Mosquitos have served as transmission vectors for disease throughout human history. Other diseases transfer via fluids, contact, sex, and other forms of exposure.
After years of research and the patient development of facts about diseases, scientists developed safe and effective vaccines that all but eradicated many deadly diseases. Unfortunately, diseases found a new vector possibly even more effective than the common mosquito. The Meme.
The CFR interactive map shows the rise in vaccine-preventable diseases over the past ten years. The increased transmission of such diseases stemmed not from mutation or climate change factors but to the spread of a meme advantageous to the diseases. This concept of vaccines causing autism or other conditions spread with the rapidity of global information flows and altered the behavior of people. Incidents of diseases such as pertussis and measles increased. The meme-vector represents a new avenue for diseases to successfully infect hosts and appears to have been very effective without requiring adaptations among the diseases. Even in the face of obvious outbreaks and research showing the safety and the effectiveness of vaccines, anti-vaccination websites, books, videos, and other media continue to spread the meme that there is something more dangerous about vaccinations than the diseases with a proven track record of killing people!
This trend shows that memes produce significant changes in human behavior as they spread, cultivating real-world changes that prove stubborn to eradicate. So far no one has come up with an anti-vaxx vaccination.
If anti-vaxxers, climate change denialists, and other flat Earthers want to deny decades of accumulated scientific knowledge, is it too much to ask that they be consistent? I have some suggestions:
- Don’t fly on airplanes. Clearly, the physics and research done to develop the technology are suspect.
- Likewise, don’t use cars, microwaves, refrigerators, computers, phones, air conditioning, heaters—hell, just give up technology. Why believe any of it?
- Include stone age technologies too, because what did they know then?
- Sanitation? Forget about it. Clearly, it’s wrong, right?
- Dentistry? No, see above.
It’s ridiculous that we know how to prevent thousands upon thousands of children from suffering and death, and people believe memes and other nonsense that puts everyone at risk.