I have a slightly different perspective on the coronavirus than most folks alive today. I grew up in the 1930s and 40s, when our nation, as well as the world, was fighting another virus. The polio virus was a constant companion in the summers.
The presence of the polio virus was very evident as we saw countless people, actually many children, taken from an active life and anchored to an “iron lung” in order to survive. The disease prevailed in the summer as the colder weather seemed to drive it away until the next summer rolled around. Hospital rooms and corridors were often filled with patients.
I was in elementary school but faced it rather casually, much different than did my parents. They knew of individuals who were suffering from polio, a very crippling disease. In fact, our President Roosevelt was a victim, who we seldom saw in his crippling state.
We kids were not allowed to go to the city pool or parks. Movies, our Saturday afternoon Western, serial and comedies, were cut off. When the circus came to town, we could not go. Neither could we go to the county fair. Any groups of people were discouraged.
It was thought that fresh air might help prevent contagion, so we slept outside frequently on a covered porch. My mother “screened” my playmates for sniffles, colds, temperature or other signs that might be indications of trouble.
This was just the way we lived, with no end in sight. We lived this way until 1955, when the polio vaccine was invented by Jonas Salk. The rest is history. No more polio.
We can only hope that very soon a vaccine will be found for the coronavirus so this nightmare, too, will end.
Duane A. Rasmussen Laguna Vista