Friday, April 24, 2009

The Importance of Being Compliant

(my apologies to Oscar Wilde on the title of this post)

An article published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution back in February just caught my attention this morning. Below is the opening sentence from More Atlanta-area kids get shots after crackdown at schools:

Five months into the school year and fearing bad publicity, Atlanta Public Schools kicked 105 students out of class on Jan. 30 for failing to get vaccinations they should have had on Day One, documents show.

Interesting. So they kick the unvaccinated kids out of school. Does that strike anyone else but me as odd? Apparently this was done in the name of “safety” if the tagline SPOTLIGHT: WATCHING OUT FOR YOUR SAFETY AND POCKETBOOK posted above the article’s title is to be believed.

But that doesn’t make any sense. All of the students that were allowed to remain in school have dutifully received their vaccinations; they should have nothing to worry about, right? So if kicking out the unvaccinated children wasn’t done for the “safety” of the others, then what was it done for?

Later in the article comes this statement:
“I think the positive part of this is that all the principals, as well as the public school superintendents, now understand the importance of compliance,” said Juliet Cooper, nursing director at the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness.

Ah. There it is: compliance. Now I understand.

- excerpts from the novel “What So Proudly We Hailed”:

Girls were immunized for HPV and began getting pap smears every year starting in grade school. Everybody got at least one flu vaccine a year for whatever happened to be the biggest threat to the population at that moment, and the number of vaccinations in general required for children tripled by 2017 as new vaccines were developed for diseases that nobody had even heard of ten years before.

If you were 18 or older, you were also required to donate two pints of blood a year for the national blood bank (in addition to the increased need for the expanded healthcare system, there was still a war going on too, don’t forget).

The hospitals were numerous and clean, the nurses would always smile as they herded you through from station to station, and the doctors would all nod their heads as you answered their questions. It seemed the same as before, and yet, there was a definite underlying current that everyone seemed to pick up on even thought we were all afraid to say anything about it. A negativity that you could literally feel. Because even thought the smiles were the same as before, there was now an unspoken message that was as plain and blunt and non-negotiable as it was taboo to even mention: Shut up and take your medicine.

So we did.

1 comment:

MamaHen said...

You know, when I read this article I had the same thoughts. Those words "bolded" themselves in my vision..."the importance of being compliant" WOOOAAAH!