I think the cold is making me cranky

It’s not Festivus yet, but allow me to air a couple of grievances, regardless.

British airline Virgin Atlantic says it’s no longer mandatory for its female cabin crew to wear makeup on flights if they choose not to.

And this, I suppose, is something for which the airline wants a great, giant pat on the back.

News to Virgin Atlantic, it’s 2019. The fact that you have only now ditched a demeaning, archaic policy should be embarrassing to you. And also to any other airline still demanding that female flight attendants wear makeup.

It’s just another reminder that women have a long way to go before real equality is reached.

Yes, we have female leaders all over the globe, from the most admirable Angel Merkel in Germany to an impressive field of woman running for the Democratic presidential nomination in the States.

But still, women are constantly being questioned and defined by their gender.

Last week in Florida, the newly elected House Speaker, Jose Oliva, referred to pregnant women as the “host body”. And the backlash to that seemed to puzzle Oliva, who said he was merely trying to use medical terminology to take the emotion out of the debate, and served up the old ‘I apologize if I offended anyone’ trope.

Having been a ‘host body’ myself, I actually did find myself offended by the term. But maybe I’m just ‘emotional’. I am a woman after all. Can’t yell about it or someone might label me ‘shrill’.

Something else that aggrieves me is the continuing nonsense of people not vaccinating their children.

Vaccines take the ‘protect the herd’ approach. If over 90 per cent of the herd is vaccinated, everyone should be safe. But that 90 per cent rate is falling, in fact most BC school districts do not meet the over 90 per cent vaccinated threshold.

Schools wait until an outbreak occurs and then ask students who cannot provide proof of vaccination to stay home. That’s too late. Everyone has already been exposed. And the two schools in Vancouver which were at the centre of the outbreak last month had vaccination rates around 70 per cent.

Measles is now popping up around the country as it is carried by travellers who inadvertently came into contract with it — a new case showed up in Toronto this week. This should not be happening.

Another new study came out this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine stating emphatically that the Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine DOES NOT cause autism.

Yet will this stop the anti-vaxx crowd? Most assuredly not. Even though 17 studies in seven countries have concluded the vaccine does not cause autism, the anti-vaxxers prefer to believe one study, now thoroughly debunked, written by a doctor who has since lost his medical license.

Just this week, much news was made about an American student who went and got himself vaccinated against his mother’s wishes.

The student, one Ethan Lindenberger, testified in Washington this week and told the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labour and Pensions that he did the research and came to the conclusion that he was better off being vaccinated.

However, when he presented the proof of his research to his mother, she replied that the great unknown “they” want you to think vaccines are safe, when in fact they are not.

Vast conspiracy theories aside, some sell it as being about liberty and freedom of choice. This week, US Senator Rand Paul came out strongly against the idea of requiring parents to vaccinate their children because…. er American values. Liberty of their forefathers etc. Or, as the political commentary site Wonkette put it in a headline, “Rand Paul Wants Your Kids to Die of Freedom Measles”.

How ‘bout this. You are free to not vaccinate your children. You are also free to homeschool them and keep them away from other kids if you don’t vaccinate them. Why should the anti-vaxxers be allowed to “protect” their children and then put others at risk?

The simple answer is, they shouldn’t be. But until schools start asking for vaccination records when students are enrolled, these needless outbreaks of diseases like measles will continue.

Grievances aired. And now the time changes this weekend. I dislike Spring Forward. It’s going to make me crankier.

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