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Author: TriSec    Date: 01/23/2022 14:10:39

Maybe we should call it that instead of vaccination?

Mrs. TriSec and I are far past the point where we were concerned about babies. (We do still practice from time to time.) But way back when, we actively did two things.

When we didn't want one - there were necessary precautions.

When we did want one - we eliminated all the safeties, and even actively did things that might get us what we wanted. (Fertility drugs, mostly - but a lot of other things, too.)

In the end, none of it worked and we went in a different direction in that regard.

Ooookay, WTF does this have to do with Covid now, Trisec???

Once again, it's about framing the language. Although it's astounding that we should have to do it this way. We're all vaccinated to various degrees. The minimum required for society and to attend public schools is actually surprisingly short.

There's more if you want to join the military.

Mrs. TriSec and I travelled overseas 20 years ago now, to what is a borderline Third-World country. In addition to the ones required in the US, we also got Hepatitis A and B, IPV (polio), and Oral Typhoid.

The history of vaccines, like most history, is lengthy and convoluted. But you know that I have a Boston link, right? Zabdiel Boylston was an early proponent of vaccination in the colonies. During a smallpox outbreak in 1721, he took the unprecedented step of vaccinating his own son and two of his slaves against the disease.

In 1721, smallpox broke out in Boston, threatening to devastate the City. Zabdiel Boylston, a Boston doctor, learned of the smallpox inoculation from Cotton Mather. At the suggestion of Mather, he agreed to inoculate Bostonians. On June 26, he inoculated his son and two of his slaves against the disease.

Zabdiel also inoculated between 180 and 250 other Bostonians. Many feared that the smallpox inoculations would only spread the disease. They violently opposed Boylston’s work, and his opponents even threatened his family. At one point, one of his opponents threw a hand grenade into his home. Shortly after inoculating his son, Boylston was arrested. Authorities released him after he promised to only inoculate with government permission.

It's unclear if the vaccinations actually worked (They probably did - his son was not noted as a fatality). Today, Boylston Street in Boston is named for him.

Back in those days though, it wasn't called "vaccination". That word hadn't been invented yet, but "Innoculation" had. Like many words in English, it's got Latin roots, and it has to do with implantation of a thing.

mid-15c., "implant a bud into a plant," from Latin inoculatus, past participle of inoculare "graft in, implant a bud or eye of one plant into another," from in- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + oculus "bud," originally "eye" (from PIE root *okw- "to see").

"Vaccination" came later, after 1799. After Dr. Boylston's experiments, a more successful attempt came at the hands of Dr. Edward Jenner in England, using live virus from a cow, hence the new name for the process.

1800, used by British physician Edward Jenner (1749-1823) for the technique he publicized of preventing smallpox by injecting people with the similar but much milder cowpox virus (variolae vaccinae), from vaccine (adj.) "pertaining to cows, from cows" (1798), from Latin vaccinus "from cows," from vacca "cow," a word of uncertain origin.

With all that said - let's go back to our first example. The virus is a form of life, just like you and me. Like us, it's primarily interested in reproducing. The virus doesn't care what happens to the host, it only wants to make more copies of itself. While we should care about what happens to the host, it's painfully obvious that vast swaths of the US population simply don't give a fuck.

This is the connection I want to make - vaccination is like Birth Control for viruses. You can prevent yourself from becoming "pregnant" with the virus by taking all the necessary precautions, but if you do all the high-risk things without proper protection...well, having that virus-baby will be the inevitable result.

I don't make that comparison lightly - actual childbirth can be fatal, too. (and in a sidebar, I'll note that the story I reference below also noted that the US is the only industrialized nation with a RISING maternal mortality rate. Something else for the MAGAts to be proud of, I guess.)

In 2019, 754 women were identified as having died of maternal causes in the United States, compared with 658 in 2018 (2). The maternal mortality rate for 2019 (20.1 deaths per 100,000 live births) was significantly higher than the rate for 2018 (17.4).

It is of course, apples and oranges, as the Covid rate is significantly higher. In Massachusetts, that current rate is 310 per 100,000.

But I suppose at the end of the day, all of these arguments are for naught. Like a famous fictitious person once observed, "Stupid is as Stupid Does". Living in the best-educated state in the Union has often made me smug, but nowadays it makes me sad. I have noted the comparison - a decade ago now, I survived a major health scare that could have just as easily killed me. To this day, when my doctor says "Jump", I tell her "Well, can't do that very well any more, but I will try." Their 14 years in school at places like Harvard Medical or Johns Hopkins beat my 5 minutes of research online any day of the week.

1 comments (Latest Comment: 01/23/2022 16:00:42 by Will in Chicago)
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