Do Your Own Research?
Without a doubt the two most utterly stupid phrases trotted out in the past 18 months are
1. “It’s not a race.” Righto ScoMo, how about you go tell that to the people of Wilcannia and all the other communities you and the state Libs have right royally let down.
2. “Do your own research.”
Having marked hundreds of “research skills” assessment papers from uni students, I can assure you that without specific training, very few people can access, understand and apply the information from health-related research papers.
On the flip side, just about anyone can understand TikToks, “secret” and “accidentally declassified” info planted conveniently in plain sight in the internet, and the roid-man that is Joe Rogan.
Honestly I don’t know how those of you who are doctors, nurses, scientists, ambos etc. do it.
I spend a week of evenings preparing a 30minute research update, hours messaging back and forth with a pregnant person wanting clarification on different things, and the next day they send me a link to a source that has been debunked time and time again about medications that are almost certainly unsafe in pregnancy asking for my opinion.
My opinion is not important here, but the accuracy of the data on which you’re basing your decisions is.
Please know that I do truly want you to do what’s best for YOU.
I will truly support you whatever you choose to do, when you are making that choice based on legitimate information, have removed yourself from the emotional pull of others’ opinions and opted out of the political/media circus for long enough to feel into it all, have a cry and to come to a conclusion about what is actually best (or least crap) for you and your family at this point in your life.
Because you know what - either way, it’s scary to make a call right now, especially if you’re breastfeeding, or pregnant, or want to be.
We are wired to shy away from risky things during pregnancy and while our babies are small. In this case potential illness, potential drug risk and the potential for people to be pissed off and ditch us in our time of vulnerability all feel like threats to our safety.
Right now we are in unchartered territory (what I wouldn’t give for some charted territory once in a while...)
In this case we can’t avoid the disease risk itself. Every person you know will get the C eventually. We are being asked to choose which course of action feels like a lesser risk to the Future Us that will come into contact with that C.
Some of us will get really sick, some won’t even notice.
The data is in about breastfeeding, C and the V.
The data is in about the risk rates of getting the V (especially in the late second and third trimester), and what happens if you get the C after it.
The data is also in about the risk rates that apply if you don’t get the B, then catch the C in the late second and third trimester.
If you want to get the V, that’s cool with me.
If you don’t, that’s cool with me too, but my thoughts are that if you’re in the second half of your pregnancy, you’d be wise to put some serious infection control and exposure reduction practices in place until your baby comes, especially when lockdowns ease up.
Even if you get the V while you’re pregnant, you’ll probably want to do this in the couple of weeks before baby comes anyway to avoid yourself or your birth support person being positive at the time of delivery.
Please do what you need to do to be safe right now and for future you, and know that watching “secrets” videos and ordering anti-parasitic livestock products is not a feature of that list.
[If you have read this far just so you can argue with me or believe it’s all a hoax, I’d encourage you to move on from my content so I can spend my time having actual conversations that help people feel heard, supported and loved regardless of their decision making processes and choices instead of sending them into an even greater spiral of distrust-fuelled anxiety.]
[ID: black and white image of Anna’s face looking off on an angle with her hand close to the camera].
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