3 thoughts on “Op-ed rough drafts”

  1. JinChul Cha
    JRNL-380 Writing
    Instructor: Sheila Tefft
    26 May 2015

    Steps towards Healing: An Alternate View of the Anti-Vaccine Movement and Approaches to counter it

    Measles was considered only a problem in developing countries. For the first time in decades, measles appeared again in the US in an outbreak in a Disney theme park on January 2015 (Gumbel). For all the benefits vaccines provided for us, it’s seems obvious to have one’s children vaccinated. But for anti-vaxxers, these facts are not self-evident.

    Ironically, vaccines have worked incredibly well that most forgot the panic diseases such as measles, rubella and polio gripped the country. The CDC alone reported that rubella caused over 12.5 million people were infected, killed around 2,000 babies, and caused 11,000 miscarriages in 1964 (CDC). Vaccines have removed the fear of these diseases, but in doing so direct much of the fear towards vaccinations. Parents found an easy outlet for their fears for their children

    Paradoxically, it’s the excess, not lack, of information that fuels the anti-vaccine movement. In a world unfettered by the physical world, information and rumors spread quickly like a virus. Most anti-vaxxers are not undereducated but tend to be middle to upper class as well (Offit).

    All parents, both vaxxers and anti-vaxxers, want to do the best for their children. When something goes wrong or if there’s an unsolvable problem, parents feel helpless. Parents want the autonomy to help their children. As a result, they are vulnerable to misinformation and manipulation.

    Convincing anti-vaxxer parents involves more than incessantly arguing with them. Sprouting facts and statistics at these parents will do nothing; people are perfectly capable of finding information and will ignore anything that doesn’t suit their views. Humans are not rational beings; we use intuition and emotions to guide. Seeing this, the anti-vaccine movement leaders often use ethos in their argument to manipulate parents.

    As Amy Wallace stated in Wired Science, “Science loses ground to pseudo-science because the latter seems to offer more comfort” (Wallace). Many parents feel frustrated because they feel like they are losing autonomy and control of their children’s health. One example shown in The Guardian is Tanya Gottesburen. She is a mother of three who doesn’t vaccinate her children and she voiced her concern over the number of vaccines her children have to take. In article, she frequently specified how she felt like she was “bullied” by others to have her children vaccinate (Gumbel).

    The feeling of loss of control over their children and their sense of being bullied shows that there is a gap between the scientific community and parents. Parents do not care for statistics or facts; rather, they want reassurances and security. As Amy Wallace pointed out in Wired Science, “Science loses ground to pseudo-science because the latter seems to offer more comfort” (Wallace).

    The unknown causes of diseases such as autism further frustrates parents. Autism is often devastating for parents and is a source of anguish. Since the causes of Autism is still not well known, parents will latch onto any information, regardless if it’s true or not, about autism.

    The current efforts to counter the anti-vaccine movement, as well intentioned as it is, is not an effective way to convince parents to vaccinate their children. Delivery and how the message is framed is essential. Conformation bias rules the minds of anti-vaxxers. No matter how the much the science of vaccines are tested and validated, anti-vaccine parents will ignore the facts to suit their views. Paradoxically, parents will become defensive and their views will become more extreme if badgered by hostile comments. As David Ropeik, a health communication expert, stated to the press, “When you attack somebody’s values, they get defensive. It triggers an instinctive defensiveness that certainly doesn’t change the mind of the vaccine-hesitant person” (Fox). Anti-vaccine parents invariably will feel like this is an attack against their character and their parenthood.

    Rather than arguing with anti-vaccine parents, it is more helpful to shift the focus away from vaccines. Parents want someone to listen to their concerns and frustrations, and by carefully listening instead of lecturing, both the medical and scientific community show that they care. Studies have even suggested that providing more “emotionally compelling content” is a better strategy than of appealing to reason (Bean).

    Providing a safe space for parents to ask questions and to voice their frustrations is another crucial step. Many doctors and practitioners refuse to see anti-vaccine patients. This only serves to alienate anti-vaxxers who want the best for their children. They are ultimately even more vulnerable to fraudulent medical claims and alternative medicine; ignore by the greater medical community, they seek help from other sources. One doctor recognize this problem and decided to see anti-vaccine parents and their children. In doing so, she managed to establish a trusting relationship and convinced parents to gradually vaccinate their children in increments (Eisenstadt).

    The scientific community must focus on the motivations and establishing a trusting relationship with parents. Many anti-vaccine parents feel medical decisions are forced on them, which consequently causes them to feel a loss of autonomy. It is only by changing our approach from being reactionary to being proactive that parents’ fears are cured and become free from exploitative tactics of anti-vaccine proponents.

    Works Cited

    Bean, Sandra J. “Emerging and continuing trends in vaccine opposition website content.” Vaccine. 29.10 (2011): 1874-880. ScienceDirect. Elseiver. Web. 24 May 2015. .

    Deer, Brian. “How the Case against the MMR Vaccine Was Fixed.” BMJ (2011): C5347. BMJ. BMJ. Web. 24 May 2015. .

    Eisenstadt, Marnie. “Syracuse’s ‘anti-vaxxers’ Doctor: Does She Have a Better Way to Get Kids Vaccinated?” Syracuse 24 Feb. 2015. Syracuse. Web. 24 May 2015.

    Fox, Maggie. “Don’t Call Them Dumb: Experts on Fighting the Anti-Vaccine Movement.” NBC News. NBC, 23 Apr. 2015. Web. 24 May 2015. .

    Gumbel, Andrew. “Disneyland Measles Outbreak Leaves Many Anti-vaccination Parents Unmoved.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited, 25 Jan. 2015. Web. 18 May 2015.

    Poland, Gregory A., and Robert M. Jacobson. “Understanding Those Who Do Not Understand: A Brief Review of the Anti-vaccine Movement.” Vaccine 19.17-19, 21 (2001): 2440-445. ScienceDirect. Elseiver. Web. 24 May 2015. .

    Kata, Anna. “Anti-vaccine Activists, Web 2.0, and the Postmodern Paradigm – An Overview of Tactics and Tropes Used Online by the Anti-vaccination Movement.” Vaccine 30.25 (2012): 3778-789. ScienceDirect. Elseiver. Web. 24 May 2015.

    Offit, Paul A. “The Anti-Vaccination Epidemic.” WSJ Opinion. WSJ, 24 Sept. 2014. Web. 18 May 2015.

    Wallace, Amy. “An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endanger Us All.” WIRED. Conde Nast Digital, 19 Oct. 2009. Web. 18 May 2015. .

    Quadri-Sheriff, M., K. S. Hendrix, S. M. Downs, L. A. Sturm, G. D. Zimet, and S. M. E. Finnell. “The Role of Herd Immunity in Parents’ Decision to Vaccinate Children: A Systematic Review.” Pediatrics (2012): 522-30. Print.

    “Vaccines and Immunizations.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 May 2014. Web. 18 May 2015. .

  2. You can’t breathe for your child; they must do so for themselves. However, you shouldn’t suffocate them either. By not feeding your child the proper fruits and vegetables they need, their asthma symptoms may worsen, making breathing patterns more difficult to control and potentially trigger other health issues.

    Asthma is another common indication for overweight or obese children, and medical diagnoses in recent years have grown. The medical field encounters more individuals with moderate to severe health complications such as asthma, obesity, and diabetes at earlier ages than anticipated, while allergies to natural substances such as peanuts and wheat are more frequently normalized.

    Asthma, as well as other inflammatory or respiratory conditions, can be best controlled and monitored with the proper amounts of exercise and an antioxidant-rich diet. Asthma symptoms are less aggressive in individuals that actively address their body’s physical needs, according the research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

    The key to prevent worsening symptoms is antioxidants. Antioxidants are tiny molecules within your body that prevent extensive loss of oxygen within your cells. Once your cells become oxygen-deprived, your body’s inflammatory response ignites. This triggers the constriction of airways in the body, further reducing the body’s intake of oxygen, thus sparking an asthma attack.

    By eating foods high in antioxidants, such as berries or fruits, this keeps your blood and body oxygenated, and decreases the aggressiveness of asthma symptoms. Healthy air plus clean natural foods are essential for human survival, and compromising these factors places one at a higher risk to develop future health complications.

    Increased physical activity can also help lower the aggressiveness of asthma symptoms. Physical activity alone is substantial, but physical activity and nutrition strongly combat pulmonary complications up to 35% better. The government has tried increase daily physical activity among children and young adults, however one caveat remains.

    The New York Times’s reports show the government has a strong arm in the agricultural industry, and is guilty of marketing specific foods or crops for economic boost. Oftentimes, these are unhealthy or processed foods, and target lower-income demographics.

    America’s middle and lower income classes make around $60,000 or less per year, meaning some make enough to live comfortably while the rest “get by”. For this 60% of Americans, families will grocery shop to save the most money, instead of shopping with nutritional value in mind. Because of the government’s marketing tactics, the unhealthiest foods are often the cheapest, causing families to buy unnatural antioxidant-lacking products.

    The government ironically promotes daily exercise and its economic agricultural scheme all-in-one. Encouraging physical activity without the nutritional support only amplifies the public’s confusion on their health status, especially when they do not achieve the results previously advertised by the government. Now, the public becomes discouraged and is more likely to slip into old habits that will not improve their asthma, obesity, or other health complications.

    Corticoid steroids are commonly used to suppress coughing and wheezing in asthma patients, but if you as a parent cannot afford the medication or have no health insurance, your child’s ability to manage their symptoms becomes daunting. The most cost-effective way to reduce asthma symptoms is to consume healthier fruits and vegetables, and to eliminate all processed foods.
    Financial burdens present an unfortunate bias within the health community, and create biological, social and political disparities.

    We cannot choose our family’s wealth at birth, but the value of that wealth determines the quality of healthcare an infant receives. These predispositions are referred to as the social determinants of health.

    For example, we have no power to decide our genetic makeup; we simply inherit our parents’ genes, which makes us more susceptible to acquiring the same complications. A child born of an obese parent is already predisposed to encounter childhood obesity because of genetics, especially if the obese parent is the mother.

    An Emory University study confirms that during pregnancy, the fetus is incurs signaling from the mother’s digestive tract that indicates scarcity or abundance of food. If the mother eats more than required, this tells the child there is abundance of food, and the baby will continue to mimic those environmental factors even after birth.

    By default, the child is also more likely to develop asthma and have a slower metabolism than most children even before they reach the age of five. This child is now at a social disadvantage, and reversing that will depend heavily upon proper nutrition and exercise.

    Antioxidant rich foods and proper exercise can be achieved in spite of financial status. Thus, there is no pressing reason why cases of asthma and childhood obesity should be increasing. By initiating campaigns to reduce the severity of asthma and childhood obesity, we can improve our children’s future and produce a healthier population for years to come.

  3. JinChul Cha
    News Intro (CBS, Disney World, Measles Outbreak)

    Discover411 Podcast

    Shadowrun Music Intro (0:05)

    Anchor Lead-in
    Recently, an outbreak of measles erupted at Disneyland California, infecting at least 59 people as of January 2015.
    The outbreak of measles is attributed to anti-vaxxer parents who refused to vaccinate their children.
    The anti-vaccine movement has gained infamy as cases of preventable diseases increased dramatically over the past decade.
    Jin Chul (CH-ool) Cha reports on the history of the anti-vaccine movement as well as the role of vaccine in public health.

    Tape Log of Index of Actualities (1:00)

    Dr. Elena Conis
    Emory Medical Historian
    AJ Mitchell
    Emory Yerkes Center Research Specialist

    Kelly Taylor
    Emory Animal Resources

    Natural Sound (0:10)
    News Report, Surgeon General, anti-vaxxer parent

    Reporter Voicer (0:15)
    The anti-vaxxers has been gaining notoriety as cases of preventable disease began to emerge across the country. Though the anti-vaccine movement may seemed to be a recent trend, the safety of vaccines have been questioned long before the MMR vaccine scare.
    Professor Elena Conis, a medical historian at Emory University, explains the past distrust of vaccines.

    Actuality (0:15)
    Dr. Elena Conis
    Emory Medical Historian
    [Conis Interview here]

    Reporter Voice (0:15)
    Though anti-vaccines proponents such as Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield blamed vaccines as the cause of autism, evidence linking the two has not been found. The research published in the Lanclet by former doctor. Andrew Wakefield, has been further proven to be falsified.
    Research specialist, AJ Mitchell, at the Emory Yerkes Center has went on record to say that autism is not caused by vaccines.

    Actuality (0:10)
    AJ Mitchell
    Emory Yerkes Center Research Specialist
    [AJ Interview Here]

    Reporter Voice (0:15)
    AJ Mitchell strongly believes that the benefits of being vaccinate against preventable, yet harmful disease, greatly outweighs both imaginary and possible risks.
    Many vaccinated individuals, such as Kelly Taylor, an employee at the Emory Animal Resources, education seems to be the primary issue.

    Actuality (0:10)
    Kelly Taylor
    Emory Animal Resources
    I think it is education and they would probably have to study, check trends, and it would probably be something that would take time, decades, to really get real data. It starts with education.

    Reporter Voice (0:15)
    The lack of education is widely believed to be the cause of the anti-vaccine movement, yet most anti-vaxxers tend to come from fairly educated, middle to upper classes. Professor Conis believes that other factors contributed to the modern anti-vaccine movement.

    Actuality (0:15)
    Dr. Elena Conis
    Emory Medical Historian
    [Conis Interview here]

    Despite the clear scientific evidence on the safety of vaccines, suspicions of vaccines nonetheless persist. Still, there are many more who believes it is even so better to be safe than sorry.

    Actuality (0:10)
    AJ Mitchell
    Emory Yerkes Center Research Specialist
    [AJ Interview Here]
    [Ask him if he got vaccinated and why]

    JinChul Cha, Discover411 Podcast

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