If anyone is in a position to speak out about vaccines, it's Melinda Gates. Few people have engaged in philanthropic work in developing countries to the extent that she and husband Bill Gates have. Now more than ever, where at least 28 unvaccinated people at Disney have been infected with measles, it's important to talk frankly about vaccination.
"We take vaccines so for granted in the United States," said Gates in an interview. "Women in the developing world know the power of [vaccines]. They will walk 10 kilometers in the heat with their child and line up to get a vaccine because they have seen death."
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We, in Canada and the US, are lucky to the point of complacency. We haven't known measles-related death in our lifetime. We haven't lost our babies and children to diseases that are largely avoidable.
In many ways we have grown up in a sweet spot, whereby medicine is readily accessible at our fingertips.
Gates is right. In our cynicism of big Pharma, we are neglecting to see the overarching benefit of vaccines. I'm not a scientist or a doctor. I can't swear with 100% certainty that vaccines are totally safe and harmless. No medicine is—that's why they come with a list of possible side effects and contraindications—but what's the alternative? To expose our children to illnesses and diseases that may kill them?
When you look at the issue in this light, it seems like a no-brainer.
Tell parents in developing countries, who fight just to keep their kids healthy and alive, that some of us are opting out of vaccines and they'd probably want to slap us upside the head for being so foolish and reckless.
The Disney outbreak is a perfect example of how an highly infectious disease can make a comeback. California is among states that grant anti-vaxx waivers for personal beliefs. And over time, those exemptions add up and have repercussions.
According to a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at the University of California, Dr. James Cherry, the anti-vaccination movement is the sole reason for the outbreak. "It wouldn't have happened otherwise—it wouldn't have gone anywhere."
So the Fifty Shades of Grey movie is about to be released, and womankind is chomping at the bit to see the adaptation of the bestselling book. But as we all know, it's not easy for new moms to get out to the cinema. So why not check out a baby-friendly screening during the day?
Moms and babe screenings have been a booming business for years, yet some find this particular screening an objectionable choice.
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"Combining babies and erotic fiction doesn't float everyone's boat," said Mumsnet chief executive Justine Roberts, "but [our] view is broadly each to their own. And the baby hasn't a clue what's on-screen anyway, which from what we've heard is probably a blessing or else he or she might just refuse to go along." LOL Mumsnet, LOL!
In the UK, Fifty Shades has a 15 rating, while in the US anyone under 17 will need to be accompanied by an adult due to the movie's "strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behaviour and graphic nudity.”
Typically at baby-friendly screenings, volume is lowered, lighting dimmed. (In other words, a perfect ambiance for erotic viewing, if you discount the soundtrack of wailing babies.)
Given the screenings are only open to infants under 12 months old, I don't really see a problem. It's not like Fifty Shades is full of gut-splattering graphic violence. And by all accounts, even the sex has been toned down, so it's the Disney of pornography.
On the upshot: Valentine's will be extra sweet for all the husbands spared of a Christian Grey date night.