1. Flu deaths in UK rise dramatically – Anti-vaxxers love to mock health concerns about flu, which they seem to think is no more dangerous than an hang nail. But I’d love to hear them tell the families of the 254 UK flu victims this flu season alone. The number came after the number of UK flu deaths more than doubled in just a one-week period. 195 of those deaths were confirmed to have been from the H1N1 strain and seven of the deaths were of children under the age of five.
We have incomplete information on vaccination status, but based on what is known so far, among 71 cases in which vaccination status was known, 83 percent had not received a flu shot this season.
Thanks Jenny McCarthy.
2. Should anti-vaxxers pay higher premiums? – I thought this was a particularly good idea from one physician. While it certainly won’t change the minds of the hardcore anti-vax fanatics who will likely just view it as part of the evil conspiracy, I do suspect that some people would be more inclined to get the vaccines to avoid paying more insurance premiums:
Refusing to vaccinate a child is dangerous not just for that child but for entire communities. It’s precisely this point a colleague of mine was considering when he had the idea that parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids should pay substantially higher health insurance premiums.
It makes sense. Insurance, after all, is just a pool of money into which we all pay. In determining how much we or our employers pay, risk is taken into account.
The perfect analogy is smoking. If you smoke — and want to turn your lungs black and spend a greater portion of that pot of money on your possible chronic lung disease or any cancers you’ll get — then you may have to pay more.
Why shouldn’t we impose the same logic on parents who refuse to vaccinate their children?
3. Georgia homeless shelter refuses service to gays – The horribly misnamed “House of Mercy” actually states flat-out that they will not provide services to gays because it goes against what the Bible says.
… Elder Bobby Harris, who directs House of Mercy… says that his organization simply cannot tolerate homosexuality in any capacity.
“That act is not tolerated here at all. Let me tell you one reason why: because of the bible, of course. And then we have little children,” Harris says. He then added that if a gay person wants to change their sexual orientation and turn their life over to religion, he would consider serving them.
… Harris told the local press that he would welcome “non-practicing gay people,” but even if the residents were to engage in sexual behavior on their own time off the premises, they would be rejected.
No word on whether they also deny service to the divorced, shellfish-eaters, those who work on Saturdays, or those who refuse to stone their own disobedient children to death. This is why you don’t rely on religious organizations for charity work. They often tend to care more about Jesus than about actually providing the services they promise. This is just disgraceful.
4. Westboro Baptist Church to picket Kevin Smith’s latest film – According to Silent Bob himself, the WBC is coming to Sundance:
I wonder if they realize this will give the film much more attention and will dramatically increase people’s interest in seeing it.
- “Make anti-vaccine parents pay higher premiums – CNN.com” and related posts (cfs-facts.blogspot.com)
- 254 died from flu since September (guardian.co.uk)
- Parents who won’t vaccinate their kids should pay higher insurance premiums (boingboing.net)
- Sundance 2011: Kevin Smith’s Red State vs. The Westboro Lunatics! (dreadcentral.com)