Anti-vaxxers are kind of a joke but they're also kind of a very real threat to the human race.
They are also natural selection in action. Because of the bogus findings of one person that vaccines cause autism, people en masse have decided to make their children a danger to public health.
But not everybody is an anti-vaxxer for life. Some people eventually learn their lesson...but do they learn it the easy or the hard way?
Here were those answers.
My dad is an anti-vaxxer. His belief stems from my cousin passing away at 3 months old, shortly after her vaccinations. It was SIDS, so it never really got a cause. He believes it was the vaccinations.
I was only 22 when I got pregnant and having grown up with anti-vaxx beliefs being flung at me, it was natural for me to side with that because it was all I'd known. I was adamant that I didn't want any vaccinations for my daughter under 3 years old at least.
In my midwife appointment while I was pregnant, they explained to me the importance of vaccinations and gave me data about the decreased incidents of diseases since the introduction of routine vaccinations. I couldn't refute the evidence.
Then when I had her preemie, it was even more important that she was vaccinated because getting sick could've cost her her life.
I just had to be open minded and consider the affirmative side, despite what my upbringing had taught me.
How To Save A Life
I was a homeopathic medicine believing crunchy who grew up in the 70s. I believed vaccinations would diminish a person's immune system, and contracting an illness would help one develop resistance to the illnesses of the world. I know, stupid.
I ended up getting my kids vaccinated when one was 8 and the other 2. One day, it dawned on me that if my child caught a communicable disease like mumps or measles, he could inadvertently pass it to a fetus in utero if he was near a pregnant woman and the mother's resistance was low. And my thought process was that she could not get vaccinated to protect her baby if she was pregnant, but my child could.
Essentially, the whole notion of herd immunity smacked me upside the head, and I woke up.
Lucky You Survived That Long
My family was very into all things natural and holistic growing up, vaccines were "poisoning your body" and preventing your immune system from fighting off germs. I just believed what my family said, and never wanted to rock the boat. Then I went to medical school and learned real science.. and off to get all my vaccines I went.
Some of my family still doesn't know that I got them.
More Than One Issue
I was an anti-vaxxer because I have a terrible, extreme phobia of needles that result in full-on panic attacks and other unpleasantness. So you can imagine how extremely pleased I was to discover a way to legitimize my desire to avoid them at all costs, yes? Especially since I was raised among people who took the ideas behind anti-vaxx arguments seriously, but otherwise called me a wimp for being afraid.
So when I left for university and found myself among people who were super understanding of my fears but thought my anti-vaxx opinions were disgusting, things started to change. I came to terms with the fact that I don't think I ever really believed that vaccines were bad (as evidenced by the fact that I was never capable of properly articulating what was bad about them) and started dealing with my phobia properly.
I was anti-vax and yet had a kid with autism. I was so ignorant of the truth of vaccines, but also too ignorant about autism. It's not a death sentence, it's not to be feared. My kid with autism is a fantastic human and I often wish more people were like him.
So anyway, when I had my next kid, I vaxxed on-schedule, and he's pretty neurotypical, just a smidge of ADHD. So along with my own anecdotal experience, I did the research, read a lot, and learned that the Wakefield study was bullshit, and that vaccines don't cause autism or ADHD. But in defense of my ignorant self, when you're a new parent, you're vulnerable to fear-mongering. Thankfully I saw the light.
One Fad To Another
Sister was anti-vax. She is always into the newest soccer mom fad. I honestly think she has Munchausens by proxy. Her kids all have weird food allergies/illnesses but have never been diagnosed.
Anyway, she decided not to vaccinate her fourth child because her third has autism. Fourth had failure to thrive so she decided to get him vaccinated so he had less issues. She's moved on from anti-vax to keto and gluten free diets.
A Quick Ask
My daughter was born in 2001 before "the study" had been thoroughly debunked and proven willfully fraudulent.
So I did ask the pediatrician about it, and he immediately put my mind at ease.
Thus concluded any and all worries and concerns I ever had on the matter.
Saving My Own Life
I've never been anti Vax as such, but when I was pregnant with my son I did question whether the combined MMR was riskier than paying for them to be given separately. (I can't even remember my reasoning now)
Anyway, I spoke to my doctor, researched on the internet, listened to anti vaxxers and pro vaxxers, for me it was weighing up the pros and cons.
The result is he has had all of his vaccines because when all the evidence is presented it's the right decision for most children (unless strong family history of reaction etc), the funny thing is, after his birth I developed Immuno suppression, if he hadn't have been vaccinated he could make me really ill.
Playing On My Insecurity
I realized that I was being manipulated due to my fears and the fact I was very ill at the time and didn't know why. I was told that the government was killing me (among other anti-vax stuff) with flouride and chemicals and that I was going to have a terrible quality of life by 'helpful' members of the anti-vax/alt health community and when I said something that didn't fit the narrative I was verbally attacked for being a corporate shill.
There are two parts to the entire community. One part is the people like me who are just scared and concerned due to the many different things we hear; maybe we're inexperienced parents, maybe we're sick, etc. but we're hearing so many different things due to the age we live in and we're generally scared/concerned/trying to do what's best. The other part is the predatory people who prey on the first group in order to accomplish some type of goal whether that's a following or money or idk a sense of satisfaction.
Too Close For ComfortGiphy
Not me - a work friend.
Her sister had nearly died after receiving a vaccine for HPV. She was literally the only anti-vaxxer I knew that knew a genuine real case of a vaccine going wrong.
The sister gets unwell again - the doctors verdict: "she wouldn't be at deaths door again if the people around her were vaccinated. She's got a very weak immune system she's relying on all of you to protect yourselves to protect her."
So now, my work friend is a huge advocate for vaccination.
So like most of the stories - it took someone nearly dying to change her views.
"I'm too old for this sh*t"
The iconic words of Roger Murtaugh, portrayed by Danny Glover, in the Lethal Weapon movies.
A thought that all of us have with each passing year, both about things we're now tired of doing, and things we once loved, but don't find as much joy in any more.
After hitting the big 3-0, we find ourselves increasingly surprised by the things we used to find fun, but now might find almost intolerable.
Redditor nonchalannt was curious to hear the things people lost their taste for after their 30th birthday, leading them to ask:
"What's not "cool" anymore when you turn 30?"
Actually worrying about anything being "cool"!
"Actually for me it was around 35, because I like banging my head into a wall."
"But others started realizing earlier than me."
"Everyone I knew started realizing that all of the things I thought were cool when we were 20 were actually really, really dumb and unimportant and weren't interested in them anymore."
"And I'm not even married or have kids, I can't imagine how stupid the sh*t I was into would seem if I had a family."
"However, video games I played when I was young still seem cool to literally everyone my age, so that didn't change even though I expected it would."
Early to bed, early to rise... or at least early to bed...
"I value my sleep a lot more at 30 than I did at 29."
"It scares me."
"I’m not in my twenties anymore but life is good."- arcanehavok743
"Sleep deprivation."- Hoppy_CroaklightlyTired Jet Lag GIFGiphy
Yeah...I'll just have one glass
I'll pay up for convenience.
"Teenager/early 20’s: 'yo we can save money by booking the 7am return flight and not paying for accommodation - lets just stay at the club until 5am or sleep on the airport floor!'"
"30yo: I’d rather die."- Gravesens1stTouch
I'll be transparent, and I'll honor my plans!
"Bailing on plans last minute."
"If you don’t want to do something, just say so."- freakanatureSchitts Creek No GIF by CBCGiphy
Dude, we graduated over ten years ago!
"Bragging about your high school accomplishments."- Hysterical_Realist
Yeah... I'll get my own...
"Sleeping 8 to a hotel room to save money."- UrDraco
So this is what it's like to have a savings account...
"Spending all your money at the bar on payday."- deputytechPaying Make It Rain GIF by TravisGiphy
Life is meant to be enjoyed.
"Here's some prospective from way in your future."
"When I was in my 50's my motto was, 'Oh, well'."
"I have 2 mottoes for my 60's."
"'Anyway, doesn't matter', and 'I don't need that stress in my life'."
"It's a great place to live."
Our tastes and interests change with each passing year.
Hence why staying up till 5am drinking straight from the bottle and eating nothing but potato chips might not have the same appeal.
Though no one should look back on those moments with shame or embarrassment.
After all, a good time was had by all, and that's what your 20s were for.
Not everyone wins the parent lottery.
It's a hard road when you have parents who don't support you or are openly hostile to you.
And the nonsense and cruelty can be subtle.
Sometimes it's the subtlety that's worse.
Redditorsnoofle-sciencewanted to discuss the ways we can all tell how others we're brought up by people who maybe should've rethought breeding. They asked:
"What is a sign you grew up with shi**y parents?"
I got lucky with my parent but I feel others who got the opposite.
Center of...Ill Do It 30 Rock GIFGiphy
"You are in your 40s and still crave attention and validation from anyone at all because you were ignored all the time."
"Even at 31, feeling like if I get close to anyone they'll find a way to take advantage of me."
"I’m not even sure my parents are wholly to blame there, they taught me love is kinda conditionally based on being a success and family means never being comfortable directly opening up. And that truly dealing with things is best done by ignoring or shouting about them. It was other folks who took advantage."
I want nothing...
"The last time I got new tires, my mom made me let her pay for them for me because I didn't have a job and she doesn't want me spending money. Within an hour after, she was already using it as leverage like a, 'I did this for you, now do this for me!' kind of thing. My dad let me reimburse them without her knowing, but still. My parents have caused me to not be comfortable with accepting anything from anyone anymore. Not even a Christmas gift from a close friend."
"Not being able to recognize affection or how to show it healthily."
"Affection gives me panic attacks. I know I'm going to get in deep crap because they're going to follow up with 'since I'm so loving you need to do X' with X being something i know I don't want to do. Haven't lived at home in decades but I still don't trust when people are being genuinely kind and loving. I know the other shoe is going to drop with a whole foot in it."
WorthSad A Christmas Story GIF by filmeditorGiphy
"You feel intimidated by everyone around you, you feel like you're never good enough for anyone, no matter how much they tell you that you don't need to try so hard, and you generally have low self-worth."
Some childhoods really are a tragedy.
SorryOh My God Wow GIF by The Roku ChannelGiphy
"Being surprised people will apologize and want to talk out and deal with an issue instead of screaming and pretending everything is fine and never mentioning why there was a fight or argument at all."
"You remember being severely neglected yet you were told 'you are spoiled.'"
"Lots of these hit close to home, but this one hits closest. Especially because my parents use money as a way of trying to keep me around for narcissistic supply."
"'Oh, they're such nice people, look at all they do for you!' Literally all I want in life right now is to not have to depend on them, I'd give every penny I have to not have to spend time with them and just constantly keep my mouth shut about my childhood abuse."
"I once had one of my good friends tell me about how his dad never hugged him or said he loved him and this fantasy he had about his dad holding is head in his hands and telling him he loves him. I promised myself I would do everything I can to make sure my kids feel loved and are used to affection. And it's clear they crave it."
"When you really don’t remember any good times you spent with them."
"My family was mad when I didn't attend my grandfather's funeral last year. I thought about it for a minute... then realized I could not come up with a single positive memory of him or anything nice he ever said to me in my life (I'm 44)."
"I could, however, come up with a very long list of really shi**y things he did and said. So I realized, why would I want to go? Don't want to see anyone else that will be attending anyhow so, nope. I am an adult and I don't have to so I didn't and I am glad for my choice."
peace out...Bye Bye Goodbye GIF by Mickey MouseGiphy
"You don't talk to them anymore or want them in your life otherwise as an adult (e.g., not inviting them to your wedding, or want them around any potential children you may have)."
People really should have to be licensed to become parents.
Life is fragile.
We're reminded of that every single day.
In a split second, anything and everything can change.
You never know when you may end up in an ER.
RedditorSpinalPrizonwanted to hear about the times life took a sudden unexpected turn. They asked:
"People who were fine one minute, then woke up in the hospital, what happened?"
Thankfully I've only ever fainted. Blackouts and hospital stays give me anxiety.
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"I was walking to a birthday party. Next thing I knew, I woke up in an ambulance. I had been struck over the head and was knocked unconscious. I never found out who it was, or what they wanted (they didn't take anything from me)."
"On a business trip in Texas. Me and two co-workers were driving to work, I was in the back passenger seat. Woke up in an ambulance. Got hit by a sprinter van at 50mph and slammed into a guard rail according to the police report. I don't remember any of it. Broke 7 ribs, collar bone, concussion, and fractured two bones in my neck. Took like 7 months to recover, but my neck and shoulder still bother me daily."
"When I was around 8 or 9, my parents went to have dinner at a fancy restaurant. My younger brother was at a friends house and I had a babysitter. When I finally fell asleep I woke up in an ambulance. Turns out my babysitter overdosed me with pills so I wouldn’t wake up whilst she threw a party at my house. She gave me so many I passed out and had a reaction."
"My girlfriend had a thyroid related heart attack, where she was revived and put into a medically induced coma for like 2 weeks, and took her another 2 weeks to come out of it. Then she had to go to in-patient physical therapy for a bit. Talking to her after she woke up, I couldn't help but be astounded how much it f**ked with her memory. It was like she remembered events, people, things and places, but any concept of time went out the window."
"For example, she thought she was living at her ex husband's mom's house, driving a car she had before we met, working at her current job, and knew we were dating. And of course, as those were all simultaneously impossible, she was having a lot of trouble figuring out what was right, and what wasn't."
Hero GrampsWinning Old Man GIF by Great Big StoryGiphy
"I had a severe asthma attack to the point my entire throat closed up. I turned blue and was lying on the kitchen floor. Woke up in my grandads car with a straw in my throat and him banging on my back. Woke up again in the hospital. I was about seven."
I would be a wreck in all of these situations. This is too much.
ErasedAlcohol Memory GIF by funkGiphy
"Hit by a van . Woke up about a month later. My last memory before waking up is my 4th period art class in high school. So it completely erased the last half of the day before and the entire morning of the accident itself."
A Bad Series
"My dad was driving me to school and suddenly I was in my bed! I get up, open my door, and ask my family what just happened! They all simultaneously scream for me to go back to the bed. Apparently I had already asked them what happened six separate times. I had a series of grand mal seizures during the car ride."
"Went from chatty to seizing all of a sudden. My dad called our pediatrician and I was eventually diagnosed with a form of epilepsy. My dad was told to take me home and put me to bed. It was the most disorienting thing I've ever experienced. It took six months to feel normal again. I had a constant sense of newness with familiar things that was very weird."
"I was in elementary school. I stayed home because I had a light fever one day. I took a nap and woke up 3 days later in the hospital with no feeling in my legs. I had contracted viral meningitis, which had cut off the nerves to my lower body. I was bedridden for 3 weeks and spent several more weeks in physical therapy relearning how to walk. The horrors I endured during my stay were traumatic enough, but I still feel lucky. In high school, a fellow classmate had contracted bacterial meningitis, he died two days later."
The Jungle Gym
"I don't know if absolutely plastered counts as being fine one minute, but yeah. I remember being sh**faced sitting on a jungle gym in a park and then waking up the next morning in the hospital with an IV and catheter. Apparently I was found in a coma and had multiple organs shutting down. If I hadn't received medical help I would've died. Am now 3 years sober."
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"I was at work having a normal day. I went to the toilet and could not get off the floor because I was doubled over in pain."
"I somehow managed to stagger out to where my colleagues were and they called me an ambulance. Got to hospital and had all my clothes and belongings shoved in a bag and was rushed into emergency surgery for a ruptured ectopic pregnancy."
Well I guess some miracles actually do happen. That is all too crazy.
All of us have something that we tend to "geek out" over.
This could be a book, television show, actor, singer or sports team.
But some shows or celebrities have a considerably wider fanbase than others, as evidenced by the terms "Trekkies" or "Beliebers".
Some times, members of these fan bases are so passionate, that they often come off as obnoxious or aggressive, possibly even hurting the reputation of the people or product they go wild over.
Redditor vejack was curious to learn which fan bases the Reddit community tends to find the most off putting, leading them to ask:
"Which is the most toxic community/fan base that you know?"
Everyone has an opinion...
Oof, that's bad...
"It's not a big community, but there are items in the dilapidated bowels of the Chernobyl nuclear plant that are less toxic than the Super Smash Brothers Melee fan base."- CorgisDie
When the creators tell you to back off, take a hint!
"'Rick and Morty'."
"Even the show's creators have had to clash with them and their toxicity."- JeremyZenith·Rick And Morty Facepalm GIFGiphy
I like it, in small doeses...
"I love really enjoy Kpop and am a fan myself, but damn. I sometimes just can't."- Ok-Enthusiasm-6975
Love the animation, the fans, not so much...
"Some anime community’s."- thomas_da_tra1n
Less than heroic behavior
"League of legends."- AllGameProQueen Gg GIF by League of LegendsGiphy
It's just a TV show... tone it down a bit...
"I expected to find this but haven't yet."
"The Supernatural Fandom."
"Other than the whole populous of it are cringe and over the top, getting tattoos of a show detail etc."
"They've literally bullied the show to continue the show past the natural ending, season 5, and for literally half a decade made them try to poop out content that topped the last season, with no where to really go to at that point."
"The consistent push on 'shipping' characters together that make the actors visably uncomfortable."
"The fan base is full of edgy people who gatekeep everything.'- develyn507
All of them!!!
"Are there any non toxic fan bases anymore?"
"The whole idea of people getting together and arguing with anyone that disagrees with them just breeds discontent."- KingGuy420Stop It Neil Patrick Harris GIFGiphy
At least they get them excited about reading...
"No specific authors, but the community of them."- D-Rez
There's nothing wrong with being passionate about something we love.
But when that passion starts to become competitive, even unsafe, can you even still call it a fanbase "community"?