Saturday, January 11, 2020

Know Fear --- know polio


FDR & the car:

 A high profile polio victim

Now this:
In my life I remember one disease that put fear in people’s mind even more than cancer does today. I believe because the majority of victims were children; and it would suddenly choose a victim, as simply as waking up, out of the blue, no warning, no cure, no one knew why!
Poliomyelitis has been around since the first epidemic in 1895. There was an endemic in NYC 1916 Franklin Delanor Roosevelt (FDR) was stricken in 1921 later to lead this country as president.

In over 60 years I have not seen a REAL FEAR of a disease or epidemic such as the one that ripped our part of the country in the 1940s. When the word POLIO was mentioned it struck fear in the hearts of millions. There were city-wide quarantines.
Some of you reading this can remember it. What did you think? How did you feel?
When Sherry and I discuss our blessings, Health always comes up. I asked her about Polio the other day. She said just the name had scared her when she was a kid. Back then I was not all that worried. But as we talked I learned why she was so afraid. Two kids she knew go hit. One died and one was crippled for life. Since I did not know anyone personally who contacted Polio it didn’t affect me as much.

Thousands of people lived in the new machine called the IRON LUNG the only body-part not in the machine was the head.

Later in life I met several people who had lived in the IRON LUNG or were crippled for life, most wore braces seeing them maneuver amazed me.

And then in 1947 an amazing man, Jonas Salk began research and delivered the vaccine in 1955. WOW that name went around the world. He was a Medical hero and still is today. In 2020 a few victims still live with the effects of Polio. God Bless ‘em.

Are we blessed, YES! 

Nite Shipslog  

PS: The disease of Polio is still alive and well in this world today, but not in force as before.                             

10 comments:

Chatty Crone said...

Well AIDS to me was and is a scary disease. Do you know polio can sort of come back to the person or affect them their whole life - I have two friends that is true for. Not sure how to explain it. It was a little before my time and I was given the vaccine at school on a sugar cube.

betty said...

My mom mentioned about the fear of polio. No swimming in public places, things like that (not sure you could catch polio like that but that was the fear at the time). Thankful that Jonas Salk did come up with a cure for it. I did type reports of people who did suffer from post polio syndrome as an adult, years after they had the actual disease.

betty

Dar said...

I graduated with a gal who had/has polio. She got around pretty fair back then but in the past 25 yrs. or so, she relies on a wheelchair and braces. I see her every summer at the flea market where she and her husband sell collapsing wooden stools. My grandloves have them for camping. Not much scares me but the word 'polio' did back then. Thank God for Jonas Salk.
love n' hugs from up in our chilly north but the sun shines bright

Mevely317 said...

I had no idea polio was still a 'thing'!
I don't recall ever having felt scared -- even when my dad took me to the New Mexico State Fair and there, as an exhibit was a little boy about my age in an iron lung. (An exhibit -- good grief!!!) I recall do lining up in grade school for what I presume were sugar-cube polio vaccines.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I remember waking up one day when I was 5 and couldn't move one of my legs when I ttried to get out of bed. . My mom and dad wrapped me in a blanket and rushed me to the hospital. The test for polio ws a spinal tap and I was diagnosed with a light case of polio. I was sent home and the doctor said my mom could treat me with applying hot towels and exercising my leg. I'll never forget those days of my mom applying hot towel after hot towel to my leg and exercising it back and forth. Thanks to her unflagging diligence, I recovered but missed half a year of kindergarten. I'm luckier than most were at that time. I recovered. I do remember seeing those iron lungs at the hospital and was very thankful I never had to be in one. When the vaccine came out I still had to take a dose . We all lined up in school to get it. The doctor said that just because I'd had it didn't mean I couldn't get it again. Hooray for Dr Salk and all the good he did. I can never thank him enough, knowing that it could have been much worse.

Glenda said...

Very thoughtful post, you are a fountain of information. great read Jack. Thank you, I remember being frightened of polio in the fifties as a child. It was a scary experience.

TARYTERRE said...

i too had to line up in school to take the vaccine on a sugar tube. then about ten years later, i had a home ec teacher who had polio and wore braces and used crutches. all of us kids saved rose petals for the little flower girl who was going to be in her wedding. she taught us alot of things. but the most important thing was to be tolerant and kind to those that are different due to a disability.

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