"Did you bring Pedro's growth chart?" I asked the parents of the smiley 10-month-old. "We don't have one. We're very careful about vaccinations." Pedro's uncle had warned me that Pedro's mother had some pseudo-religious-energy belief system, so I felt they were just the type of patient that God had called me to Peru to help. I was starting to get an idea of what he was warning me about. "Has Pedro gotten any vaccines?" "No. We don't want him to get autism or heavy metal poisoning." I explained that vaccines no longer contain mercury preservatives and that the author of the study linking autism to vaccinations years later admitted to making up his data and that there is no real connection between autism and vaccines beyond the fact that kids under 5 years old get both. I then went on to point out how my mother had polio and my dad lost his only two sisters in childhood to polio and whooping cough, completely preventable diseases rarely seen today. Lastly, I pointed out that you have to be careful what you read on the internet. Whatever stance you might have about anything, you can find someone who has a webpage defending that view. "There are even several web-pages defending that the earth is flat!" I pointed out, expecting affirming nods. No affirming nods noted. I hope they were too busy processing what I had said about vaccines to nod their heads about the earth being round.
Since I can't put patient pictures on my blog, instead we found this parking spot amusing:
They don't let tree planters get in the way of painting in parking stalls.