Whooping cough


Above is a picture of me at the age of five months, in December 1957. As you can see, I was fat and adorable.



A few months later, I was scrawny and miserable.



It was because the whooping cough (AKA pertussis). I almost died of it, because I became very emaciated and weak. I made it through; my body’s immune system apparently fought it off long enough to save me.



I was only six months old, so I don’t remember a thing about it, thank god, but it must have been pretty terrible. Imagine: you’re coughing continually, and you can’t keep down food or water, and you can’t sleep.



But – again, thank god – nowadays there is a vaccine.



But people like the idiotic Jenny McCarthy are telling you not to give your children the vaccine. It might make your children autistic! (This is ridiculous, of course. But a lot of people will believe a pretty (aging) blonde celebrity before they’ll believe their own doctor.)



A few years ago, one of my student assistants told me that, in her public health class, they’d played a recording of a child suffering from whooping cough. This, she said, was the greatest incentive they’d found to encourage parents to have their children vaccinated; once they’d heard the horrible reality, they were willing to tell Jenny McCarthy to go to hell.



Here, for those of you who are tough enough, is the sound of a child with pertussis. This was the caption on the sound clip: “[The patient] is three years old, and has a very severe case of the disease. She only coughs like this five or six times a day.  She coughs until her lungs are empty of air and then you hear several whoops one after the other as she tries to take a breath in. She frequently finishes an attack with vomiting.”





Heard enough?



If you have children, and they’re not vaccinated, go get them vaccinated right away.



Don’t make them go through what I went through.



And tell Jenny McCarthy to go to hell.



About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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