FFAW needs to go
There’s an outbreak of measles in Nova Scotia, and there are outbreaks of mumps in Alberta and British Columbia. In Nova Scotia, the current count of measles cases stands at seven (at the time of writing), while there are 17 cases of mumps in Toronto, four possible cases in Edmonton and eight people with the illness in Medicine Hat, Alta. At least one player on the Vancouver Canucks has been confirmed to have the illness, and another three have symptoms.
We live in a land of frequent air travel, and west-end bars in Toronto — believed to be the source of that city’s mumps outbreak — are only a few hours by air from Sydney or St. John’s or Summerside. Today’s airplane seatmate might well be tomorrow’s source of another satellite outbreak.
It doesn’t need to happen.
Both measles and mumps are diseases that, while they aren’t completely blocked by our vaccination programs, are safely kept from full-scale outbreaks by the fact that a large percentage of the population doesn’t catch or spread the infections.
Both measles and mumps are part of the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccinations that that children are supposed to get, but that some parents have decided not to have their children receive.
Some parents have made that choice based on a study that suggested there could be a connection between vaccination and autism. That study has been completely discredited by further research. Still, enough people believe in junk science to threaten the health of children.
Fair enough, you might say — if parents decide to put their children at risk through their own misguided intentions, so be it. (Although children, not having any input, deserve better care.)
The problem is that it’s not just risking the health of your own children; vaccinations don’t work that way. To be effective for all of us — and to do the job they are designed for — vaccines have to reach a point known as “hard immunity.”
In other words, enough people in a population have to be inoculated against a disease that those who are not inoculated (or whose inoculations fail to protect them) won’t be exposed to active infection.
If an ever-greater number of people decide not to get MMR inoculations, the risk of large-scale outbreak increases. And it’s a legitimate fear: there are enough people in the United States foregoing vaccination that there are concerns a measles epidemic is possible.
People die from measles, especially children: 100,000 a year, in fact.
Mumps has complications as well, including encephalitis, pancreatitis, meningitis and painful facial and testicular swelling.
Sometimes, you don’t realize the risk to your children until it’s too late. But you don’t have to believe the news — ask your doctor what you should do when it comes to vaccinations.
We’re pretty sure we know exactly what answer you’ll get.
I got a letter and a bill from the FFAW today asking for union dues and telling me of the good things they are about to do next year.
They have been telling us they were going to do good things for 25 years now since the moratorium on cod, at the same time the foreigners have been going off with our fish on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks, all under the FFAW watch. That is why cod, redfish and turbot haven’t increased for NL fishers in many years now.
FFAW say they done away with LIFO (last in, first out) — maybe so, but not before most of the shrimp went to the offshore fleet, and not before a large portion of the shrimp quota was allocated in northern