'm writing as a deeply concerned Parent & California Refugee, who had to pull my entire Family out of the State to protect them from Tyrannical Government. I will not stand by allowing Idaho to become a Socialist State.'
"Socialism." You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
Imagine thinking that free access to public education *isn't* socialism, but that demanding children be protected from preventable disease *is* socialism. This is the level of intelligence we're dealing with here.
Another parent said "It needs to be known that a very popular reason Idaho has been the most moved to state in the country two years in a row, is medical freedom! Many are SB277 refugees. I personally know a handful of these refugees very well…"
And yet another parent whined that parents with "a different voice in this discussion [are] ridiculed, made fun of." The same parent also said, unironically, that they are subjected to "censorship and bullying."
For one, the mere fact that you have people listening to and republishing your own words means that you are not being censored. You can literally go out on whatever social media platform you choose and word vomit all you want about how remarkable your ignorance of medicine is. Nobody is stopping you.
The Anti-Vaccine Religion
Anti-vaxxers are their own religion. And like all other religions, it's a belief that isn't worthy of any level of respect. Much like the Flat Earth conspiracy, the moon landing conspiracy, or Christianity as a whole, there is absolutely no factual basis to support it. Being silent or "respecting other people's beliefs" gives tacit approval of the indefensible. People deserve respect, but beliefs aren't people, and beliefs aren't inherently deserving of respect simply because someone believes it.
As part of having terrible, no good, very bad, and objectively not factual views on something, you're going to be challenged. You should be challenged. In fact, you should look forward to being challenged. When challenged about your beliefs, you are in a position to defend them. It's your chance to try to win someone else over to your views, growing the amount of people who believe in it.
When you whine about being made fun of or bullied for your beliefs, quite literally what you're saying is "shut up and let me have my own stupid beliefs in my own dumb little bubble." You're afraid to be challenged about something you're wrong about, because you know there is absolutely no logical defense of it.
The Facts on Vaccines
Studies have shown that unvaccinated children are 4 times more likely to be involved in an outbreak such as Measles than vaccinated children.
As I've written before, the facts about vaccines are simple. For nearly everyone, they are completely safe and effective. More to the point, there are many people who are immunocompromised, meaning their immune systems are weakened (either due to a disease or chemotherapy), who aren't able to be vaccinated. Instead, they rely on herd immunity to be safe from preventable diseases, trusting that those around them won't carry or spread the disease to them.
But despite rigorous safety testing, some individuals do have reactions to vaccines. While most are relatively benign, some do cause life-long disabilities. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund was created to address this. But even their own data shows that with over 2.5 billion doses of vaccines administered, the fund has only paid awards to just over 3,000 individuals. Many of these cases are settled outside of court, and even then there may not necessarily be direct evidence that a vaccine caused the injury. That puts the chance of having an adverse reaction at around 0.00000086%. For comparison, you have a much higher chance of being struck by lightning than being injured by a vaccine.