Victorian era surgeons didn’t wash their hands and found the suggestion that they should wash their hands offensive.
This was said by Charles Meigs AFTER multiple papers had been published showing how important it was that surgeons wash their hands and sterilize their instruments.
The reason? Class. The gentlemen doctors weren’t like those dirty poor people.
Which sounds a bit like anti-vaxxers.
Because TODAY, when we were going to see the eradication of measles within in our lifetime, the upper crust decided that their children didn’t need to have “chemicals” put in their bodies. And why would they need vaccines anyway? Their upper class precious children could never contract measles… not like those dirty poor people.
If you don’t think this outbreak stems from blatant classism and racism, just remember that the lowest vaccination rates in California are also in its whitest, wealthiest cities.
Read that last line
Read it over and over and get through your heads: this anti-vaxxer thing is not about your caricatures of poor, ignorant white folks. This is white, WEALTHY people with access to information and resources thinking they’re too good for all of this.
“I talked to a public health official and asked him what’s the best way to anticipate where there might be higher than normal rates of vaccine noncompliance, and he said take a map and put a pin wherever there’s a Whole Foods. I sort of laughed, and he said, “No, really, I’m not joking.” It’s those communities with the Prius driving, composting, organic food-eating people.“ — Journalist Seth Mnookin’s new book, The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear, explores the public health scare over vaccines and autism.