kottke.org posts about Amy Parker

What happens when you don't get vaccinatedJan 07 2014

Amy Parker grew up with super health-conscious parents who provided her with a healthy diet and active lifestyle. But they also didn't vaccinate her and she was sick all the time as a kid.

As healthy as my lifestyle seemed, I contracted measles, mumps, rubella, a type of viral meningitis, scarlatina, whooping cough, yearly tonsillitis, and chickenpox. In my 20s I got precancerous HPV and spent six months of my life wondering how I was going to tell my two children under the age of 7 that Mummy might have cancer before it was safely removed.

This is the part that really gets to me: Parker wasn't vaccinated but was given so many antibiotics for her childhood illnesses that she became immune to them! [Hair-tearing-out noise]

My two vaccinated children, on the other hand, have rarely been ill, have had antibiotics maybe twice in their lives, if that. Not like their mum. I got so many illnesses requiring treatment with antibiotics that I developed a resistance to them, which led me to be hospitalized with penicillin-resistant quinsy at age 21 -- you know, that old-fashioned disease that supposedly killed Queen Elizabeth I and that was almost wiped out through use of antibiotics.

Update: Slate has corrected the passage above, taking out the part about Parker's resistance to antibiotics. It now reads:

My two vaccinated children, on the other hand, have rarely been ill, have had antibiotics maybe twice in their lives, if that. Not like their mum. I got many illnesses requiring treatment with antibiotics. I developed penicillin-resistant quinsy at age 21 -- you know, that old-fashioned disease that supposedly killed Queen Elizabeth I and that was almost wiped out through use of antibiotics.

People do not develop antibiotic resistance, microorganisms do. I regret the idiotic error and tearing out my hair. (thx @chrismize)

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