I remember having chickenpox. My brothers and I got chickenpox… excuse me… Varicella when we were young. I remember having them. I remember it sucked and I had to put calamine lotion all over. I remember being told not to scratch them. One of them even left a little scar on my belly. I remember that they were even in our mouths. You can still kind of see my scar, but only if you know what you’re looking for.
My husband has a tiny scar from them too.
At any rate, we all got chickenpox when we were little for the most part right? And when one of us got them, our parents would often drive far and wide to have us attend a chickenpox party. They tried to expose us at a convenient time so that it didn’t happen around the holidays or a family vacation. They wanted to expose us because having a good and hearty case of chicken pox was said to make you less likely to have to deal with the evermore painful “shingles” as an adult. It’s kind of like cowpox and smallpox. People who contracted the much milder cowpox ended up immune against smallpox. As a side note: The original smallpox “vaccine” wasn’t even really a vaccine the way we think of it, they just scratched fluid from cowpox lesions into the skin of healthy individuals, gave them cow pox and then they were spared the far worse sickness of smallpox. Granted, sometimes, people can still get shingles even if they’ve had chickenpox, but the thought was that if you get a hearty chickenpox outbreak, you’re spared a lot of suffering later on from shingles. And so our parents actively sought out chickenpox.
If you search our government pages for chickenpox (Varicella) you will find some pretty horrible pictures. They don’t usually mention any of the details of the circumstances of those photos, so when I was looking at them for the first time, I assumed those photos were an accurate depiction of what chickenpox usually looks like. Taken aback, I wondered how in the world our parents handled the sickness so calmly, because it looked incredibly traumatic from the photos I saw. It looked unlike anything I’d ever willingly expose my child to. In fact, if I showed up at a Varicella party with my children and saw a child that looked the like children in those photos online, I’d turn right around and start spraying lysol all around us in hopes that none of those germs would EVER be spread to my children.
I know a woman who’s children all recently got chickenpox. None of them were vaccinated. They were all young children. She sent me pictures of her children from when they were in the thick of their Varicella sicknesses and she told me I could show them to you…
Now see, I could totally drop my child off to a chickenpox party with one of these kiddos.
Just the facts:
So anyway, according to the Immunization Action Coalition, (a strong advocate for vaccinations of all kinds that works closely with the CDC and healthcare officials) “Prior to the availability of varicella vaccine there were approximately 4 million cases of varicella a year in the U.S. Though usually a mild disease in healthy children, an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 people developed complications, about 10,000 people required hospitalization and 100 people died each year from varicella.” FOUR MILLION CASES! That’s a lot of chickenpox. That’s awful.
And yet, out of those four million people, only about 100 people died each year from it? (Including people with compromised immune systems?) Back up the bus for one minute. Are you reading that?
Only 100 people used to to die from getting chickenpox? Why, that’s around half of the number of little boys that die directly from circumcisions every year.
So, it’s 1980…
- About 100 people die from chickenpox complications
Now, it’s 2010…
- About 2500 people die from NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES
- And the rate of shingles in teenagers is rising.
Mull those stats over for awhile. In the meantime, I’m going to try to find my scar.