Picking Up Mums At Starbucks (Are Anti-Vaxxers Horrible?)

AreAntiVaxxers

I usually pick up mums at the local Starbucks here. It’s the best place to meet them. You know you have a mutual love for coffee and spend a ridiculous amount on it, probably daily. And you also immediately have other little humans that can entertain your little humans.

I think this mum actually picked me up this time. We were standing in line and she asked how old my daughter was. Then the universal mum talk came out as we immediately had a million things in common to chat about.

We barely got through our orders as we tried to dish out things about our kids and discuss how mum life both sucks (I’m so tired) and is awesome (look at that adorable smile).

We sat down together as if it was the most natural thing to do. Two perfect strangers. She reaches for her massive diaper bag and pulls out an obligatory snack for her 1 year old. Mine starts giving the puppy dog eyes to have just a tiny bit of whatever that snack is. Doesn’t even matter what it is. She wants it. All of a sudden (despite just having breakfast) “I’m still hungry mummy”.

We veer off the conversation of our offspring and she asks what I do for work:

“I work in research at a Hospital”

“Oh, what kind of research?”

“Vaccine research”

When I tell non-mums that I work in vaccine research, people are interested, but they treat it like any other job. When I tell mum’s I work in vaccine research, their eyes light up like they just won the jackpot. And they take one of two roads, they immediately hate me because they are anti-vaxxers (rare) or they are incredibly curious and want more information on vaccines. Because let’s be honest, we all want to know we are making the right choice for these little pieces of our hearts walking outside our bodies.

She asks “so how do you deal with people who don’t vaccinate? Aren’t they just horrible?

Good, I know she’s pro-vaccine.

“Well, they aren’t horrible. It’s just hard to have an intelligent conversation with them”

Maybe that was a little harsh.

“The problem is anecdotal evidence. It’s killer. The anti-vaxxer somehow always knows somebody who knows somebody whose kid had a bad reaction to a vaccine (even if that somebody is just someone from the internet). And they don’t understand that it isn’t research. A personal experience isn’t evidence of anything good or bad. It’s not even evidence that anything was actually related to a vaccine.”

“Ya, I totally get that”

The conversation was somehow dropped as we both got distracted with one or both of our kids. You know how conversations somehow get picked up with the wind when you are a mum.

Needless to say, we exchanged numbers and will have a play date soon.

The anti-vax ‘movement’ is huge and incredibly multifaceted. But, they aren’t horrible. They are dangerous. Dangerous for our kids, dangerous for their own kids, dangerous for scared parents. But I sympathize with them because they are just like me: trying to do the best for their kids.

MummaknowsEpic Mommy AdventuresBest of WorstDomesticated Momster
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31 thoughts on “Picking Up Mums At Starbucks (Are Anti-Vaxxers Horrible?)

  1. I’ve never actually met an anti-vaxxer before which is just as well: I have no idea how I would handle that conversation since I have a tendency to get sarcastic when dealing with inane people and that never goes over well 😓

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  2. My older sister works in research and my mum and younger sister both work in hospitals but I still thought twice about vaccines. I was always going to do it, but I did wonder if it really was best for my child. I remember reading an article on Facebook and realising not doing it would be extremely harmful for my child and others. I don’t actually know anyone who hasn’t done it. Anyway, I’m amazed at how you manage to pick up mums at Starbucks! I’ve only ever made mum friends at playgroups. Maybe I just don’t go to Starbucks enough lol!

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    • Well I am glad you did 🙂 And I don’t blame you for second guessing it. There may be some risks with vaccines (like there is for virtually anything) but the risks of not vaccinating are so much higher. Haha I go to Starbucks way more often than I would like to admit!!

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  3. Pingback: #FamJamLinky | Link Up Your Family Posts #7 | Mummaknows

  4. I don’t know, I’ve just had one bothering me (my fault – wrote a post on it! & it was harsh) who was kind of horrible! In seriousness, though, I am sure you are right & the majority genuinely, though misguidedly, believe what they are saying & are not horrible people. That said, I think that, as a group, they often use methods that kind of are horrible. The actual fabrication of stories to support their claims is pretty disgusting, and I have seen that done a fair amount. Deliberate ignorance and misinformation. Hounding of people who disagree with them. Whilst I do accept that the pro-vaccine movement has a tendency towards using sarcasm to the anti-vaxxers and viewing them as stupid (guilty!), which is antagonistic and perhaps a little mean, in my experience the anti-vaxxers are the hounders and the harassers.

    Anyway, didn’t know this was what you did as a job – how interesting!

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    • I’m going to go find your post. You had a conversation with an anti-vaxxer? I agree you with – spreading the mis-information is just cruel. And that’s mostly at the hands of wacked out doctors and parents who are dying for answers wherever they can get them (ie. from autistic kids). If you’re interested in more about the ‘misinformation of vaccines’ era – you should check out Seth Mnookin, The Panic Virus. Really excellent book on how the uproar began from the inception of vaccines in the 50’s (and earlier) to the Wakefield study, to the millions spent on proving his study wrong when that $ could have been spent on furthering other research, etc…

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      • I’ll have a look at that – sounds interesting.
        It was less of a conversation with one and more her filling my inbox with crazy nonsense, & me trying to establish why this person felt it was appropriate to repeatedly, & increasingly aggressively, privately message me instead of commenting with her opposing views on the actual post like a normal person. I answered her first message fairly reasonably, but obviously disagreeing with her. After that I may have been sarcastic. & flippant. She did not like that.

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  5. How come my local starbucks doesn’t have lovely people like you to hang out with?! You make a great point that most parents who don’t vaccine are motivated by a desire to protect their children. I’d love to know what you say to people who are vehemently opposed to it! #famjamlinky

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    • Haha! Just hang out there and you will find some! Gotta bring the kids for bait though hahah 🙂

      The one person I did meet who was completely against vaccinations (most I meet are on the fence or want a delayed schedule) – I couldn’t even have a conversation with her. Not from my lack of trying, but she wasn’t interested in listening to another side. Sometimes when people believe so hard in something, any evidence to the contrary only drives them farther into believing their own side. Fine by me, it just means I promptly picked up my baby and toddler and never saw that women again. No way I’d risk having my unvaccinated baby (too young) near her unvaccinated toddler who could pass her something.

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  6. It’s scary how there are so many people not vaccinating – and you are right, it puts everyone at risk. And diseases that have been nearly extinguished are making a come back now. I hated vaccinating each of my kids, I don’t like giving them the vax but I fear that not giving them would be worse. #famjamlinky x

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  7. I never considered not vaccinating my children – I see it is a privilege to have access to this opportunity to keep them safe. Thanks for your contribution to that!
    Anti vaxxers do tend to have a lot of ‘literature’ that backs up their beliefs :/
    x Alice
    #famjam and #bestandworst

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I want to know the secret to picking up moms? I have lived in this new small town of mine for over a year now and have made one friend. We were friends first before we became “mom” mutual. I go through the drive thru at the coffee place…maybe I will try going in next time 😉 thanks for hostessing #famjamlinky!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You gotta go in and start asking random questions!! Haha although the drive-thru is amazing. The other day I was being a bit grumpy so I went through the drive-thru and pulled up to the window to pay and the car in front of me had paid for it already (and had already driven away!) Talk about awesome paying-it-forward karma.

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  9. It’s ridiculous that anti-vaxxers are even A Thing, what with, like science and all, but I suppose there are a lot of people out there peddling complete woo and some of them are very good at it. I’d also love to know how you pick up mums in Starbucks. I spent most of my maternity leave trying to do just that!

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    • It is really…I truly don’t understand how they can just think all of modern medicine is complete garbage. Because that’s really what they are saying when they say no to vaccines.

      HAha if you are pushing a stroller, and they are pushing a stroller – then they are probably thinking the same thing you are! Just need to decide who is going to be the first to say “hi” 🙂

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  10. Our little girl was born medically fragile so there was a necessary delay in her vaccines (she has them now), but it was scary knowing she was so fragile and there were children around Unvaccinated and in hospital with the illnesses that were so dangerous to her.

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    • This is exactly the problem! Those who can’t receive the vaccine – for whatever reason- are the most at risk! Anti-vaxxers think that they will ‘take the risk’ for their own child not getting the disease but they fail to recognize how fatal it can be for other children (or babies that haven’t even received the vaccine yet)

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  11. Great post. I just can’t get my head around someone who doesn’t vaccinate, I mean I know everyone is entitled to their opinion but the health of the child and to prevent further spread of something surely it’s just common sense? We are fortunate that in the UK we can offer such vaccinations. Lucky that we have researchers like you to help with it all. Thanks for linking up a fab post to the #bestandworst and hope you’ll pop by again.

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  12. Girl, you pick ’em! Those touchy subjects, and all subjects that are this important usually are. You can include this topic in with religion and politics, you can go there but be prepared if you do!

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  13. I couldn’t agree more. Anti-vaxers are very dangerous. Ignorance is dangerous. You’re right about the fight against anecdotal “evidence.”

    Yes I suppose these mums are just trying to do what’s best for their children, same as anyone else, but you’d think in that case they would want to get as many FACTS as possible. But instead they only hunt down “evidence” that backs up their viewpoint. That is not balanced fact-gathering.

    Given the controversial subject this was a very courageous post, thank you for sharing.

    #bestandworst

    Liked by 1 person

    • One of the reasons I started this blog was to try bring a ‘real person’ to the positive side of vaccines and vaccine research. A normal parent/mum that is involved in the industry but not part of the ‘big pharma’ that anti-vaxxers seem so untrustful of. The blog hasn’t really shaped up that way but in the future I may bring more of that in despite its controversy! I guess it may bring on the hate 🙂

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