Monday, November 13, 2006

Fear of a Vaccinated Planet (Superman #222, Cover Date Dec. 2005)

Characters

Major Heroes: Superman, Lois Lane
Minor Heroes: Perry White, Jimmy Olson, Superman Robot

Major Villains: OMAC
Minor Villains: Weather Wizard

P'Shat

The story is told in both "real time" and "flashback". The real time story shows Lois Lane alone in her apartment, where she is being attacked by an OMAC. She attacks it with her "pulse hammer repeller rifle" and, when that doesn't work, flees to her "panic room" in the bathroom. When the OMAC seems like he is about to break into the panic room, Lois blows out the pilot light in the room, and sets the gas on fire, stopping the OMAC and almost killing both of them. The OMAC reverts to her friend Kelly who we learn in the interwoven flashback . . .

got a flu shot. Lois didn't and is now coming down with the flu in a rainstorm, which is being caused by the Weather Wizard. Superman chases him off, but Clark quickly comes running back to help Lois. Lois has a lead about the origin of the OMACs, but Clark sabotages her attempts to meet with the anonymous source and replaces her at the meeting. The anonymous source tells how she was part of a vaccination program funded by Maxwell Lord, and that she did not suspect until too late that the OMAC outbreaks were coming from the same locations are her vaccination program. Thus, it was Lois's failure to get a flu vaccine that kept her from turning into an OMAC. The OMACs attack the secret meeting at this point, and while Superman chases off the OMACs just as Perry and Jimmy arrive, it is revealed that "Clark" and "Superman" were really Superman robots, and that the robot replaced Superman when he was off chasing the Weather Wizard. Lois is so angry she throws Clark out, so that he is not around protect her from the subsequent OMAC attack in real time.

Drash

Last Friday, the kids all got their flu shots. They were supposed to get them about 3 weeks ago, but the pediatrician ran out, and said they'd get back to us when more came in. I knew that more was in even before I got the call, though. They had already notified the elderly, and were using the kids' pre-school as a vaccination site for the nearby Old Folk's Home. The parking lot last Monday was, well, like a parking lot. We made it to the entrance on time, but 20 minutes later we were still in the car. Teachers were walking up and down the rows pulling out their students and walking them into the classrooms, but I was still stuck in the parking lot.

I never actually got a flu shot. I got one a few years ago. It made me really sick, and I still got the flu in February anyway. I'm generally healthy, so not at high risk for complications. Didn't seem worth it. Kids, though, are the major carriers and spreaders of the flu, so I felt like they needed them for their own benefit, and also for the public health.

Even as I'm sitting in the waiting room, though, I was thinking of Robert Kennedy, Jr.'s now discredited argument that mercury in children's vaccines were causing the spike in autism (discredited because now they took the mercury out, and autism rates haven't decreased.) I was looking my five month old, and thinking about how even though the risk was discredited, I was still afraid that the vaccine would have negative side effects, and how I would so much prefer to free ride on the mandatory vaccinations of others.

And this, of course, got me thinking about Superman #222, released about this time last year, where Lois and Clark meet a secret source who informs them that the OMAC infection came from a charitable flu vaccine program. So, now, I'm looking at my little girl and picturing the blue matallic armor covering her up, leaving a single yellow eye staring at me.

It made me wonder two things:

1. How many people didn't vaccinate their children out of either some unspoken fear of autism or OMACism or whatever people are afraid of?

2. Where were all the child-OMACs and elderly-OMACs? They all seemed to become "regular" middle aged people when they un-OMACed, but "regular" people like me aren't the ones who are getting the majority of the flu shots.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mercury still may be the culprit. And what about the aluminum in vaccines. My autistic grandson has off the wall levels of aluminum. What about the formaldhyde? Vaccines will come to haunt you years down the road. Don't quit researching this one yet. Granny

2:00 PM  
Blogger Ragtime said...

Hi Granny,

My recently vaccianted infant daughter thanks you for the words of encouragement.

I am truly sorry about your grandson, but until there is a link proven, this fear of vaccination is just causing much more harm than good. While we can keep looking at any reasonable direction, the fact that autism tends to strike at 18 months and there are vaccinations given at that time as well is really only correlation, not causation. They took the mercury out of childhood vaccines, and the autism rate didn't change. That's evidence enough for me.

The last study I heard about correlated autism in the counties of Pennsylvania to the availability of cable TV in those counties, and suggested that autism was caused by looking at 2-D screens to much while the brain was developing. So much for Baby Einstein. Of course, that's just correlation too.

7:39 PM  

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