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 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.