The hysteria regarding measles in Lakewood is a mystery to me. But then, again the hysteria involving many childhood diseases that have been “eradicated” by vaccinations also puzzles me.

The same hysteria has now been attached to the flu and to chickenpox — normal childhood diseases that we all had and we all got over, but now because of marketing, we all think we’re going to die from all of them.

When I was young we all got the measles, the mumps, whooping cough and chickenpox. And no one died from them. (Well, actually, some people did but there were so few that we never even heard about it.)

And although no one has been able to conclusively tie vaccinations to scary, long-term, disabling childhood injuries, no one can unilaterally disprove the connection either. Having been through measles and mumps and chickenpox and flu and coming out of them fine, as we all did back then, I can tell you it’s a much less scary risk to have the disease than to possibly turn into a vegetable as many children have after receiving some of these childhood vaccinations.

Yes, I repeat the POSSIBLE risks from the vaccinations themselves seem MUCH scarier to me than the risk of death. But that’s probably cause my sisters and I and all of my friends and cousins and classmates and the rest of America had ‘em all. And we’re all (mostly) just fine.

And even if you throw around statistics, saying “well one in 1,000 cases of measles actually leads to death! Are you willing to gamble with YOUR child’s life?” I’m really not that impressed. I’d rather roll the dice. Because I know a girl who died from complications from an infection that began with an ingrown toenail and a man in perfect health who died from an abscess in his tooth that turned into sepsis.

There are some things in life you’re not gonna prevent, no matter what.

So stop panicking and enjoy your life. While you’re busy worrying about your kids getting the measles, you could get run over by a truck crossing the street to get the vaccine. And even if your kid gets measles, trust me he’s probably going to be fine. In my generation we all had it and we’re all here to tell the tale.

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