12 August 2013

fear eats the soul

{translated on request, from my dutch blog}

Once every so often i venture out into the Normal World, mingle with Normal People, just to see if i can do it yet: be Normal...

Reason this time around was the massive commotion that’s arisen around the baby vaccination issues {here in Holland there has been an outbreak of Measles amongst the so called bible-belt, where they don’t vaccinate for religious reasons}. A week or so ago, friend of mine, a kind, beautiful, intelligent woman with 4 kids as well, was interviewed for a Reformed Protestant National newspaper, to talk about her ideas with regards to vaccination, but it turned out that most of what she’s said was taken out of context, written down wrong and she was furious about this. The only thing that was right was that her youngest was indeed not vaccinated and she did have a penchant for Anthroposophy.

Keeping that in the back of my mind, I read the article online, and then the comments from ‘concerned citizens’, and with every new comment I felt a little bit less happy, a little bit more gloomy. There was also a reaction-article, written by someone who described my friend as a spiritual nut-job, one that you should be careful to be around as she and people like her had weird {read: dangerous} notions. I was ready to withdraw form Regular Society completely…

To stay with this issue: for a long time I have felt insecure about whether or not to vaccinate, and with the eldest two it felt so terribly wrong, intuitively speaking. But I had no information – back then there was no internet to find stuff like that on – and I went completely against my feelings, let it happen. The fact that the kids were unwell afterwards was apparently normal, and I was just being an overprotective mum. Later on I tried a bit harder to find information, and found so much that made me feel uncomfortable, angry even, but hey: I wasn't a doctor and they were, so who was I to doubt…

Until a while back I found a site – written by a doctor who was also a mum, with the same questions about the necessity of vaccination. Her digging and delving resulted in quite a few remarkable facts, like the one that Measles, for instance, had already been reduced to almost nil in occurrence, years before vaccination started. How did that happen? Natural immunity, which developed over years, and better Hygiene… every page that I read made me raise my eyebrows a bit more, and my jaw dropped a bit lower… I was so glad our youngest 2 didn't get any of that stuff in the name of Being Responsible…

But apparently I’m fairly alone in this, apparently I’m very irresponsible, its people like me who expose Society to Dangerous Diseases, and my kids to Death, and I’m insane to think that I can go around thinking that Measles and other infectious diseases are not Lethal … how can I know better than doctors and science?! In god’s name…

Fear, it seems… Fear still rules impeccably, gets stirred up time after time, used to keep Normal People in Normal Society… well, what… under? Really? I fear so…

Using Fear as a weapon is apparently all you need… To stay with measles: every so many years there’s an outbreak. X-amount of people get infected, a tiny amount die. People with a strong immune system get through it reasonably easily, other have a harder time… Just like with normal Flu… More often though, folks perish from walking Under A Bus, or get fed up with Normal Society and end their lives… But I can’t mention that…

In the above mentioned article, my friend is declared mad for saying that there’s nothing wrong with challenging the immune system every now and then, especially for kids, as it makes them stronger, and I wholly support that notion - a strong mind in a strong body can cope with a lot. That fact that whole hordes of people died a century ago in big towns like Amsterdam was to do with the fact that there were no sewage systems, and that airing and cleaning and hygiene were seen as something for the rich… Bacteria and germs loved the conditions that industrialised communities a hundred years ago had to live in. They love a bit of squalor…

Oh well… my outing to the Normal World, even in newspaper- form, has been it for a while. Not my cup of tea… all those scared people who keep following each other, declaring others to be fools, confirming each other’s fears… no thanks… leave me to be the Airy Fairy who want to spread love and happiness and see the beauty of life and the people around me… anything is better than being Normal…

village in france
van gogh