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I knew she wasn't dangerous or conspiratorial — we had talked for days about how we care about people, and the society we live in, and what it means to be human. Did I have to completely reassess my opinion of this person?

Updated at December 2018: Now do yourself a favour, get your travel documents, book a trip and …..

Some people, and more people every day, believe this, too: Those who don't believe in the virtues of vaccines — anti-vaxxers — are ignorant and dangerous lunatics, possibly evil. During my early 20s, I lived in the skeptic blogosphere, a mid-2000s constellation of internet communities theoretically organized around highly charismatic bloggers, vloggers, and other intellectuals.

It's impossible to understand their position without considering the amount of fear that goes into the anti-vaccine narrative, and considering how people construct and deal with fear. Despite initially avoiding the subject, I decided, after we were married, that I should convince my wife to vaccinate her daughter. But when I did, I realized that from her perspective, all of my confrontational reasoning sounded like me asking to point a gun at her daughter and have her trust that it was full of blanks.

Now, you might think that a fear is a fear and public health is something else — and you might be right. Looking into her eyes, I realized her trust in me was threatened. All of my insistence that vaccines are safe didn't matter.

My wife is one of the smartest, most sensible people I know.

So what do smart, sensible people do when they perceive a threat?

People who were unaware of the new regulations, such as those travelling visa-free from the UK, found they could not board their plane to fly south as they were unaware of the new requirements.

And South Africans travelling out of the country could not leave the airport or cross the border when they were missing the required documentation.

She was someone I admired and respected and was beginning to love. And, of course, I believed that if we spent enough time together, I'd eventually change her mind. In either case, you're lucky: Coping with your fear the way most people do — avoidance — doesn't come at a cost to others. Public health depends on anti-vaxxers confronting their greatest fears for the benefit of others.

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