The effects of parents choosing not to have their children vaccinated has been in the news again recently, after an outbreak of measles at Disneyland, apparently transmitted by an unvaccinated woman. This sort of thing seems to keep coming up. For a deep and personal reflection on the issue, have a look at this blog post. For me this paragraph is key:
What happened was that some parents decided not to immunize their children. As it is extremely contagious, measles does not need much of an opportunity to regain a foothold. That opportunity was provided by a false belief in some parents that immunization was unnecessary or even harmful. Parents who were too young to have experienced the disease became more fearful of the vaccine than the disease and their unvaccinated children became innocent victims.
It seems that sometimes we solve problems so well, we stop believing that they need to be solved.
Every generation want to think for themselves, and we’re not very good at reasoning about things we have no experience of, no matter what our grandparents tell us. This generational independence is good for freeing us from unnecessary traditions and the poor decisions of the past, but depressingly, it also seems to condemn us to repeating history.