Everybody loves a party, especially the media, who loudly reported that a Marin County mother of two had been invited to a "measles party" akin to those antiquated fetes for children with chicken pox. KQED reported the story, noting that the mother in question, Julie Schiffman, had declined in passing an offer to connect her unvaccinated children with another boy infected with the disease. But quickly, in a game of blogging telephone, publications like Salon and The Bold Italic ran with the story of crazy Marin measles parties.
Of course, there weren't any such parties. That would be crazy, so the Chronicle is setting the record straight. They've interviewed Schiffman, who is super butt-hurt that people made fun of her on the internet for something she didn't do. Sounds like she read a lot of the comments.
Anyway, the offer was declined, and it wasn't even a big party or anything, as Schiffman said in the original story. She "rejected it immediately." Schiffman also told the paper that “It’s ridiculous how this has blown up and been taken out of context." Writes the Chronicle: "Schiffman said her sons have not gotten measles shots on advice of her doctors because of the family's medical history, and she said people have no business knowing anything more." Similarly, she had told KQED that the choice not to vaccinate her children was a "long and difficult one."
So, should we stop making fun of the parents of unvaccinated children on the Internet? Maybe education — instead of shame — is a more powerful remedy, as the Atlantic suggested in recent article. Or we could just pass a law limiting exemptions, as might be done.