Melissa's Miserable Measles

By Michael Edmonds 19/12/2011 6

Last week, I wrote a blog about an antivaxxer book targeted at children and their parents, called “Melanie’s Marvelous Measles”, a book that has been widely condemned on many science blogs – see here, here and here, for example.

I would like to suggest the following story as an alternative description of measles which does not gloss over pain this disease causes, as well as the potential dangers it poses to vulnerable children.


Melissa’s Miserable Measles

Melissa was miserable.

Melissa had to stay at home away from her friends.

Melissa had an itchy red rash over most of her body and a terrible cough.

Melissa’s head hurt and felt hot all the time.

Melissa’s eyes hurt, so her room was dark and she couldn’t draw or look at pictures.

But this wasn’t why Melissa was miserable.

Melissa was miserable because her mummy was sad.

Her mummy kept crying, and didn’t visit her much.

Melissa wasn’t allowed to see her baby brother, Martin, either,

… even though all of her relatives were allowed to visit his room.

They were all very sad too.

Daddy came to visit Melissa. He was very sad.

Daddy explained that Martin had gone away, and wouldn’t be coming home.

Daddy started crying and hugged Melissa close.

He said he was sorry that they hadn’t been vaccinated.

And that he was lucky he still at least he had his daughter left.

Melissa wasn’t quite sure she understood daddy, but she hugged him back anyway.

6 Responses to “Melissa's Miserable Measles”

  • a little treacle-y fore my liking, but none-the-less.

    For an object lesson in hypocritical statements, check out the latest “news” from the IAS. I particularly like the line:

    “No matter your point of view on vaccination, we can no doubt agree that ostracizing students will have a negative impact. The situation requires empathetic, logical management and a clear set of protocols not clouded by fear or hysteria.”

    Oh yeah sister – you spat a bibful there…

  • Ashton,

    In the same article they write “We wish to encourage an atmosphere of intelligent discussion, supportive questioning and […]” but have blocked discussion, so none can be had, ‘intelligent’ or otherwise.

  • Well, it need only take 5 mins.
    Some of us foolishly spent considerably longer. :)
    But hopefully that lays the foundation for quicker complaints…. so I tell myself.

  • Thanks Michael- very dramatic! But look, it’s Christmas and for those who didn’t make it to our Immunisation conference in Rotorua, I thought you’d like to see the lyrics for Easel the Weasel. This was a song performed by myself and Dave Graham as part of the dinner. Imagine a 12 bar rhythm and blues backing…

    Easel the Weasel

    My name is easel
    I’m a weasel
    I don’t eat kiwis
    I eat cheezels
    I used to be happy
    Wi’ shiny little eyes
    Scurryn’ around
    Stealin’ apple pies

    But let me tell you now
    How it all went down
    How this weasel got the pinkeye blues

    I was in the playground
    Looking for a feed
    Sneakin thru the bushes
    Hiding in the weeds
    I hear a sniff
    And a coughy little wheeze
    A kid goes shufflin’ by
    He’s lookin’ kind of sick
    Something falls down
    And I eat it real quick

    Oh I’m Easel the Weasel
    Now this weasel’s got the pinkeye blues

    Soon I got the sneezels
    My eyes get all red and evil
    I need to see my folks
    They live in Tweezel
    It’s a long trip
    full of upheaval
    And when I arrive
    I stagger in the door
    The room starts spinning
    I collapse onto the floor

    Oh I’m Easel the Weasel
    Now this weasel’s got the pinkeye blues

    So let this be a lesson
    to all you weasels
    Stay away from cheezels
    Don’t go to tweezel
    cause it’s full of measles
    And most importantly…
    (spoken rapidly) Get your two shots of MMR at the ages of 15 months and 4 years or earlier upon advice from your local public health unit

    Ohh I’m Easel…the weasel
    Now this weasel’s got the pinkeye blues

    Happy holidays!

    Theo Brandt
    The Immunisation Advisory Centre
    The University of Auckland

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