This is my son Griffin, and he may have measles.
On February 9, I received a phone call from York Region Public Health, informing me that Griffin, alongside my mother and I, was potentially exposed to the measles virus while attending a newborn weigh-in appointment at my doctor's office in Markham on January 27.
Griffin was 15 days old at the time.
I was informed that someone who later developed measles sat in the doctor's waiting room between 1 hour before and 30 minutes before we arrived. I was also informed that measles is regarded as "airborne" and can stay in the air and on surfaces up to 2 hours after the infected person has left.
I was then asked if I had had the measles vaccine. I had.
Griffin. Griffin had not. Can not.
I was advised to not be around small children. If I worked in such an environment I would be written off work. I do work in such an environment; my home. Where I now sit with Griffin and my three year old, Aurelia, who has only been able to get one MMR vaccine so far. She is now, technically, exposed too. We are to sit tight and watch for symptoms: fever, cough, runny nose. If we develop any of these we are to call my doctor and arrange to come in under official medical precautions. We are to wait at home, in isolation, until February 17, after which the 21 days of possible incubation will have passed and we are clear.
You know what vaccines protect your children from? Pain. Suffering. Irreparable harm. Death.
And you would be the first to line up if you had an inkling of what the death of a child feels like.
You would be crawling through the streets on your hands and knees, begging, begging to get that vaccine into your precious babies because that is what I would have done, if I could, to save my daughter.
The fact is, there was no vaccine for her. Not for her illness. And she died. She died at age five and a half, and she is gone.
So, Griffin is now Schrödinger's baby. Simultaneously with measles, and without it. Until he develops symptoms, or until a further 7 days pass. One or other.
And I'm angry. Angry as hell.
I won't get angry at or blame the person in the waiting room. I would have likely done the same thing... you get sick, you go to the doctor. I have no idea what their story is and I will never know. But I do know one thing:
If you have chosen to not vaccinate yourself or your child, I blame you. I blame you.
You have stood on the shoulders of our collective protection for too long. From that high height, we have given you the privilege of our protection, for free. And in return, you gave me this week. A week from hell. Wherein I don't know if my baby will develop something that has death as a potential outcome.
Now, let's unpack this shall we. All out on the table.
You have no idea what this "potential outcome" means. No idea. I do. Unfortunately, I do.
You think you are protecting your children from thimerosal? You aren't. It's not in their vaccine.
You think you are protecting them from autism? You aren't. There is no, none, nada, nothing in science that proves this. If you want to use google instead of science to "prove me wrong" then I am happy to call you an imbecile as well as misinformed.
You think you are protecting them through extracts and homeopathy and positive thoughts and Laws of Attraction and dancing by candlelight on a full moon? You aren't. I PROTECT YOUR CHILD. We protect your child. By being concerned world citizens who care about ourselves, our fellow man, and our most vulnerable. So we vaccinate ourselves and our children.
You think you are protecting them by letting them eat their shovel full of dirt and reducing antibiotics and eating organic? You aren't. As an unvaccinated person you are only protected by our good graces. We let you be so privileged thanks to our willingness to vaccinate ourselves and our children.
I watch these arguments trotted out on Facebook and Twitter citing false science and long discredited "studies" that just won't stop and Jenny McCarthy quotes and "it's my choice" to not vaccinate... and I think... what would you have done if your child lay dying? Would you give them a scientifically proven, safe and effective vaccine and risk the minuscule likelihood of a side effect? Or would you let them go, knowing that at least they won't develop autism (which they wouldn't even develop anyway because science)?
And don't you dare tell me that you wouldn't vaccinate them then. Don't you dare. You have no idea what it feels like to go through what we went through.
So, look at Griffin. Tell me why he gets to bear the brunt of your stupidity and reckless abuse of our protection? Tell me.
Seven more days until I know that my baby is safe. Seven more days.
How is your week going, anti-vaxxers?
ALSO ON HUFFPOST:
Lanaudière, Quebec As of March 11, 119 cases of measles in Quebec were reported, and related to the Disneyland outbreak.
Toronto As of Feb. 16, nine cases of measles were confirmed in Toronto.
Niagara Region As of Feb. 16, five cases of measles were confirmed in the Niagara region.
Winnipeg As of Feb. 10, one case of measles was confirmed in Winnipeg, a baby who likely contracted the disease out of the country.
York Region As of Feb. 11, one case of measles was confirmed in York Region.
Halton, Ontario As of Feb. 17, one case of measles was confirmed in Halton.
Toronto As of March 31, Public Health Ontario confirm 11 cases of measles in the province.
Winnipeg Two confirmed measles cases have been recorded in the Manitoban capital as of April 3.
Regina Public health officials confirm 11 measles cases in 2014. On March 18, Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region issued a news release declaring the outbreak over.
Edmonton Six measles cases have been confirmed since the start of the year, the first since 2012.
Calgary Nine cases have been confirmed in Calgary as of April 29.
Fraser Valley, B.C. Fraser Health confirm a total of 375 measles cases as of April 8. Authorities say the second wave of the virus is "close to being over."
A measles epidemic broke out in Quebec and a total of 725 cases were confirmed in the province. According to Health Canada, the first reported cases were traced to travellers who contracted the virus in Europe.
A spring outbreak in British Columbia resulted in 82 confirmed cases.
A total of 53 confirmed cases were recorded in Ontario during an outbreak between March and June.
Quebec outbreak resulted in 96 confirmed cases between April and September. Six other cases were found outside the province in the same year.
A total of 13 cases were confirmed country-wide by federal health authorities.
Health Canada recorded a total of http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/vpd-mev/measles-rougeole-eng.php of measles across the country.
A second dose of measles-vaccine was added to routine immunization schedules in every Canadian province.
Health Canada introduces the one-dose measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.