Another day, another anti-vaxxer controversy! The one that is currently hitting the Internet is actually in the form of a letter from an anonymous source, which was penned to warn parents of an invisible danger lurking in their neighborhoods.
Before we move forward, though, let’s make sure that we’re all on the same page about the term ‘anti-vaxxer’. Unless you have consistently managed to stay off social media or other websites for the past several years (and, if so, how did you get here??) chances are, you’ve heard at least something about the anti-vaxxer debate.
Breaking it down, anti-vaxxers are folks who believe, either for religious, political, or social reasons, that their children should not be vaccinated under any circumstances. Up until around the mid-2000s the movement was a niche one, but as the prevalence of autism and other disorders seemed to increase, more and more parents identified with unpopular–and debunked!– medical theories that ingredients in vaccines could be causing the issues.
Since the number of unvaccinated children has skyrocketed in recent years–nearly 2% of kindergartners nationwide and 5% in Wisconsin alone, according to the CDC–it’s not surprising that measles cases are mounting to levels not experienced in the U.S. since it was virtually eradicated decades ago.
Now, we are not placing ourselves on either end of the argument, but we sure think it’s important to cover, especially considering the lengths to which either side will go to uphold their causes. Take, for instance, the letter at the center of today’s story. The mysterious note was recently posted to Reddit, along with this message:
This letter came in the mail (postmarked and all) with no return address. No clue who/where it originally came from.
The page-long note was signed by the ‘Concerned Moms of Wisconsin’, a group that, judging by its lack of formal internet presence, seems to be acting as a pseudonym.
It starts out by alerting the ‘Resident’ reader to the fact that their neighbor “does not believe in vaccinating herself or her family.” Interestingly, the note, which seems to be used as a template of sorts, actually calls out the specific name of the anti-vaxxer neighbor, where it is hand-written on the top line (the Reddit poster chose to redact it).
The ‘Concerned Moms’ go on to caution the reader against “…sharing work or personal space with this individual, eating foods prepared by this individual, or attending gatherings at this individual’s house if you or the people who are important to you fall into medically at-risk categories.”
The anonymous group also makes this gloomy claim about anti-vaxxers: “People who don’t believe in vaccines often hold other views that are at odds with widely accepted facts related to science and medicine.”
The note is neatly wrapped up with the link of the website, Vaccines Work, an organization that educates the public on the ins and outs of preventable diseases.
Like we said earlier, we are not here to pick sides, but the ‘Concerned Moms of Wisconsin’ definitely didn’t claim anything scientifically inaccurate in the note. And, their advice to keep loved ones who fall into “medically at-risk categories” away from anti-vaxxer neighbors sure seems sound to us!
Now that you’ve read the note, we’d like to get your take on the subject. What would you do if you received a note like this in your mailbox? Would you confront your anti-vaxxer neighbor or try to find the members of the clandestine group? What are your views on the anti-vaxxer movement?