MY CAUTIONARY TALE: It was August 1954 in St. Paul, Minn., and it was hot, very hot. My friend’s mom felt sorry for us hot, sweaty kids and offered to take us to a wading pool to cool off. How many times do I remember my mom saying how she regretted letting us go.
In days my sister and I were sick, very sick: the most horrible headache and backache I had ever had, fever, and vomiting.
Our doctor told my mother, “I think they have it.” When I asked her what “it” was, she said that most fearsome word whispered in homes that summer: “POLIO”.
My sister and I were LUCKY – no hospitalization, no iron lungs, no permanent paralysis. But in another sense we were incredibly UNLUCKY, because we missed by just one year the rollout of the polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Sauk which would have prevented us and millions of others worldlike from getting sick as well as from the worry of post-polio syndrome.
Polio, small pox, diphtheria, and minor infections that turned deadly were the nightmares of previous generations – but no more. Why? Vaccines and antibiotics!
If you can be vaccinated but are hesitating, take my story to heart! Talk concerns over with your doctor, pharmacist, minister, friend. I was unlucky because I got polio before there was a vaccine. BUT YOU ARE LUCKY!—you can get a vaccine today to spare you from COVID and protect your family and community—please DON’T MAKE YOURSELF UNLUCKY!
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