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Our coverage of the measles outbreak, and the response of New York state officials to enforce a vaccination policy, found an anti-vaccination audience locally.

Among the typical responses were comments like “fascists,” “what about my First Amendment rights” and “sellouts to big pharma.”

Those tired old reactions are disappointing, yet expected. But one conversation with a reader actually surprised me.

Thinking the first message I received was surely a joke, I challenged her conclusion. And again, much to my surprise, it was no joke. In fact, she doubled down in her follow-up responses.

It was her conclusion that Americans in the 1960s would have laughed at our concern for measles today. Her source: Mike and Carol Brady, the fictional parents of Brady Bunch sitcom fame. She cited their lighthearted response to all six children having the measles on an episode of the 1960-70s television show as evidence that we take the threat too seriously.

I pointed out that on the contrary, the regulations we have today are a direct result of that generation understanding the threat of the measles, which she referred to as simply a “rash.”

Given that her regard for “make believe” was higher than that of the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization I pointed out to her that once upon a time more than 1 million people a year died of the measles.

When people hold sitcoms in higher regard than the world’s leading health experts, we have a real problem.

Lord help us.

Sharing information

In a Wednesday editorial we pointed out the failure of the Mandan Police Department to accurately portray the threat to the community while they searched for Chad Isaak, who is accused of killing four people at RJR Maintenance & Management in Mandan on April 1.

While the Mandan Police Department and other law enforcement agencies are to be commended for their quick and efficient investigation that led to Isaak, we believe that more accurate and specific information should have been given to the public.

While searching for information leading to the arrest of Isaak, Mandan police repeatedly said they did not believe the public was in danger. Yet days later when a judge set bail at $1 million he said it was because of the threat to “witnesses and others.”

Our point is simply that both statements cannot be true. We believe the judge got it right.

We hope area law enforcement agencies will be more forthcoming if and when the next heinous crime occurs.

Prized Easter egg

On a much lighter note we want to be sure readers are aware of a fun event set to begin Sunday.

Along with Moritz Sport and Marine the Bismarck Tribune will conduct an Easter egg hunt with a possible $1,000 prize.

We will hide the prize egg in a publicly accessible place and beginning Sunday will run a single clue in the Tribune. The clue will be repeated on our Facebook page at noon each day and copies of the daily clue will be placed in our lobby at noon.

Clues will run each day until we have verified that the egg has been found.

The prize is $1,000 if the winner is a subscriber and $500 if not.

We believe your search will not only be fun, but you may discover a few things about our community along the way.

Happy hunting!

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Gary Adkisson is publisher of the Bismarck Tribune.

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