Daily Archives: June 29, 2017

Vaccines: The Miracle people have started to think was a hoax

I have never actually met someone who was against vaccination unless it was for a genuine medical reason, ie. immunosuppressed children can’t have live vaccines because that would actually make them sick rather than helping because they’re IMMUNOSUPPRESSED.

 

How people could be against something that has done so much good is beyond me. It would be more sensible to be against chocolate because you heard it might make your acne worse. While it might if you rubbed it on your skin, it doesn’t if all you’re doing is eating it. Like, injecting mercury into your veins would be really really bad but the tiny microscopic amount in some vaccines is less than you’d find in a can of tuna.

 

So what are some people so worried about? What worries could they have that make herd immunity LESS important? What could be so scary?

 

Autism. The big A word. I know quite a few autistic people. I know the parents of autistic children. And I have actually, out of general interest, asked them;

 

“If vaccines cause, autism, and you knew that, would you have avoided immunising your child?”

 

Most of them got rather offended at this point, thought they all answered no. The most memorable response I got was;

 

“I’d rather my daughter was autistic than had polio.”

 

And that father had a point. Polio, measles, tetanus, whooping cough… none of those things are nice. In fact, pretty much all of them could kill a small child. Even the flu can and has killed thousands of children and adults. So why is this still a thing? How can it still be a thing?

 

I don’t even know the answer. Normally, I wouldn’t pose a question without knowing the answer, because the point of something like this is to present both the question and the answer as succinctly as possible. This is issue is a bit like creationism; I academically sort of maybe understand the mechanisms behind the myth, but I can really conceptualise them far enough to actually put it into words.

 

Even if autism was the only thing being touted as being a side effect of immunisations, have the people who believe this seen the other chemicals they may put into their bodies on a daily basis? If they smoke, the list of truly nauseating chemicals is so long I don’t want to type it out. And know I’m not afraid of typing things out.

Do they eat apples? If they do, do they eat the seeds? Because the seeds contain cyanide. That’s a compound that was used by the KGB to kill people.

How about chemotherapy? I know a lot of people think it’s a horrible poison (and it is) but it saves lives. Before it was a medication it was mustard gas. You should google mustard gas. Look at some photos of people who have been effected.

 

Now let’s tackle alcohol. That’s a poison. Acute AND chronic toxicity can kill you.

 

What about paracetamol? Well, it’s a great all purpose painkiller but it’s half life is longer than the normal allotted time between doses, and when used long term it can damage your liver as badly as alcohol.

 

Ibuprofen. However you want to pronounce it, its a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory that is processed by your kidneys. Take this one if you have a hangover, because it won’t add more toxins toy our liver. HOWEVER, if you have a kidney infection and you need pain relief something like ibuprofen is all you can take. And it will work, as long as you don’t take too much, because your kidneys are stressed and you could cause kidney failure.

 

Aspirin. Invented by the same german company that brought us heroin, is great if you think you’re having a stroke, or are prone to them. It makes your blood thin. Which means that, if you’re having a hemorrhagic stroke, it could actually kill you faster.

 

Heroin. Approved as a SAFER MEDICATION THAN ASPIRIN, it was a very popular cough syrup. Derivatives are used as painkillers all over the world (that one really only has two nasty effects – addiction and respiratory depression, and we all knew about those, I just think it’s a fun fact).

 

And then, if you want to get REALLY scary, let’s talk Dihydrogen Monoxide. Seriously scary stuff. It’s not flammable, but if you breathe it in you can die. You consume it every single day. We are composed of a very large amount of it but even a small amount ends up where it shouldn’t be then you can die pretty quickly. Also, without it, you die.

 

That last one, if you DON’T know what it is, google it. Because seriously, just because people say scary things about something or give it a scary name doesn’t actually make it dangerous. Lots of things have side effects. Vaccinations have the shocking side effect of increasing your immunity to things without making you deathly ill in the process. They can lessen the effects of colds and flus, they make a lot of conditions either impossible to get or if you do get it you might get a mild form. AND, if you’re allergic to any of the preservatives, there are options of the same vaccine with different additives so you can still have them.

What do you need to know about Beta Readers?

Beta reading is both a privilege and a curse, and when you’re the author, nervously waiting for someone to tell you how shit your work is and how it’s never going to sell, it’s important to think of a few things.

 

  • Everybody is different. This seems like an easy one but it’s an invaluable piece of information to hold onto.
  • Readers aren’t psychic. Also obvious, but when the feedback comes back and says “I don’t think you’ve explained it well”, and that’s the feedback you get consistently, then clearly there is something wrong with that sentence/paragraph/chapter.
  • Not everyone is right. Just because every single reader says they hate one sentence, but you think it’s the best thing you’ve ever written doesn’t mean you have to scrap it. Maybe it’s in the wrong place, maybe you could move it. But if you want it there, there’s nothing your beta readers can do about it. You have the final say. You are the author and it’s your baby.
  • Sometimes they have good advice, even if you don’t want to hear it. Yes, the manuscript is your baby but if thirty readers of different ages and sexes all come back and say there’s something that needs improving, it might be worth considering their opinion to be valuable.
  • If one out of thirty readers think something is good and the rest don’t, don’t latch onto that one reader because you like the idea too. If other readers have given you detailed feedback go through it and try to looks at it objectively. It’s tempting to go with people who agree with you but if you and they are wrong then you’re both walking in the wrong direction and the only consolation is that you’re not alone in the wilderness. You have the other person, who was wrong, with you.

 

Now, a couple of those tips have revolved a little around reader choice, and this can be incredibly important. There are a lot of considerations to be made before handing your precious intellectual property over to some friend or stranger. Just a few include:

 

  • Do they have experience? Professionals can give some cracking good feedback, and even if you have to pay a little for their services, it can be a huge help.
  • Are they in your target audience? This can matter a lot or it can matter only a little. If you’re writing books aimed directly and exclusively at non-binary-gender southeast asians with a fantasy theme, then Joe Blow down the road is probably not your best bet to read the manuscript. Though, if you’re writing a book with that narrow an audience then I applaud your positivity and wish you all the best.
  • Remember that adults sometimes read kids books too. This is a bit of a continuation of my previous point but I think it’s important enough to warrant its own bullet point. YA books in particular can be read by adults (think Harry Potter, Skulduggery Pleasant, etc) and of course, adults read picture books and children’s fiction to their children. It’s as important the children enjoy it as the adult reading it. That adult has to know it’s appropriate.

 

Prepping for a beta reader can be an issue too. I have some feedback surrounding my formatting preferences that made me realise that unless I make the text easy to read, my reader probably isn’t going to enjoy it as much as they might have. It doesn’t fix major plot holes or give your two dimensional character any more depth, but it does give the manuscript a sense of professionalism and readability that means your readers won’t get headaches.

 

  • Water marks. I like them, I think the manuscript looks more like my intellectual property if my name is stamped across it. A word of advice; colours are tempting but stick to greyscale. The colour can distract the reader’s eye and make the reading process harder.
  • Don’t use stupid fonts. This might seem pretty basic but seriously, pick a nice, easy to read font that isn’t going to make certain letters hard to read or make the whole thing look childish and silly.
  • Double spacing. It might make your page count longer but it makes the text easier on the eye. This is a matter of personal preference.
  • Font size. Like not using stupid fonts, don’t use tiny fonts. If it’s hard to read PHYSICALLY then it’s not going to be as enjoyable.

 

This whole advice column may seem a little backward to you when you first look at it, but I think it’s really important to be ready for how your manuscript will be received before you start. Formatting is always the last thing you do. So, in short:

 

 

Make sure you’re ready to be critiqued

 

Make sure you’re being critiqued by the right people

Make sure your manuscript is in a fit state to be critiqued