Murphy’s Law and the measles

As printed in The Record, North New Jersey newspaper:

Murphy’s Law and Measles

By Cheryl Petersen

Word count: 402

At the same time New York City’s Board of Health unanimously voted to extend an emergency declaration ordering mandatory MMR vaccinations in four Brooklyn ZIP codes, I was driving to the nearest urgent care center for a titer test to determine the level of antibodies for measles in my blood. The test cost $29.15. The visitation took as long as it took to listen through office speakers to Barry Manilow sing Mandy, Elton John sing Empty Garden, and the Four Tops sing Ain’t no woman like the one I’ve got.

Sure, I’m not a super-fan of mandatory medical treatment but societal rules deserve thought and rethinking, whether rules come from officials issuing declarations for public health or from hands chiseling commandments onto stone tablets.

Filtering through the information, at this point, I agree with the emergency declaration. And to avoid rigid opinions as to why, I’ll defer to made-up Murphy’s Law, that if something can go wrong, it will.

Prime and heartrending example is found in The Washington Post article by National Reporter Lena Sun, who wrote about a recent traveler unaware he was carrying and spreading the measles virus. Even when the traveler became aware of the fact, he couldn’t believe it, until he finally conceded to the fact.

Sun quoted the head of Oakland emergency medical service, Steve McGraw, as saying that the traveler then “’put his head down and was very emotional. I could tell from the look on his face that he was devastated. He was doing the math in his head,’ counting all the people he had been in contact with,” wrote Sun.

Corrections were made. Corrections always need to be made.

I’m not afraid of measles or vaccinations as much as I’m afraid of human unawareness and feelings of devastations.

The titer test will play a role in awareness even though I’m not sick. I’m healthy as wind, but I’d quiet if asked my medical history of measles. I don’t know it and that unawareness adds to the problem.

Measles is highly contagious. Like gossip. And because I use public transportation and visit New York City frequently, I will not disgruntle vaccination for measles. If not for myself, for others, same as the thousands of people who have recently come forward to vaccinate their children in the hot spot of Williamsburg, NY, as reported by the health official at the New York City’s Board of Health meeting on Wednesday.

Bio: Cheryl Petersen is a freelance writer living in Warwick and author of 21st Century Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: A revision of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health.

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