It’s a difficult age to be a doctor. Disinformation campaigns promoted by anti-vaxxers, plus the ability to Google every symptom online has convinced a lot of people they know as much about public health as their primary care physician. if they even have one—a lot of people now treat their ailments at home with essential oils. That’s where we are at. A diffuser has taken the place of antibiotics.
Doctor Mikhail Varshavski, or Dr. Mike, is a YouTuber and an actual doctor. He does a lot of different things on his channel, but a clip from a recent piece on anti-vaxxers and vaccines has gone viral on Reddit because you can actually see the moment he is overwhelmed with despair as he’s reading a post supposedly written by an anti-vaxxer.
It starts with them saying they’re NOT anti-vaxx, but have a suggestion of a compromise, writing, “I think instead of chemical shots the doctors should give a small piece of the virus, so the body can build immunity.”
The words Dr. Mike is reading and reacting to are actually coming from a Facebook post that got very big on Twitter. Some have said it’s sincere, others that it is someone trolling a posing as an anti-vaxxer and using their particular hare-brained logic to make a point: vaccines work. The chickenpox parties they mention were a real way that parents used to spread the chickenpox amongst kids, because it’s a much safer illness to have as a child and when you go through it once, you become inoculated. Again, like a vaccine!
Most of Dr. Mike’s usual YouTube fodder is him reacting to memes, which is where the clip above comes from. You can see the moment from above starting at around the 2:40 mark.
I have to admire Dr. Mike’s ability to maintain a sense of humor in the face of so many misinformed people determined to bring measles back, but a good meme can help you get through almost anything.