When I was a child, the only vaccines that parents had their children take were for smallpox and polio. The smallpox vaccine had been around since 1796. The polio vaccine was created in 1955. There were no vaccines for measles, rubella (something we knew as German measles), mumps, whooping cough, or chicken pox.
I was a healthy child until I started school in 1954 at the age of 6. It could have been the stress of moving so many times in the previous year (5 times to be exact) that made me so vulnerable, but whatever the case was, I caught the whooping cough and then the chicken pox. As my elementary school life continued, I had measles and then rubella/German measles.
What was interesting was the way things were handled “back in the day.” You were kept home and the doctor came to see you. If the disease was bad enough, your house was quarantined until the doctor declared that threat had passed. I remember, in one instance, although I don’t remember what disease I had caught, the doctor quarantined the house and my father had to stay with friends if he wanted to continue to go to work. Interesting times.
Something else that I look back and find interesting is that no one thought anything of it. This was the way it was.
We lived in a time with less stress, good food that wasn’t genetically modified or overly processed, and doctors who truly were healers. Bleach, ammonia, and simple soaps were the means of cleaning instead of manufactured cleansers and sanitizers with ingredients that you can’t pronounce. The end result? We had healthy, strong immune systems. I truly believe that having to live through those childhood diseases has left me with a strong immune system. Now, I hardly ever get sick from colds, flu, or other viruses.
I remember one incident that caused my mother some distress. I was friends with two sisters that lived down the street and went there often to play. I went one day only to find our that they all had the mumps – mother, father, brother, and the two sisters. The mother even asked me if my mother knew that I was at their house. I answered “yes” because she did know, but was unaware they all had the mumps. The fact is, I didn’t know until I went there. When my mother found out, she about had a cow! She could have relaxed if she would have known I wasn’t going to catch them. The doctor came to the conclusion that I had a natural immunity to the mumps. I didn’t have on symptom. I never, ever caught them. Thanks, immune systems!
I understand why vaccines are created – to reduce suffering from diseases and, eventually, eliminate the disease. Still, if we eliminate every disease, what happens to our immune systems? If we become so phobic about germs and sanitize everything, all the time, what happens to our immune systems? There’s an old saying, “Use it or lose it.” I think it fits very well here. Without something for our immune systems to fight against, it becomes weaker and people more easily get colds, flu, and other contagious diseases. When they get a non-contagious disease, such as cancer, their immune systems may not be strong enough to help them fight it. Definitely something to think about.
I know there will be those who vehemently disagree with me. That’s okay. My journey’s been different than yours. I’ve experienced different things than you may have so my perspectives and conclusions are probably different. All I know is that it seems pretty obvious that a strong immune system helps to have a healthier life. Why is it then that this isn’t being talked about more? There should be all kinds of health-related people talking about how to boost your immune system. With a strong immune system, you could become less vulnerable to contagious disease and, if you do get ill, you have the ability to fight your way back to health. It may even provide you with a natural immunity to some illnesses.
We have become so dependent on the AMA and the pharmaceutical industry that it seems we have no idea that there are other ways of thinking and other way of staying healthy. The main idea should be to work with the body. Dumping chemicals into your body isn’t natural and often causes as many problems as what they’re supposed to alleviate or cure. You’re prescribed one medicine but then have to take another prescription for the side effects caused by the first one. Makes no sense to me.
The word “vaccine” means “a preparation containing weakened or dead microbes of the kind that cause a disease, administered to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies against that disease.” In other words, it helps the immune system become invulnerable to that specific disease. I don’t see that word being used in this context anymore. I don’t see vaccines helping the body in this manner anymore. You’d help your immune system more just by taking vitamin C, getting plenty of rest, and eating as healthy as you are able. (Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and I’m not suggesting any kind of prescription or method of treatment here.)
Here’s one other thing: I can’t be the only one with a natural immunity to a disease. Whether it came from all the childhood diseases I had or I inherited it genetically from ancestors who had strong immune systems doesn’t matter. The fact is others must have this quality as well. If they don’t, if you don’t, then find ways to work with your immune system to make it stronger. Ask your doctor what you can do, if you have faith in his or her knowledge. Research for yourself. We are all individuals and what may work for someone else may have no effect or an ill effect for you. One size does not fit all. Get to know your body. Don’t rely on an outsider to tell you about you and your body. Who knows? You may build a strong immune system and, by doing that, create a healthier you. That wouldn’t be so bad, would it?