Friday, January 5, 2018

This is a Little New Years-y

Americans are strange. We come from people who walked away from what they had been, and focused on the future, not the past. I once read that America is the Land of 2nd Chances, and I think, for the most part, that's true. We're a big country, and when someone new comes to town, we are likely to hold off on judgement, and allow that person to get a fresh start. Some of that willingness to renew was bolstered by two traditions:
Do you want to see Change?

Zen Habits - I've been reading this, off and on, for years. He (obviously) leans to the East in his philosophy, but, it's a fresh perspective on changing parts of your life.

A separate topic - but important. In another blog, I wrote about Gardasil, the vaccine that protects against several of the HPV strains. It's long been suspected that the testing process ignored some rare symptoms, mostly related to immune system problems. Finally, someone is taking the reports seriously.

Should parents still vaccinate? I"m on the fence about that.

Cervical cancer is most often seen in women with early sexual activity, or multiple partners (or, both). The vaccine is actually for HPV, a virus that is correlated with cervical cancer. What seems to be responsible is that the immune system becomes overwhelmed by repeated assaults by foreign bodies (essentially, what sperm is), and developed damaged cells that mutate into cancers.

There are several issues with the HPV vaccine:

  • It's expensive - somewhere between $600-$800 for the series
  • It will provide protection for several years - however, just when a young woman is ready to go off to college, she will need a booster treatment. Many kids don't get that, leading them to feel protected when they are not.
  • There have been reactions to the vaccine, some of them fatal.

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