Thursday, November 28, 2013

5 more essential English vocabulary words - test your English!

1. adulation - extreme praise, when someone is almost worshiped by someone or others
2. a eulogy - a little speech mentioning good things about a person who recently died
3. to linger - to remain a little longer than others, to be slow in leaving
4. reticent - not saying much, if anything; being quiet 
5. a sycophant - someone who flatters more powerful or influential people to get ahead, a 'yes-man', someone who falsely praises his superior to get some type of benefit

One of the best ______________ for Rosa Parks, at her funeral, came from Oprah Winfrey, one of the most famous women of color in the world.

A teen pop star will receive so much ________________ from his/her fans, that it might become difficult for this person to transition into the 'real' world and live meaningfully.

Many professors will ______________ in their classrooms after the class is over to answer questions from students.

It is, of course, important to be a supportive employee, but nobody wants to be mistaken for a _________________ who goes out of his way to praise the boss.

One of the toughest jobs a teacher has is to help a very shy and _________________ student to begin speaking in class.  Often times such a student is just a little insecure and needs a little encouragement.

answers are below:



Essential English Vocabulary - 5 new words

1. to deplore s/t - to really dislike something
2. immutable - unchangeable
3. prudent - sensible, judicious, showing good judgment, not making a foolish decision, only acting after thinking a lot about the consequences
4. stagnant - not changing, not being active, something that stays the same for too long
5. to undermine s/t - to ruin or upset something through some sneaky or secret way

s/t means: something

Political conservatives believe that the American economy has remained _______________ for too long. They believe it is the role of the US government to decrease taxes in order to stimulate the economy and make it more active.

Most Americans now believe that the decision to attack Iraq in 2003 was not _______________.  Very little was accomplished through this war and too many people suffered.

The US Constitution is not _____________________. It can be changed but it is difficult to do so.

Bob's rival co-worker was jealous of Bob's success and always looked for ways to _________________ Bob's projects.

I attended a couple Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011 and, like others, I _________________ the way the New York Police Department acted toward the protesters. The police were often rude and violent.

answers are below:



An idea to collect taxes or to build new housing in New York City

One of my private students is a real estate broker (she helps people find apartments in New York City) and we came across this article together.  I thought it was interesting because it points out that New York City desperately needs new housing, yet there are many empty spaces in New York where nothing is being built.

(This photo is from the NY Times)

It seems that the owners of these large empty spaces (empty lots) do not want to build anything on the lots, but they don't want to sell the lots either.  They may be waiting until the lots become more valuable (so they can make more money) or they just don't care that they have empty lots that are not being used.

So the new mayor of New York has come up with what I think is a good plan.  He wants to place a large tax on empty lots.  This way the owner of an empty lot finally has to make a decision: either sell your lot to someone who will build something on it, or build something on it yourself (or pay the huge tax).  Any way you look at this, the city will win.

In the article we can see that the Catholic Church owns most of these empty lots.  So I think it is time for the Catholic Church to start building or selling - the people of New York need this unused space.

Here is the article:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

to top a list - to be on the top of a list, to be the number one item on a list

to take a tax hit - to be forced to pay a huge tax fee

Mayor-elect - he has been elected the mayor but has not started yet

vacant - nothing there

residential - where people live

a sizable impact - a considerable impact, a big impact

the five boroughs - Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, Staten Island ...the five areas that make up New York City

exceeds - goes beyond

if the proposal is passed - Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio is proposing or arguing for this tax. If the tax is accepted by the City Council, the Catholic Church and the State of New York will have to pay a lot of taxes or give up the land.  This is a good idea.  What the hell have the church and state been doing with all this land for so many years? Nothing!  Why didn't (that idiot) Bloomberg (the current mayor) do something?  This has been a huge waste.  It's also another example of how NOTHING good happened during the 12 years of Bloomberg's terms as mayor.

a hike in taxes - a raise in taxes

a phase-in period - this means that ultimately, or finally, the tax on a large vacant piece of land will be about $15,000.  But this will be phased in.  So in the first year the tax might be $3,000. Then $6,000 the next year etc.  To phase something in means to make it a reality slowly but surely.

an economic burden - a burden is something heavy.  An economic burden would be economic trouble or economic difficulties.

critics doubt the plan will have the intended effect - so de Blasio is hoping the tax will force the lot owners to sell or develop the space.  Critics - people who don't like this idea - say that this will not happen.  I disagree.  The Church and New York State are just sitting on valuable, unused land. This is ridiculous.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Check your high-level English vocabulary :)

a conflagration - a huge fire that destroys property and perhaps even kills people
to be indifferent - not interested in something, not worried about something
scrupulous - someone who is careful to always do something right
tranquility - feeling peaceful, serene, calm
whimsical - playful, silly, not serious

Is there one goal that every religion seems to shoot for?  If there were, I would guess it is a type of ___________________.  Every religion seems to promise that peace is possible and that it is a goal worth attaining.

Bill's father was the most _______________ man he had ever known.  He could not remember hearing his father ever tell a lie and in everything he did, he seemed to be as honest as a person could be.

Why did only about 25% of New York registered voters vote in the last mayoral election? Well, it seems that most people are ________________ to local politics.  Perhaps they feel that it doesn't matter who the mayor is.

Joe had two uncles.  One was very studious (very serious about his studies) and serious but the other one took a more ________________ approach to life.  Joe learned a lot from his first uncle but loved being around the second. (Or:  Joe learned a lot from the latter but loved being around the former.)

Until September 11, 2001, the most people in New York City who had died in one day was 1,019, due to the _________________ on the ship called The SS General Slocum. Nobody knows how the fire started, but it spread quickly causing such a huge death toll. 

answers are below:



Friday, November 22, 2013

Check your higher-level English vocabulary - 6 good words

to appease s/o - to try to satisfy or make someone happy
to deride s/o - to make fun of someone, to mock someone, to ridicule someone
fastidious - to be very detail oriented
to impede - to stop someone's progress
a recluse - a hermit, someone who lives alone, someone who seeks solitude
a virtuoso - someone who has an amazing skill at something (like a musical instrument)

1)  Paganini is considered to have been one of the greatest violin _______________ in history. He was so great that some people rumored that he had sold his soul to the devil to gain his super-human skills.

Someone playing one of Paganini's more famous pieces:

2)  Bob is the most ______________ dresser I have ever met.  His clothing has to look perfect before he goes out.  His shoes must be polished and there can't be one wrinkle in his suit.

3) Mitt Romney was often _______________ during the last presidential campaign because he was so rich and did not seem to understand how poorer people lived. Someone even made a video called: Romney Style (based on Gangnam Style).

Be careful there are 'dirty' or 'curse' words in this video:

4) Even if a customer is wrong, it is sometimes better to ______________ him/her than to argue with him/her.

5) Republican politicians and businessmen in New York City are worried that the new mayor's plan to increase taxes might _______________ economic development.

6)  One of America's most famous ____________ was Howard Hughes.  After becoming a successful airplane engineer and Hollywood producer, he seemed to disappear into a Las Vegas hotel room for the last several years of his life.

answers are below:


1) virtuosi or virtuosos 
2) fastidious
3) derided
4) appease
5) impede
6) recluses

A very cruel game played by some (black?) teenagers in the USA

America is a huge and diverse country and sometimes we hear about very strange things that happen in the cities here.  These days it seems that some teenagers in many cities are playing a terrible game called "knockout."  Some of the newspapers in America have stated that 'black' or African American teenagers are primarily playing this game, although an Arabic teen was arrested recently in Brooklyn for doing this.

What does 'knockout' mean?  If two men are boxing and one hits the other one hard enough, he can knock him out. Here is an example of a knockout.

So how has this become a game for teenagers?

Basically a small group of teenagers will walk down the street looking for someone who is 1) old or 2) white/Jewish or 3) Asian.  One of the guys in the group will then walk up to the person and hit him/her as hard as he can.  The goal of the 'game' is to knock the person out with one punch. 

In New York it looks as if some black teenagers have been targeting Orthodox Jews. There are 3 types of Jewish folks in America: 1) Orthodox, 2) Conservative and 3) Reform.  It is easy to spot or see an Orthodox Jewish man because he will always wear his yarmulka (pronounced yah MUH kuh):

So several Orthodox Jewish men have been attacked in a part of Brooklyn that is half black and half Orthodox Jewish.  But this 'game' has been played in a few other American cities and not just Orthodox men are targeted.

Here is an article about this 'game':

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

a sucker punch - this is when one person hits another person, but the person who gets hit doesn't know he is going to get hit.  A punch is when someone makes a fist and hits another person. The word 'sucker' kind of means the same thing as 'loser' or 'victim.'

A fist:

an assault - an attack, a violent attack

a trend - something that is happening more and more often

fatal - deadly

assailant - attacker, aggressive person wishing to cause harm to another person

onlookers - people watching

a rash of s/t - a bunch of something, a lot of something

cowardly - to be cowardly is the opposite of being brave; they say these attacks are cowardly because the person getting hit doesn't even know he/she will be hit - the person who is attacking is a coward who will not fight fairly

mean-spirited - malicious, wishing to cause harm

the craze - the trend

a slap is a bit weaker than a punch. A slap occurs with an open hand and not a fist.

to deploy - to place into the public, to post

to stiffen penalties - to make the punishment more severe

a sick game - a disgusting game played by people who are not mentally healthy

twisted - not good, wrong, not right, psychologically ill

a thug - a criminal, a person who likes hurting others

preying on - attacking

bystanders - people minding their own business

Monday, November 18, 2013

Test your English vocab! 5 words...

a criterion - a standard by which to measure something
fallacious - false
a hedonist - someone who lives for pleasure
a skeptic - someone who needs proof before he/she believes anything
adversity - difficult or trying times

Although the new theory as to how life began on earth sounds nice, I remain a ___________ because there has yet to be any hard proof or sound experiments to verify the theory.

Frans Hals is one of my favorite painters and he was certainly no ascetic. Indeed, if anything he was a ____________ who loved the pleasures of life.

Many academic experts do not believe that a student should be admitted to a university based on just one test. There should be more than one _____________ by which to determine college admission.

I like this philosophical question: Are you ethical or were you lucky?  The question implies that people who are 'good' are people who have often not experienced much _______________.  It implies that if you have not experienced difficult times, you have not truly been tested and you are 'lucky' and not 'good' or ethical.

To say that I can't prove that fairies do not exist, and therefore they may exist, is a _________________ argument.  You can't prove a 'negative'.

answers are below:



Paintings by Hals!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Test your vocabulary with these 5 (high-level) English words

1. ascetic - to avoid pleasure, to live a simple life in which one does not pursue physical comfort (this word can be a noun or adjective)
2. to embellish s/t - to add extra details to make something sound or look better
3. ominous - threatening, scary
4. a reprimand - this is an official statement that a person has violated a rule, it's a verbal or written statement that someone has done something wrong
5. to temper s/t - to lessen s/t, to decrease a possible response, to make something less severe

(s/t = something)

1.  If you work with the public, it is a good skill to know how to __________ your anger. You are always going to have to deal with people who will be nasty and unreasonable, but you do not have to respond in a negative way.

2.  Jackie Robinson was the first African American athlete to play in Major League Baseball.  Many racists opposed his inclusion into "white" baseball.  Robinson received many ____________ letters which threatened to harm or kill him, but thankfully nothing that terrible ever happened.

3.  What you heard from Joe was partly true.  But remember, Joe likes to _______________ his stories so some of what he said was just made-up to make you laugh.

4.  Although Congressman Charles Rangle had engaged in various types of misconduct, the US Congress merely issued him a _________________. There was no real punishment.

5.  In many religions, religious leaders are expected to live an ____________ life style.  The ability to refrain from seeking comfort and pleasure seems to indicate the person is somehow closer to God.

answers below:


1. temper
2. ominous
3. embellish
4. reprimand
5. ascetic

The president of the Philippines criticizes local officials and blames them for unnecessary deaths

As everyone knows, a typhoon recently caused the deaths of thousands of Filipinos. The world is now responding by providing food and medicine as well as funds to help rebuild some towns which were destroyed. About 500,000 Filipinos remain homeless due to the typhoon.

The president of the Philippines, however, seems to be criticizing some local officials for not evacuating (moving people out) coastal towns effectively enough.  He seems to be claiming that the government officials in the coastal towns should have been better prepared.

The article:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

to scramble for aid - in this case scramble means to fight for or struggle for 'aid' (supplies meant to help); scramble could mean 'compete for' in this case too

devastation - in this case devastation means complete destruction

in contrast to other towns - the officials in the town he visited acted properly or as they should have, this was in contrast to (different from) how other officials in other towns where more people died acted

a mass - a church service

an impact - an effect

relief - in this case to provide relief means to provide supplies and help

to urge - to encourage

to double our efforts - to work twice as hard and twice as quickly

blissful - happy

relief efforts continued to build - continued to increase

to be mobbed - to be overwhelmed by people; to have too many people fighting for the supplies

remote - far away, hard to reach

to despatch aid - to dispatch aid, send aid (this article is written by someone who learned English from England.  We spell this word: dispatch, just as we use: criticize, not criticise.

unleashing massive waves - causing huge waves

a peak danger period - the worst danger period

10 useful high-level words and a quiz :)

1. innocuous - harmless, not bothering anyone
2. miserly - cheap, parsimonious
3. nonchalant - easy going, not in a hurry, casual, very relaxed
4. ostentatious - very flamboyant, showy, deliberately showy to draw attention
5. a quandary - a dilemma, being unable decide what to do next (to be in a quandary)
6. to repudiate something - to turn away from something, to refuse to be associated with something
7. surreptitiously - secretly, in a sneaky way
8. trite - an expression which is used too commonly, a cliche
9. to venerate - to respect highly, to worship
10. a zealot - someone who is extraordinarily passionate about something (usually a cause)

1.  I'm in a bit of a _______________. I am not sure whether to go to graduate school or take this new job. 

2.  As a young man the politician had belonged to a club that did not allow women members.  He, of course, _________________ his membership in that club and stated it was a youthful mistake.

3.  Foreigners have to realize that in Thailand they do not just respect their king, they _______________ him and a person can be thrown in jail for showing disrespect to the Thai king.

4.  The security guard threw the homeless man out of the public library because he had been sleeping.  I felt that this was wrong - the homeless guy was ____________________; he wasn't really bothering anyone.

5.  One of the reasons Americans have turned against the Tea Party is that members of that political party often seemed to act like ________________.  They were very emotional, aggressive and passionate in expressing their hatred for Obama and for liberal government policies.

6.  Bob is getting married and I want to write something meaningful on the card I am going to give him.  Can you help me think of something that won't sound ______________?  I don't want to write, "Congratulations on your marriage!" or "Best of luck in the coming years!"  Those expressions have been used too many times before.

7.  Our boss is OK but his big problem is that he seems to be a bit ________________. He tries to save money in regard to everything we do and this makes it hard to operate effectively.

8.  The American people were shocked to learn that their president, Bill Clinton, had been ___________________ seeing and having an affair with one of his interns in the 1990s.  He was married but secretly pursuing this affair.

9.  The attitude of some clerks at coffee houses really bothers me.  In the morning I am always in a hurry and need to get my cup of coffee quickly.  But the clerks are often quite ____________________ and they take their sweet time.

10.  I am getting sick of seeing all the women in New York walking around with these big __________________ Louis Vuitton bags.  Oh my God!  Whom are they trying to impress!?  I don't care whether a woman owns such a bag.

answers are below:


1. quandary
2. repudiated
3. venerate
4. innocuous
5. zealots
6. trite
7. miserly
8. surreptitiously
9. nonchalant
10. ostentatious

Concerning the interracial marriage of New York's new mayor

A mayor is the leader of a city in America.  A governor is the leader of a state (there are 50 states in the USA).

The person who was voted to become New York's new mayor is a white guy and several years ago he married a black woman.  This is called an interracial marriage.  Actually, interracial marriages between Asians and whites is not uncommon, but interracial marriages between black and white folks still is a bit uncommon.  Obama was the result of an interracial marriage.

So here is an article that looks at the fact that the next mayor is married to a black woman.

Actually, the fact that he was married to a black woman *helped* him in this election. Because New York City is so racially and ethnically diverse (there are so many different types of people here), we saw an example of what is called "identity politics" in the last election.  Politicians ran for mayor because they felt their racial or ethnic 'identity' would help them.  (What's the difference between race and ethnicity?  If you were born in Japan your race is Asian and your ethnicity is Japanese. I am considered white (race) and German-American (ethnicity)...even though I was born in the USA, my ancestors came from Germany.)

For instance, John Liu is Asian, so he thought all the Asians in New York would vote for him.  Bill Thompson is black, so he thought he'd get the black vote.  Anthony Weiner is Jewish and expected Jewish people to vote for him.  Christine Quinn is lesbian and she expected to receive the votes of all the gay people in New York. Bill de Blasio (the guy who won) is white, so nobody expected him to win (there are fewer white people in New York than any other racial/ethnic group).  But, because his wife was black, he did many TV commercials with his black wife and mixed-race children and he won.  It was later revealed that most white people and black women in New York City voted for de Blasio, while most black men voted for Bill Thompson.

So the article seems to claim that this election shows that racial issues in America are getting better. The article claims that de Blasio's victory shows that people are becoming more open-minded.  No, not exactly.  This recent election shows that identity politics is strong in the USA (which is a type of racism) and that politicians can use their race and ethnicity (and nothing else) to get votes.

The article:

Definitions of difficult vocabulary words from the article:

to shatter something - to break it, like shattering glass. To shatter an image means to break or destroy a belief or concept people had

a milestone - an event which shows that progress is being made. If you pass a milestone it shows that you have moved beyond something

a spouse - the person you are married to

striking a deep chord - this means the event is very meaningful, very important, of great significance. To strike a chord, literally, means to play a note of music.  If you play the guitar, you create chords of music buy placing your fingers in different positions on the fret of the guitar.

embracing - accepting

unions of white men and black women have retained a forbidden aura - an aura is a feeling or atmosphere.  According to this journalist, to this day many people seem to feel there is something 'wrong' about a white man marrying a black woman.

slavery and Jim Crow - 'Jim Crow' laws were created in the southern USA to stop black people from having any rights or political power.  A crow is a black bird and apparently in the south they sometimes used the name Jim Crow to refer to black people.

a taboo - a taboo act is something you can't do because your society says you can't do it; it is something considered to be very wrong

a deterrent - this is an action taken to harm someone in order to stop someone else from doing something.  If a person steals something and he is punished, this is a deterrent to other people to stop them from stealing. The person in this article seems to be saying that in the past if a white man married a black woman he was criticized and this became a deterrent to other men marrying black women.

a pool of eligible black men shrunk by unemployment and incarceration - a pool of eligible black men is the overall group of black men from which black women can choose.  It is shrinking because many black men do not work or are in jail. Incarceration means to be in jail.  So black women have a hard time finding black men to marry according to this article.

littered with troubled tales - litter means garbage. If a story is 'littered' with something, there are aspects of the story that are dirty or nasty or bad.  Basically the writer is saying that there have been many bad stories of interracial relationships - for instance, Thomas Jefferson, a US president, apparently had sex with his black female slaves.

matrimonial script - the usual way things are done when people get married; when the author says this script got flipped, he/she means the story was reversed or changed

to fester - to get worse and worse

confirmation - when you believe something and then you discover what you believed was absolutely right

a repercussion - a negative consequence

resonance - here this word means 'good feeling,' if something resonates it makes a nice sound

an affirmation - if something is affirmed people say it is a good thing; it is as if you are saying 'yes' to something.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

3 nouns and 4 adjectives ---> Test your vocabulary (higher-level words)

1. an analgesic - a drug that eliminates pain
2. to be absolved of something - to be made clean or pure, to be determined innocent
3. a harbinger - something that happens which indicates something else will happen
4. punitive - something done to punish someone
5. inveterate - you usually hear this adjective with 'liar' (an inveterate liar); someone is an inveterate liar if he always lies; if you are inveterate in regard to something, you can't help yourself, you have to do it: an inveterate alcoholic
6. meticulous - very detail oriented
7. apathy - a lack of concern

The economic reports of the past few months have shown high unemployment trends. Economists fear this may be a ______________ of another economic recession (severe downturn). 

Progressive educators tend to steer clear of various ______________ measures in their classrooms.  They try to be positive and provide rewards for good behavior instead of punishments for bad behavior.

The president of the company turned out to be an ______________ liar. Everything he ahd said over the past three years had been false.

Anthony Weiner, an American politician who resigned from his congressional position due to a personal scandal, claimed that he had sought psychological counseling and felt he was now ________________ of all of his previous questionable activities. However, when he was running for a new political office, new scandals emerged, showing he had not truly cleansed himself of his former demons. 

Toshiro was in the USA to set up a Japanese branch of the company he worked for. he needed American assistants but was afraid they would not be as ______________ as his Japanese assistants.  He needed people truly dedicated to details.  He was pleasantly surprised to find such assistants here in America as well.

In the last mayoral election in New York City, only 24% of eligible New Yorkers voted. This is probably due to _______________.  Most people simply do not care who the mayor is since they do not think most politicians are honest and they do not think any mayor can really change anything for the better.   

Sun-ae told me that I should avoid taking any type of ________________ for my back pain.  She said it removes the pain but not the ultimate cause of the pain.  But I have discovered that after I take that type of pill my back feels better for weeks.

answers are below:



Yes, I caused this scandal :)

Is Europe at risk of a new polio outbreak?

Polio is caused by a virus.  Basically infections are caused by either bacteria or viruses. These are little cells that get into the body and cause damage. 

A virus cell (from

It is easier to eliminate bacterial infections from the body.  Antibiotics help to kill bacterial infections in the human body. Viral infections are nearly impossible to destroy. AIDS, for instance, is caused by a virus.

Polio is a strange disease.  Interestingly, in very poor and underdeveloped countries, children who play outside often become exposed to the virus at an age when they can develop immunity to it. Immunity means that once you are exposed to the virus, you can never catch it again.  So there is a period of time - in childhood - when a child can 'catch' the virus and the virus actually creates immunity.  The virus not only doesn't hurt the child, it protects the child from ever getting the disease.

However, if you are not inoculated against the polio virus (given a shot by a doctor to give you immunity) or you are not exposed to the virus at a young age, you can catch the polio virus when you are older and either suffer paralysis (you might become paralyzed - unable to walk or move parts of your body) or you might even die.  A US president caught polio when he was older and was not able to walk (Franklin Roosevelt).

Polio has been eliminated (through vaccines - medicine the doctor gives through a shot) in almost all countries of the world.  Unfortunately, the virus will always exist and it looks as if Europe is in danger of a polio outbreak (a sudden spread of polio).

Here is the article:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

an outbreak - when a disease begins in a country and starts to spread

to be at risk of something - if someone is at risk of something, there is a strong possibility the person will suffer from that thing or experience that thing.  In the winter you are at greater risk of catching a cold or the flu.

refugees - people who are leaving Syria, due to the war,  in order to save their lives

to flee - to escape, to run away

devastating - horrible, shocking, terrible

a civil war - a war fought by people within one country

a vaccination - in the photo in the article you can see kids getting drops of something in their mouths.  This seems to be the polio vaccine which will make them immune to the disease.  So I do not think a person has to get the polio vaccine through a shot - it can be taken orally (through the mouth).

the type of immunization used.... - it seems that the vaccine given to Europeans is not good enough.  If a person is exposed to the disease for a long period, the person may still get polio even though he/she recieved the vaccine.

prolonged - extended, for a long time

sustained - continued over a long period of time

two German experts has warned - two German experts have warned.

fatal - deadly

paralysis - when you can't move parts of your body. The virus attacks nerve cells.  Once it destroys a nerve cell, the body can't repair that cell.

the vast majority those infected - the vast majority of those infected (they have grammar mistakes in this article)

a symptom - something a person feels or shows that indicates a person has a disease

insufficient - not good enough

comprehensive - more complete, more thorough, more far-reaching

jab - a doctor's shot.  So Europeans, like Americans, get a shot which not only protects a person from polio, but a few other diseases

to trigger - to cause

unrecognized - without even knowing it

oral polio vaccination - this is the most effective way to kill the polio bug but there's just one big problem: it sometimes causes a person to become paralyzed.  So Europe stopped this method of vaccination.

a stockpile - a collection

screening of sewage for the polio virus - screening means monitoring or testing; sewage - when you flush your toilet, the stuff from your toilet  goes into the sewer system.  This is sewage.  Sewage is, basically, human waste material.  The polio virus comes from solid, human waste material that gets into drinking water.

pestilence - disease

famine - hunger and starvation

conflict inevitable disrupts - conflict means war in this case, inevitable means it will war will always disrupt or stop doctors from vaccinating children

eradicated - eliminated, destroyed

to mutate - change