Originally Posted by rejoiceinlife
Well I do know this: next time I expose my children to something, I will NOT be telling ANYONE. I only told 2 people (fellow non-vaxers) that I thought might want to expose their children as well. I will not make that mistake again, next time if someone wants to expose their children, they can come to me when and if my children actually have the illness.
As far as I am concerned, it IS unreasonable for someone to completely ignore the time frame during which my children could be contagious. I have no problem with asking us not to attend an event if we were in the contagious window, or others choosing not to be around us in that time frame. When people just ignore the facts, I guess I do have a problem with that. There is not an issue of anyone who is immune compromised or adults who haven't had CP here, either with the party or anything else that has come up (it's a small community and I do know). I don't have a problem avoiding people who perhaps shouldn't be exposed, like someone who is due very soon and her 1 year old, or a baby who was born premature, or a newborn...during the contagious period, as a common courtesy. I do not see the need to avoid healthy vaccinated children, adults who have had CP, or the general public.
And I feel like all this becomes a bigger issue when I now have the choice of avoiding every situation where I'd normally come in contact with any of these people for several weeks (and there are quite a few, church 2x/week, a volunteer thing this weekend, playgroups, etc), or simply going about my business as usual and letting people choose to absent themselves and their entire families (including adult males who have already had CP, which is ridiculous IMO) because we are there when they know my kids could not be contagious. Perhaps from the middle of next week on when they could be contagious I'll choose differently, but not right now. It's chicken pox, not small pox, and really, would people have been acting this way 10 years ago (or however long ago it was) before the CP vaccine? I cannot imagine people simply stopped sending their children to school and doing anything socially for months out of fear of contracting CP when it was going around unless there were some extremely compelling reason like a immune suppressed individual.
Prior to 1) the wide availability of antibiotics to treat the occasional complications of chickenpox and 2) the vaccine, chickenpox was a quarantinable illness. State departments of public health still have quarantine policies about it.
Yes, you're right, everyone got it, eventually. But everyone also kept their children home when they had it. IF they knew their kids were exposed, they kept them home when they were likely to be shedding virus (some quarantine polices included the entire incubation period).
As late as 1976, when I got them, the standard policy was that kids stayed home until the scabs had all dried up and fallen off -- it wasn't widely known that it was safe to be out and about earlier than that even at that point in time.
When childhood diseases were circulating naturally in the community, they behaved naturally. Which means they came and went in cycles. They arent' evenly spread around so that everyone could get a nice safe case when they were at the optimal age, not too young, not too old, not too pregnant.
And people knew that - they knew that there were people who would be hit harder and who should try to avoid infection. And so people who *were* infected were kept away from the general public. To protect those for whom it was too soon or to late for it to be "no big deal."
Chickenpox wasn't EVER seen as some kind of wonderful gift that people should be glad to get at any age! Parents of kids of "the right age" might have rushed to get their kids exposed -- but that would be because they knew if their kids didn't get it in this round, they might be much older before it came around again, old enough to be in the group more severely affected.