the chickenpox was going around odin’s school and after a few days of wondering why he had a slight heat rash that wouldn’t go away ( in hindsight denial is amazingly powerful ), it turns out he got it. which is actually sort-of good since we were going to vaccinate him if he didn’t come down with it this year since the risk of complications from chickenpox goes up with age.
of course, it’s a natural to ask why we didn’t get him vaccinated to begin with. we’re not anti-vaccines and he’s up-to-date on all his other vaccinations but we passed on chickenpox because it doesn’t present a realistic danger to an otherwise healthy child kid. partly it’s because we tend to balk at unnecessary interventions that merely prevent an inconvenience. and partly we believe that immune systems are complicated and have evolved to get activated in certain ways at certain times and it’s possible that not getting something like the chickenpox can have unintended consequences. for example clinically observed chickenpox is associated with a lower risk of childhood-onset multiple schlerosis. i’m certainly not saying if you choose to get your kid vaccinated that she’s going to get MS, but i do think exposure to a broad range of non-lethal and relatively low-risk things is likely, given how humans evolved, an important part of building a strong and resiliant immune system. this is an offshoot of the thinking that maybe we’ve scrubbed ourselved and our environments a little too clean:
“Increasing evidence suggests that the alarming rise in allergic and autoimmune disorders during the past few decades is at least partly attributable to our lack of exposure to microorganisms that once covered our food and us.”
thankfully, odin appears to have relatively mild symptoms. no substantial fever, no puking, no headaches, no pain.
just a bit of itching and a lot of red spots – nothing an oatmeal bath can’t cure!
oh the modern convenience of an ipad with netflix to go along with a homemade chocolate shake while riding out chickenpox. i don’t think i could have dreamed of such luxuries when i had it 35 years ago!