Tag: #death

The Sadness of It All

When I was in high school, I participated in a magnet school program called Health Occupations Students of America. The program was aimed at attracting high school students who were looking for a career in, you guessed it, health occupations. Of course, most of the kids in the program wanted to be physicians or nurses. Very few of us were…

The Risks We Like To Take

With every passing day, the chances that I will die continue to approach certainty. It’s a slow approach to that 100% chance, but it’s happening. All I can do is slow down that acceleration to oblivion (and beyond?) by doing certain things and not doing others. For example, I have to go for a jog/swim/run/bike ride more often, eat more…

Epidemiological Podcast S0E2: The Weight of the Evidence

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.

Good Night, Good Dog

Callisto, the wonderful dog we adopted seven years ago, passed away peacefully after a short battle with disease. She leaves a dog-shaped hole in our hearts as she was very much our daughter. My wife and I wished she could have stuck around to meet the baby, but the universe has a funny way of balancing equations. One life leaves…

Baltimore’s Cycle of Violence Continues Apace

In the first 30 days of January, there have been 32 homicides in Baltimore City. It’s not appropriate to compare these first 30 days to last year’s first 30 days, however, because homicide (like other crime) is not directly related to the time of the year. Or, rather, the time of the year has some influence, but that influence is…

Everyone Was Looking For Answers

My wife and I went to a town hall meeting in Carroll County, Maryland, yesterday. The meeting was about the opiate drug abuse epidemic and what different agencies and people were doing about it. The keynote speaker was an agent with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). He gave the usual statistics on number of deaths and overdoses, and what his…

The things that will kill you

Just listening to the news, you’d think that all of us were going to get killed tomorrow from a massive terrorist attack. Heck, some of my colleagues have been going on so much about Zika that they make it seem like we’re all going to die from Zika… Or that a whole generation of children are going to be born microcephalic.…

Goodnight, Kitten

I didn’t have a lot of pets growing up. What pets I had were a combination of dogs we inherited or just randomly adopted (or they adopted us), and a cat or two that liked to be around us. Mom had some parakeets once, but then she lost it when they died. There is also the story of me adopting…

Rest In Peace, Victim Number 5

Back in November of 2013, the Baltimore Police Department had a raid where they arrested a large group of members of Baltimore’s “Black Guerilla Family” gang. One of those arrested somehow managed to escape with handcuffs on and was being sought by the Baltimore Police Department shortly after the escape. Have you seen this man? Tavon Lee (04/12/90) is wanted…