Some parts of modern society aren’t great. Plastic packing and convenience food are too pervasive, and our suburbs should be designed for people instead of cars. We resist this by growing our own food and keeping chickens who eat our scraps. It’s important that my daughter Saskia has some link to where our food comes from, so she collects the eggs and helps in our vegie patch. Her placenta is buried underneath our mulberry tree.
Recently, we had to take Saskia to hospital, because she was lethargic and refusing to walk. After an X-ray, they diagnosed pneumonia and sent us home with antibiotics. The next morning she was brimming with energy and helping to make her favourite breakfast – pancakes. Just like we trust the medical establishment to save our daughter’s life, we take their advice on immunisation.
Immunisation is one of the benefits of living in the developed world. I’m sure that mothers in the developing world who have lost children to preventable diseases would love to be able to vaccinate the children that they have left. When I think of these mothers, I feel obliged to make the most of this opportunity.
Community is so important to me, and I see immunisation as a collective responsibility. A big part of us living in Hilton is trying to build the feeling of a country town. Our daughter thinks it’s normal to have people around for dinner and to raid the neighbour’s pantry. The old-fashioned way of looking after each other’s kids translates into the modern world with immunisation. I immunise Saskia so she doesn’t get sick, but also so her friends don’t get sick.