On today's podcast, I talk to you about a recent tragedy in our family and how it helped me understand anti-vaccine parents a little more. Not completely, but just enough to realize that there is very little in the way of a debate that one can have with them.
See, When people who don't believe that vaccines save lives tell you that there is no evidence that vaccines are safe, they're either misinformed or lying. On the flip side, when they tell you that there is evidence that vaccines cause autism, they're either misinformed or lying again. There is plenty of evidence for both arguments out there, but only one set of "studies" pass the biological plausibility test (not to say anything about ethics).
However, because an injury (perceived or real) to a child triggers such a deep-seeded, primal reaction, it's hard to be logical or reasonable. When parents see autism as death (when it's not), their search for answers becomes chaotic and full of inferences that are misguided. Anti-vaccine people looking to make a buck take advantage of that, and then we're off to the races on trying to stop further harm, encourage critical thinking, and have an actual debate based on facts.
In about 33 minutes, I tell you about the different kinds of studies out there, and I explain to you why we cannot do a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study like the antivaxxers want, but we've done plenty of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated studies in an ethical and scientific way.
Today, I thought I'd share with you a 15-minute presentation I gave in Mexico City last about two weeks ago. It was on a paper I wrote based off a previous blog post. I talk about what I imagine to be the perfect system for keeping track of the population's health... That is, if money, technology, laws, and ethical considerations were not in the way of such things.
Yes, I'm giving the podcast a season and names. The first season runs from now until the end of the year and will be season zero, along with previous episodes. Kind of like "the lost season" if you will. Then, starting in 2018, I'll have a first season of six podcasts with pre-planned topics and a little more preparation. You guys deserve it... And it's a good way to be just creative enough to be doing something but not too busy to forget about the dissertation (which should be almost done when 2017 ends and 2018 begins).
Yeah, yeah... It's been a while. I missed you too. Here's 12 minutes of me catching you up on what happened this summer with dad getting cancer, me picking up cycling and swimming, and taking some exams. Also, there is something about Puerto Rico and Zika in there. As always, you can just download it ...
Back in 2010, right before the flu season started, the bosses at the health department allowed me to do an interview with an AM radio station out of Washington, DC. The interviewer was awesome, and she really did a good job of asking pertinent questions and keeping my answers in line. It was a great opportunity to practice public speaking and speaking in Spanish. Although it is my first language, sometimes I forget some of its conventions. I've speaking English too long, I guess.
The best kinds of friends are those who you can lose contact with for months and then catch-up with quickly over some coffee or hot tea or hot chocolate... Or a beer. In this episode, I try to catch-up with you after being gone a while.
What else was I going to do while I waited out the great Northeast Blizzard of 2016 but do a podcast? And what is a better way to do it than to invite a couple of friends to chat with? I used a new app called ZCast to record a chat with Briana Morgan and Craig ...
If you have ever had Norovirus, then you will remember it for a while. Let me tell you about it, and tell you to wash your hands once, twice, and three times. Listen to this, then go wash your hands. If you want to download the mp3 file, click here.
Growing up, mom used to make me speak English well or Spanish well, but never both. I thought I spoke good Spanish, until I came to Colombia. My Spanish is different, and, in translating a document from English to Spanish, I learned my written Spanish needs a lot of work.