ROALD DAHL’S HEARTBREAKING LETTER TO ANTI-VAXXERS ABOUT THE DEATH OF HIS DAUGHTER FROM MEASLES

Aren’t you relieved Massachusetts isn’t a “personal exemption” state?

The very tragedy of it all is that before this anti-vaccination craze took hold, by the year 2000, measles had been eliminated from the US.

The following are the nineteen states that allow for personal exemptions: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Vermont.

From the IFLScience website –

By james Felton

January 28, 2019

Every week there seems to be a new story of anti-vaxxers taking the irresponsible step of denying their children life-saving immunizations and their children paying the price.

Last week there was a measles outbreak in an anti-vaxxer hotspot in [Clark County Washngton], where 18 children aged between one and 10 years old contracted a potentially life-threatening illness we developed a vaccine for over 50 years ago. There have been similar outbreaks in Europe over the last few years, with at least 35 dying in 2017.

How must this trend of voluntarily not vaccinating your children look to someone whose family member had measles before the vaccination was widespread? The answer is in this heartbreaking letter from author Roald Dahl, written in 1986, 24 years after his 7-year-old daughter died of measles.

Everyone considering not vaccinating their children should read every word of it.

MEASLES: A dangerous illness

“Olivia, my eldest daughter, caught measles when she was seven years old. As the illness took its usual course I can remember reading to her often in bed and not feeling particularly alarmed about it.

Then one morning, when she was well on the road to recovery, I was sitting on her bed showing her how to fashion little animals out of coloured pipe-cleaners, and when it came to her turn to make one herself, I noticed that her fingers and her mind were not working together and she couldn’t do anything.

‘Are you feeling all right?’ I asked her. ‘I feel all sleepy,’ she said.

In an hour, she was unconscious. In twelve hours she was dead.

The measles had turned into a terrible thing called measles encephalitis and there was nothing the doctors could do to save her. That was twenty-four years ago in 1962, but even now, if a child with measles happens to develop the same deadly reaction from measles as Olivia did, there would still be nothing the doctors could do to help her.

On the other hand, there is today something that parents can do to make sure that this sort of tragedy does not happen to a child of theirs. They can insist that their child is immunised against measles. I was unable to do that for Olivia in 1962 because in those days a reliable measles vaccine had not been discovered. Today a good and safe vaccine is available to every family and all you have to do is to ask your doctor to administer it.

It is not yet generally accepted that measles can be a dangerous illness. Believe me, it is. In my opinion parents who now refuse to have their children immunised are putting the lives of those children at risk. In America, where measles immunisation is compulsory, measles like smallpox, has been virtually wiped out.

Here in Britain, because so many parents refuse, either out of obstinacy or ignorance or fear, to allow their children to be immunised, we still have a hundred thousand cases of measles every year. Out of those, more than 10,000 will suffer side effects of one kind or another. At least 10,000 will develop ear or chest infections. About 20 will die.

Every year around 20 children will die in Britain from measles. So what about the risks that your children will run from being immunised?

They are almost non-existent. Listen to this. In a district of around 300,000 people, there will be only one child every 250 years who will develop serious side effects from measles immunisation! That is about a million to one chance. I should think there would be more chance of your child choking to death on a chocolate bar than of becoming seriously ill from a measles immunisation.

So what on earth are you worrying about? It really is almost a crime to allow your child to go unimmunised. The ideal time to have it done is at 13 months, but it is never too late. All school-children who have not yet had a measles immunisation should beg their parents to arrange for them to have one as soon as possible.

Incidentally, I dedicated two of my books to Olivia, the first was James and the Giant Peach. That was when she was still alive. The second was The BFG, dedicated to her memory after she had died from measles. You will see her name at the beginning of each of these books. And I know how happy she would be if only she could know that her death had helped to save a good deal of illness and death among other children.”

Measles vs. Chicken Pox

Visitors to Gloucester-73

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Delightful couples, one from Peabody (he was originally from Gloucester), the other couple are from Michigan.

While I was taking the photo, the Lobster Police were in the process of releasing a caught oversized lobster.  (see photo below) 

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See section “§697.20   Size, harvesting and landing requirements.” in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations site.

Visitors from South Carolina and Michigan

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Couple from South Carolina coming off a whale watch, heading towards Lat 43  Restaurant

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Family from Michigan, the daughter was from Michigan State, but the father and I talked about football and  Tom Brady attending University of Michigan.   Thank you University of Michigan.

She Could Be My Daughter

It doesn't happen every day, that someone you connect with returns for a second visit. Duane and Sandy from MI from yesterday's story returned, and as we were speaking Diana Long came in. As we talked, Sandy turned to Diana and said: "You look like the daughter I never had." Wow, you decide.
It doesn’t happen every day, that someone you connect to returns for a second visit. Duane and Sandy from MI from yesterday’s story returned, and as we were speaking Diana Long came in. As we talked, Sandy turned to Diana and said: “You look like the daughter I never had.” Wow, you decide.
Shortly thereafter, Sandy left the gallery soon and returned with a gift for Diana, a huge silver cuff. They had just met minutes before in my gallery and I am speechless. Neither of these women will forget this for the rest of their lives, and neither will I.
Shortly thereafter, Sandy left the gallery soon and returned with a gift for Diana, a huge silver cuff. They had just met minutes before in my gallery and I am speechless. Neither of these women will forget this for the rest of their lives, and neither will I.
I'll also never forget these folks. Duane is made of solid granite, which you can feel if you pat him on the back. He needs the cane, but I'll be his cane any time. His combat incident resulted in 3 fatalities, but he survived.  He's a 25% Chippowa American Indian, whose tribe has a reservation at Red Lake  MN.
I’ll also never forget these folks. Duane is made of solid granite, which you can feel if you pat him on the back. He needs the cane, but I’ll be his cane any time.
His combat incident resulted in 3 fatalities, but he survived. He’s a 25% Chippowa American Indian, whose tribe has a reservation at Red Lake MN.
So just to wrap this up, here is Duane in basic training in '69 at Fort Knox, TN. He's standing next to a 114 amphibious personnel carrier. His Chippawa name is " Wind in His Tail." I wish Duane and Sandy a fair wind, and smooth sailing. After being here for one day, they said to me: "I think we could live here." I sincerely hope so.
So just to wrap this up, here is Duane in basic training in ’69 at Fort Knox, TN. He’s standing next to a 114 amphibious personnel carrier. His Chippawa name is ” Wind in His Tail.” I wish Duane and Sandy a fair wind, and smooth sailing. After being here for one day, they said to me: “I think we could live here.” I sincerely hope so.

A Hero Shot, in More Ways Than One

As I was walking to work today, this guy stepped aside for me to pass. As I walked by him, I mentioned how much I liked his cane, not realizing what it symbolized. I saw him and his wife later sitting on the bench in front of Palazolas. So you all know me... This is Duane Bellish and his loving wife of 54 years, Sandy. They live in Grayling, northern Michigan. They love Glosta', having never even been here before. "All the people we've met have been fun, interesting, and most helpful. Fred, you alone have made our weekend." We spent maybe an hour together talking. They are devout Christians, and blessed me half a dozen times. Me, I bless them only once, but to the power of 20. God Bless Duane and Sandy x 20!
As I was walking to work today, this guy stepped aside for me to pass. As I walked by him, I mentioned how much I liked his cane, not realizing what it symbolized. I saw him and his wife later sitting on the bench in front of Palazolas. So you all know me… This is Duane Bellish and his loving wife of 54 years, Sandy. They live in Grayling, northern Michigan. They love Glosta’, having never even been here before. “All the people we’ve met have been fun, interesting, and most helpful. Fred, you alone have made our weekend.” We spent maybe an hour together talking. They are devout Christians, and blessed me half a dozen times. Me, I bless them only once, but to the power of 20. God Bless Duane and Sandy x 20!
Duane served in the US Army in '69 and '70. He was a Tank Commander in the 25th Infantry, Driving 112APC tanks on the Cambodian Border (Base Camp Cuchi). Two Purple Hearts and still carrying shrapnel. Today, Duane needs his cane, and with Sandy sells home grown plants, cut flowers, at the Detroit Eastern Market, which is 150+ years old. They agree that Detroit is not doing well. I gave them a GMG sticka', but was too intrigued with them to include it in the photo. My grandpa Yewell also got two purple hearts in the trenches of France in WWI.
Duane served in the US Army in ’69 and ’70. He was a Tank Commander in the 25th Infantry, Driving 112APC tanks on the Cambodian Border (Base Camp Cuchi). Two Purple Hearts and still carrying shrapnel. Today, Duane needs his cane, and with Sandy sells home grown plants, cut flowers, at the Detroit Eastern Market, which is 150+ years old. They agree that Detroit is not doing well. I gave them a GMG sticka’, but was too intrigued with them to include it in the photo. My grandpa Yewell also got two purple hearts in the trenches of France in WWI.