Lately in social media there’s been a lot of fear mongering and bullying…maybe more so here in HK, I’m not sure. We have a group on facebook called Hong Kong Moms, started by another mom as a forum to help one another with questions about the city, about parenting, etc. It’s been a great way for finding out information of where to buy things, where to sell things etc. However, on a few occasions, there have been incidences of parents posting questions and getting bullied with opinions and nasty comments. A lot of moms are even afraid now to post questions in case someone calls them stupid! How crazy is that? In school, we were always encouraged to ask questions, teachers/professors even saying no question is stupid because in a crowd of people, someone is wondering the same thing.
Most recently, here, there has been a lot of posts regarding vaccinations. Ack! Parents are concerned and they should be. There are posts for vaccinations and posts against vaccinations. As parents we do our best for our kids and make choices everyday for them. We chose from birth to vaccinate our kids with the government recommended ones and the few extra ones like Hepatitis A and Chickenpox. We decided not to go with the flu jabs as I just don’t think they are necessary as the developers of those are just guessing which flus will be more prevalent for that season.
This post is about the anger that came from some posts about vaccinations in these public forums. Some moms were wondering about whether they had to vaccinate to get into certain schools in Hong Kong. Once a child is accepted, usually schools will ask for a copy of their immunization records. This doesn’t mean that you have to have them done–the school just wants to know what vaccines the child has. Well, on these posts, there were many opinionated people and some were even angry that some kids would even consider entering school without vaccinations, bringing up the Disneyland Measles outbreak. It got really ugly…where parents were asking other parents where their unvaccinated children were going to school and what their names were! What happened to people having choice? I thought how horrible for these kids that their parents were becoming bullies to one another. This isn’t the first time that I’ve observed the bullying of one another. These are adults! The adults that are afraid their own children are getting bullied at school. What happened to agreeing to disagree? My husband and I have chosen to vaccinate, but I’m not going to be upset if my friends have decided not to. That’s their business.
It might be different in different countries. I know that the government gives most vaccinations for free here. We have a great public health system that covers that. I know that in the US, there wasn’t much public healthcare. Has that changed? I don’t know the details about what happens there. When I was growing up in Canada, I know that we would go the the public health clinics for our vaccinations and check ups.
Is there much debate going on elsewhere? Is this only happening in HK? I’m getting posts a lot recently in my newsfeed and it’s hard to keep track and I’ve stopped reading some of those articles and it seems to perpetuate the anger! I just wished parents would stop judging each other about how they do things and instead learn from each other.