According to recent news reports, close to a third of adults in the U.S. intend to refuse the COVID-19 vaccine. I suspect that many of them harbor a long-standing mistrust of big pharma and our federal government. I can understand their point of view.
There’s been a long-standing mistrust preceding the recent pandemic toward other vaccinations, especially for children. It’s not my intent to take sides on the issue, but to look at the factors bringing us to the point of needing so many kinds of vaccines; and about ways of acquiring a robust immune system from birth.
Any farmer or rancher knows the importance of a newborn animal drinking its mother’s first milk to ingest Colostrum, which is high in nutrients and antibodies. It provides passive immunity from mother to newborn. That applies to humans too, and for thousands of years, babies being given their mother’s first milk was the norm. Commercial formula was first introduced in 1929, and in the 40s and 50s was popularized as a substitution for breastfeeding and became common. Formula was the beginning of humanity’s failure to get a head start building the immune system in every individual. Breastfeeding has been making a comeback in recent times, a good thing, as long as the milk is from a healthy mother.
Did you eat dirt when you were a child? I did! I also played in the earth, grass, and straw. I played with animals that rolled in mud. I swam in farm ponds, local rivers, shoveled chicken droppings, and spread them as fertilizer. I was exposed to all manner of bacteria, fungi, and spores. According to science, that interaction can provide a child with an excellent opportunity to develop immunities, but I must add a caution. There were no pesticides, herbicides, or other poisons in my soil. Today, backyards or playgrounds may not be as safe.
At school, over 65 years ago, contact with children gave me mumps, measles, colds, and other chances to have my body overcome those diseases and build on my immune system. I suspect childhood illnesses are more severe in kids nowadays who’ve been bottle-fed and have lived on snacks and fast food, not to mention playing hours of video games where the only dirt is a digital picture on a screen.
The industrial revolution gave us the ability to ship massive quantities to far-reaching locations and brought about an increase in the availability, quality, and quantity of healthy fresh foods. People began to live healthier, longer lives and grew taller than previous generations. Most Americans cooked at home, and the meals were wholesome. Then, along came Burger King, McDonald’s, and the prepared food in grocery isles. Kitchens became less about the stove and more about the microwave. Obesity and diabetes became major health concerns, and our immune systems had to suffer.
So, are we all going to hell in a proverbial picnic basket? Not by a long shot! You can still cook healthy food at home. Shop local farms and buy organic when possible. Mothers should breastfeed their children, at least for the first few weeks. We can all spend time outdoors and expose our children to the natural world in real time. Hiking, biking, camping, hunting, and fishing can all be fun for the whole family.
I’m not saying don’t vaccinate. I’m saying that developing a personal immunity system for each one of us should be a priority, one aspect of a comprehensive health program, so that we may – “Live long and prosper.”