Kirsten Faurie is the editor of the Kanabec County Times.

Di-hydrogen monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless chemical that kills at least 3,500 people in the United States every year. It is a major component in acid rain, can cause severe burns, is powerful enough to rust away metal and has been found in cancer cells extracted from terminal patients. What’s more, scientists have found it present in the blood stream of newborn babies.

It’s in the air, it’s in the soil, and worst of all our government isn’t doing enough about it.

Why? Because di-hydrogen monoxide is water.

The way things are talked about can make them unnecessarily scary even when they are safe, just like I have done with water. Vaccines are also something that are safe but have been talked about the wrong way, unnecessarily scaring people away from the advice of good doctors and toward the spread of life-threatening diseases.

Many of you are familiar with this parable of the family threatened by a flood (it’s that dangerous di-hydrogen monoxide again): A town was flooded. The water is rising and a family is huddled on the roof of their home. A person in a boat comes by and offers to help.

“No thank you,” they respond. “God will save us.”

The water gets higher and a person in a bigger boat comes by offering to help.

“No thank you,” they respond. “God will save us.”

The water gets higher and the National Guard comes by in a helicopter, offering to help.

“No thank you,” they respond. “God will save us.”

The family drowns. The mom, dad and the little kids who were far too young to decide for themselves. The family gets to heaven and they ask God, “God, why didn’t you save us?” God responds, “I sent you two boats and a helicopter, what more did you want?”

Without getting into a religious debate, it’s a great parable about not using the resources we are given and becoming bystanders in our fate, rather than taking personal responsibility for what happens to us and those around us.

When I hear that story, I get angry.

When I hear someone’s little child is hooked up in a hospital bed because it caught the measles, I get angry.

When I hear the United States is experiencing its biggest outbreak in 20 years of a preventable disease, I get angry.

It hurts me to see my America, supposedly a leader in the world in areas of science, technology and medicine, has taken such huge steps backward.

We have the solutions.

We have the boat. We have the helicopter. It’s our failure to use them that is threatening our safety.

We can’t be bystanders. We can’t wait for miracles. We’ve been given the tools and the resources to create our own. Eliminate measles? What a miracle that would be —we nearly did it, too.

In the year 2000, the disease was declared eliminated in the United States. Now we are having outbreaks and quarantines because we chose to.

We have the solution to this problem and it isn’t an essential oil — it’s education about the importance and safety of vaccinations.

The danger to our bodies and to our children isn’t vaccines. It’s our own lack of action and misinformed fears that are causing outbreaks of diseases in places they should no longer exist.

Kirsten Faurie is the editor of the Kanabec County Times. She can be contacted at editor@moraminn.com or by calling 320-225-5128.

Kirsten Faurie is the editor of the Kanabec County Times. 

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