ROADS TO BOSTON
Thank you for the genuine, non-promotional responses to Boston (“Becoming Bostonian,” September 29). They made me realize that, though I grew up in Manhattan, it was time for me, too, to let go of my fiercely held New York Superiority Complex. This was reinforced when I realized that the current show I most want to see in New York, The Glass Menagerie, was a production first performed in Cambridge at the American Repertory Theater. When it was here I dismissed it, despite the rave reviews. My loss.
Tam Lin Neville
“Becoming Bostonian” starts off with a paean to Boston by a transplant — who lives in Newton! There’s something about our city that prompts even celebrities like Jay Leno (Andover), Amy Poehler (Burlington), and Mindy Kaling (Cambridge) to claim Boston as their hometown. My husband and I are transplants who sent three kids to the Boston Public Schools and have lived for 35 years in a neighborhood now elevated to trendy. Becoming Bostonian should at least mean actually living in the city!
When my children were young, most parents expected their children would have measles (Perspective, September 29). As I recall, we weren’t too worried. All you need is for one child with whom you are close to be harmed by a vaccine and then you may begin to look at the issue differently.
In 1956, my younger sister died at age 5 from encephalitis, a complication of measles. At that time, the measles vaccine was not available. Ellen’s death shook our family to its core. It will never cease to sadden and shock me to read about parents who put their children, their families, and their communities at risk from a preventable, potentially deadly disease.
It is not just babies who are too young to be vaccinated that are at risk. Immuno-compromised children and adults are at risk, too. When my son was 1, he was diagnosed with an immune system deficiency and had to undergo monthly IV infusions. Because of these infusions, we were forced to postpone any live vaccinations because they would not be effective. We thought we were safe in our child-care center, because it did not allow unvaccinated children (except in a situation like ours). I was dismayed when there was an outbreak of measles in Boston and adults from one of the office buildings in our complex were infected. I suddenly realized that the parents of day-care students could be bringing the disease into the center. I think people who make the choice to avoid vaccines owe it to the rest of us to keep their children away from ours.
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