To No One's Surprise, It Turns Out Anti-Vaxxers Are One Of The Biggest Threats To Global Health

Can you believe?

Earlier this week, the World Health Organisation published a list of ten of the biggest threats to global health in 2019. Included on the list alongside diseases like ebola and influenza, noncommunicable diseases like diabetes, and environmental factors like air pollution, was “vaccine hesitancy”, a nice way of saying “anti-vaxxers”.

In the words of the World Health Organisation, “vaccine hesitancy – the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines – threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases.”

According to the WHO, “vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease – it currently prevents 2-3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved.”

According to people who are afraid of scientists and rely on websites like ‘Natural Mama’s Truth Den’ and ‘The Illuminati Is Real And Using Big Pharma To Poison You’, vaccines can cause autism and other vaccine injuries, and there’s a big conspiracy to cover up the facts and force vaccines on everyone.

Hm. I wonder who I believe?

The WHO points out that measles has seen a 30% increase in cases worldwide, which isn’t surprising given the number of stories from this month alone about people with measles travelling around Australia, spreading their germs. How generous of them. Does it come with a gift receipt? Because I’d like to return it, if possible.

While anti-vaxxers see not vaccinating themselves or their children as a personal choice, the reality is that our choices don’t exist in a vacuum, unless you live in a cabin in the woods in complete isolation from society.

Herd immunity is needed to minimise the likelihood of infectious diseases taking hold in a community, and people who can’t get vaccinated, like babies and the immunocompromised, rely on it to protect them.

Not vaccinating is an inherently selfish choice with serious consequences, and if you’re a well-educated, well-off person living in Australia, there’s no excuse for not vaccinating yourself or your children.

On the bright side, the WHO notes that 2019 might be the year that the transmission of wild poliovirus is stopped in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Less than 30 cases were reported across the two countries in 2018, so it looks like they’re on track to stop the disease from spreading soon. Yay for vaccinations!

Apparently Indonesian Teens Are Getting High Off Sanitary Pads So That's Another Thing Parents Can Worry About Now

I have no words.

According to a report published in The Straits Timessome teens in Indonesia are getting high off used sanitary pads. Yikes.

Teenagers in Jakarta and Bekasi, West Java, as well as Kudus, Central Java, were arrested while experimenting with this incredibly unorthodox method of intoxication.

In order to get high, teens would take sanitary pads they found in the trash, boil them, and drink the water. According to Senior Commander Suprinarto, head of the Central Java chapter of the National Narcotics Agency, the chlorine in the boiled mixture created a feeling of ‘flying’, as well as hallucinations.

One advocate said it isn’t a new thing, referencing incidents in 2016 where teenagers in West Java and Belitung did the same thing.

Teenagers going to extreme lengths to get high isn’t new – see: everyone who has ever drunk cough syrup when they weren’t sick – but this seems particularly gross. I think I’d prefer being stone-cold sober for the rest of my life over drinking this odd concoction, but I never was a particularly adventurous teen.

Bob Hawke Is Calling Last Drinks, Says He Won’t Make It To The Next Election

He reckons Labor will win it, though.

According to the Courier MailBob Hawke has revealed that his health has been terrible, and feels he’s “had his time”.

When asked what his plans for the new year were, he told News Corp: “I’ve had my time, just stick around for a little while.”

He went on to add: “I’ve sung my last song, or last verse of Waltzing Matilda”, which is just about the most Bob Hawke way of saying “I’m 89 and not long for this world” that I’ve ever heard.

Speaking to reporters at Woodford Folk Festival, he told them he thought this would be his last. Fair cop, tbh. Still going to festivals at 89 is impressive; I gave up on them at 21. But we already knew that Bob parties way harder than I do.

He reckons Labor will do well in Queensland at the next federal election, and that Bill Shorten will do well. I’m not sure I have as much faith in Bill as Bob does, but I won’t rain on an old man’s parade.

Hawke was taken to hospital earlier this year for a case of “the wobbles”. He turned 89 on the 9th of December.


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