Monday, January 21, 2013

Houston City Councilman: "You don't die from the flu".

It's not as if we don't already know Texas is a hotbed of crazy. In the scheme of things, Houston is one of the more diverse cities in the state, and the country. Ethnically, culturally, there are people of many backgrounds here, from African immigrants to Latino and Caucasian descendants of old state founders. Because of this, the politics of the city tend to sway from Republican to Democrat, depending on the vibe. Unfortunately, some of those Republicans have a bit of The Crazy. 
I'm talking about people like city Councilman Jack Christie, who recently claimed "You don't die from the flu". Houston is currently assessing whether or not to accept 3 million dollars in federal funding to expand childhood vaccinations against the Flu. To the city council's credit, the vote went 15-1. The sole exception? Jack Christie.

Three things to point out about why he voted against it.
1.) The government doesn't have the money to pay for it and we'll have to pay it back. Sounds like a Tea Party vibe right off the bat.
2.) Natural immunity is superior, while vaccines create an artificial immunity. In other words, better to suffer through it and gain a natural advantage.
3.) The media is embellishing how deadly the flu really is. Really?

Mother Jones had an informative article about the flu just a week ago. One of its informative charts detailed where the fly was spreading at the highest rates. Want to guess which state was part of that red zone? That's right, Texas. Alongside several states in the south and midwest, Texas has one of the highest transmission rates in the country. Don't trust a crazy liberal rag? Even the Plano Star has an article about how many people are catching the Flu in this state.

The councilman also ignores the fact that flu vaccines aren't just beneficial for you, but your neighbor as well. Simply because you don't come down with a bad strain doesn't mean it won't be a bad strain for the elderly couple across the way. Health officials are of the general consensus that vaccines are one of the most important advents of the 20th century. They save lives, thousands of them, and how their importance is up for debate is beyond me.

Sometimes people are under a misconception that we've found a cure for viruses, in the same way we have effective antibiotics. We don't. There aren't cures for viruses, only vaccines to boost our immunities. Sometimes vaccines are so effective they push a virus to extinction, but that's a rare occurrence. Viruses like the flu, which have multiple, mutated strains over just the last few years, are still deadly and still require vigilance.

But hey, what does that matter to Jack Christie? He never got a vaccine, and he's fine, which means all of our lives should mirror his experience perfectly. So good luck kids. If you come down with the flu because there wasn't funding for vaccines? Blame men like Houston City Councilman, Jack Christie. Because your life isn't worth the money to preserve it for men like him.

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