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.
LET THAT SINK IN.
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.
Roald Dahl, 1986
NINETEEN EIGHTY SIX.
roald dahl was calling out the anti-vaccination movement as self indulgent bullshit //thirty god damn years ago//.
And this is only in recent history. I can’t imagine the numbers if we had data all the way back to 1986.
And thanks to anti-vaxxers, measles is back in the United States.
Neville’s office isn’t in the castle. Well, there is technically a room assigned to him (third floor, fifth door on the right, mind the re-located portrait of Sir Cadogan). But if you needed help with your Herbology assignment or were sent to see the Head of Gryffindor House about that parakeet you snuck into the fifth floor girl’s toilets, you would never find him there.
Neville had a small cottage near the greenhouses. There had been some grumbling about its creation when Neville first started teaching, but it was hard to argue with the Minister’s favorite advisor who just happened to be a hero. So the cottage was built and young Mr. Longbottom and his new wife moved onto the Hogwarts grounds.
There was a steady stream of students coming in and out of the little house during class breaks. Some carried odd potted plants, some looks of guilt etched on their faces, and some simply dropped by to say hello. The windows had bright curtains and the chimney always cheerfully puffed smoke. It was hard not to feel welcomed by the cozy exterior.
Things were different after night fell. Students still weren’t allowed to wander the grounds at night, but everyone turned a blind eye to those who knocked on the cottage door under cover of darkness. These students carried no gifts and bore no cheery smiles. Their faces were tear-stained or bruised or fearful. They were hunched over, trying to make themselves as small as possible. They knocked on the door with shaking hands and trembling lips.
When they entered they would find a crackling fire, a squashy armchair, some of Hannah Longbottom’s famous ginger biscuits and a steaming cup of tea. And they would find Professor Longbottom, smiling kindly. He heard stories of homesickness, of bullies and taunts, of fears and failures. He dried tears and patted backs. And most importantly, he listened.
He might quietly find a bully and intervene. He might Apparate from the Three Broomsticks to the nearest Muggle town and place a call to a concerned parent. He might consult with Madam Pomfrey on the best way to help manage the anxieties of an overwhelmed fifth year. He might simply sit and give a firm and thoughtful piece of advice. But this is not why students came to Professor Longbottom’s house when life was bleak and Hogwarts was too much to bear.
They came because he had once, so many years ago, been like them. And because they, unlike him, would never have to be alone.
(written and submitted by ppyajunebug. This is another very sweet submission from this author. ppyajunebug’s wizarding world always feels like ultimately a good place, where wrongs are righted and people do kind things. It’s an inviting, pleasant look at canon; thank you, ppyajunebug!)
god damn it.
- Ruki: I wish there were movies that could scare me to death… though I can't sleep then.
- XY: 'Chakushin ari' (The Call) was kinda scary (´._.`) *shiver*
- BORN_Ryoga: Hm well. It was kinda funny though.
- Ruki: Are you looking for scary movies? lol
- BORN_Ryoga: Yes, I’m searchiiiing! I guess, I can’t really recommend something…
- Ruki: what kind?
- BORN_Ryoga: Well, I guess something that’s not too shady would be good.. But there’s nothing at all, really (´._.)
- Ruki: True..
- Ruki: Aah, spiritual stuff is scary, isn’t it..
- BORN_Ryoga: 'Orphan' isn’t really horror but it sure was pretty crazy.
- Ruki: Oh, that was definitely a good one!
- Ruki: I pretty much saw all the Japanese horror movies but there wasn’t anything that I thought was scary.. I think, western movies are not exactly scary but they have more of a surprising feeling.
- BORN_TOMO: I recommend the Hong Kong horror 『The EYE! There is a remake but make sure to watch the original!
- Ruki: I’ll check it out!
- gypsy_91: 'Jisatsu sākuru' (The Suicide Club) was pretty gross and good (^^)
- Ruki: I watched it! next time, I’ll show you an even more violent one, k? (✞␣✞)
- Ruki: Listening to people telling scary stories is awesome! when we were in the bus to go on a school trip, my homeroom teacher used to tell some that were on a traumatizing level!
- Ruki: or photos taken from ghosts..that’s scary too.
- Ruki: but it’s hard to abandon the action genre.
I love listening to music in other languages because it gives me a chance to be affected purely by music, no lyrics, no meaning, just music and vocals. Sometimes you don’t have to understand the words to feel an emotion while listening to a song. And I think that’s the purest form of love.
HERE is the DIFFERENCE. So many people get so confused. Difference between having anxiety and having an anxiety disorder.
I wish none of you were sad
this is still fucking hilarious, you stupid woman.
Phillip’s face tho
every frame of this makes me happy