That is the question… Or is it? Maybe we just have the question wrong and we need to revision the way we look at infectious disease.
As a child I avoided the TB shot because I was already immune. How? I lived on a farm, I probably got it from being exposed to bovine TB, the sort cattle get.
Remember: Immunisation began when a certain Dr Jenner noticed that people who had had the rather trivial infection cowpox – also from cattle please note – didn’t get smallpox. So, with great scientific insight the solution was clear – give kids cowpox and they won’t get smallpox.
By the way, medical logic works that way. It was noted that schizophrenics don’t get epilepsy as much as normal. Soooo, let’s get them fitting – with ECT – and we cure their schizophrenia!
Actually, it didn’t work, but a few depressed people who were misdiagnosed were also zapped and that’s how they got to give ECT to depressed people. Cool logic huh?
Anyway… back to immunisation.
I have tried to stay out of the argument, why? Well, although in principle I have reservations about its use and very deep reservations about its routine use, I found the arguments too complex and beyond my ability to digest.
Actually I think they’re beyond anyone’s ability, because the grasp of the complexities involved is just too vast. Which makes me seriously concerned when it is dispensed with such authority… makes me question motives…
So back to the cattle. Personally, I don’t think we have the right view of infectious disease and our immune systems. We live in a vast and complex ecosystem, and it seems – from my stories at least – that isn’t all bad for us.
No wonder we get golden staph in hospitals that are ridiculously sterilised.
I’m losing track again. Back to the ecosystem. I believe we have a complex relationship with all of live, bugs included. I nearly died from an infectious disease, and it taught me so much that know I don’t see that it was the enemy, I see those bugs that nearly killed me as my friends… as part of me.
Now, to extend vaccination to cancer may say more about how we look at cancer – another enemy like infectious disease – than it does about cancer itself and its causes (of which their may be none in the way we look at it).
Illness is our friend, it teaches us so much. We only know health and wellbeing through it. Suffering is part of life, don’t our religions teach us that?
We need to make sense of illness and disease at a more profound ecospiritual and holistic level, and infectious disease may point the way.
Vaccinate ourselves away from infection and we are sweeping the crap under the carpet. It will come out even larger and surprise us.
Or maybe that has started happening already…
More questions than answers: but I hope I’ve got you thinking a bit?