Several years ago, I was given a synthetic antibiotic for a minor sinus infection. Within a few hours, I began having violent seizures while throwing up and choking on it. Fortunately, I was not home alone. I was transported to the hospital where I spent three days in ICU fighting for my life. The antibiotic I had been prescribed nearly killed me.
Many years later, I contracted bronchitis. I was sick for three straight months, while my doctor prescribed me antibiotic after antibiotic – none of which worked for me. At my wit’s end, I researched at-home remedies and learned that garlic is a natural antibiotic and echinacea can help boost immunity. I began a course of garlic and echinacea and was finally restored to full health within 36 hours.
Since then, I have gradually added more naturopathic treatments to my regimen while reducing synthetic ones, until today where I almost exclusively turn to herbal medicine when I have a health issue. I am incredibly grateful that this alternative exists for people like me who simply do not fair well with manufactured drugs. Moreover, I have appreciated the ease with which this information has been available – until now.
A few days ago, it was announced that Facebook will be censoring anti-vaccine content on its platform. I have seen much rejoicing over the social media giant’s gag order on information that provides alternatives for people who cannot have vaccines or are otherwise concerned about the risks associated with them. And it worries me.
It appears that anything “anti-vaccine” has been unequivocally categorized as “fake news”; whereas anything pro-vaccine has been unequivocally categorized as “factual” because it’s “scientific”… If only the world were that black and white!
The reality is that there are many myths on both sides of the debate, and in a society that values public debate and free speech, it should be up to end users to evaluate what to believe and how to apply that information within their own lives, for their own bodies. It should not be up to the government, your child’s school teacher, your priest, or even your doctor – and it should most certainly not be up to Facebook, of all organizations, to herd the masses into a one-size-fits-all healthcare solution. By only allowing one voice to speak, Facebook is invariably attempting to control how people see the issue, and therefore, control how they think about it and what opinions they ultimately form – which may not be based on real facts at all.
Let’s look at just a few of the mistruths I have personally heard over the last couple of days on Facebook regarding vaccines:
Myth #1 – Failing to get a tetanus shot will cause an outbreak of tetanus.
This comment comes on the heals of a two-year-old story that a child in Oregon contracted tetanus after getting a cut on his family’s farm.
Fact: Tetanus is not contagious. It is usually contracted when dirt gets into a puncture wound. Thus, getting a tetanus shot yourself will not in any way contribute to someone else contracting it in an “outbreak” or not. Source: https://www.cdc.gov/tetanus/about/causes-transmission.html
Myth #2 – Getting vaccinated prevents the spread of disease.
Fact: When you are given a vaccination, you are given a pathogen in the hopes that the body will develop antibodies to it. While you are a carrier of the pathogen, you can contaminate others with it, and are therefore at risk of spreading the disease you were vaccinated against. Source: https://www.westonaprice.org/studies-show-that-vaccinated-individuals-spread-disease/
Myth #3 – Vaccines are safe for everyone.
Facts: Vaccinations, just like any medication, can contain ingredients that trigger allergic reactions in some people. For example, the CDC recommends that those with egg allergies receive the flu vaccine under supervision by “a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.” Source: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/egg-allergies.htm
Myth #4 – Mandatory vaccinations are the only way to effectively combat disease.
Protection against illness can be achieved by methods other than vaccination. Antibodies can build after natural exposure to a pathogen, such that certain illnesses are usually only ever contracted by an individual once. For this reason, the CDC indicates that a person who has had a previous diagnosis of chickenpox or shingles does not require the varicella vaccine, for example.
Immunity can be passed from mother to child or achieved through homeoprophylaxis, which is used with great success in many countries to control outbreaks of communicable diseases. Source: https://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/taken-court-part-1/
And that is just some of the misinformation I have heard in the last of couple of days promoting vaccines. One must wonder, if Facebook’s objective is truly to address fake news, why are they are only targeting information about vaccine risks or alternatives? Why are they not dealing with ALL vaccine “misinformation”, regardless of whether it is for, against, or just neutral? Moreover, how does this practice contribute to the current state of hysteria people are currently in? People are so afraid right now that they are going to die from illnesses previously thought of as generally unconcerning that they are demanding censorship and forfeiture of our right to direct our own medical treatment. This is utterly flabbergasting to me.
In Schenck v. United States, the Honorable Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jr. wrote in his opinion: “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.” Right now, misinformation in support of vaccination is causing a totally unnecessary panic. By effectually picking a winner in the debate, Facebook is fanning a dangerous fire, that now unanchored by the balancing opposition, threatens to grow out of control.
I don’t care what side of the fence you are on personally. What I care about is having the right to choose what side to be on, rather than have a social media company – that has zero medical expertise – force the public to go to one or the other. Either allow both sides to speak, or ban all discussion of it entirely. The former reveals where confusion exists and provides an opportunity for understanding to happen. The latter allows those misunderstandings to silently remain. Giving the floor to only one side accomplishes nothing other than proliferation of unchecked misinformation – the opposite of Facebook’s stated goal.
I cannot express how disappointed I am in Facebook right now. Regardless of what happens, however, I hope that those who need an alternative to artificial immunity are able to find what they need. Suppressing that information or making it harder to access may very well lead to real life or death situations for some people.
Stay well out there, witches.
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