In all of my 73 years, I’ve never considered myself to be courageous. But lately, I’ve had to rethink that because of the present Covid-19 pandemic.
When I was a child I suffered from asthma, often landing in the hospital. I underwent testing for allergens to ascertain the correct treatment. This involved injecting substances such as ragweed, timothy, etc, under the skin and waiting to see if there was a reaction. If a hive formed at the injection site, I was allergic to that allergen. I had 25 injections in each arm. After lunch, I had 25 more in each arm. I was found to be allergic to several substances and subsequently had to have 5 shots a week to desensitize my body to these allergens. Eventually, the number of shots decreased as I build up immunity. From the time I was 5 years old to 14 years, I had to endure these shots, every week.
I had no idea what was in those injections and neither did my parents. They trusted my allergist and believed the shots would alleviate my constant suffering. And they did. I still had asthma attacks, but the severity slowly decreased and I didn’t end up in the hospital with each attack. It took a long time and a lot of faith in my doctors, but I finally could breathe better.
Asthma wasn’t the only illness I had to worry about when I was growing up. I was born in midst of the polio epidemic. I had no idea what polio was back then, but I remember seeing pictures of people in “iron lungs” and children with braces on their legs. This was what polio was to me. When I was 4 or 5 years old the polio vaccination became available and I got it. My parents didn’t have social media to study about the vaccine. They wanted to protect me, so they made me get the vaccination. I had no choice. They trusted the medical experts. I never got polio. Today, most people don’t even know what polio is.
Did I mention that I also went to school as a child? My parents didn’t just dress me up, give me pencils and paper, pack my lunch pail and send me off to school. They made sure that I would stay healthy while attending school. They didn’t have a choice. To attend school I had to be vaccinated against a series of diseases that ravaged children during my childhood. Even though some of these diseases were not fatal to everyone, they often caused permanent disabilities, as well as financial hardships. I was vaccinated against smallpox, tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis and I never got sick from either the vaccination or the disease.
Because I was accustomed to receiving frequent injections for my asthma, and later, hay fever, I didn’t think receiving vaccinations was a big deal. And my parents, as well as the parents of all of my classmates, didn’t give vaccinations a second thought. There were no school board discussions, no protests, no violence, no attacks on the healthcare professionals, no politicization of the vaccine requirements. Everyone wanted to protect their children and each other.
I can remember standing in line at school with my sleeve rolled up, to receive my vaccination. I don’t even remember any of my classmates screaming or crying. Do you want to know what else I don’t remember? I don’t remember any of my friends or classmate getting sick from the diseases we were protected from!
I find it very confusing to see the younger generation whining and acting like complete pussies because they are asked to wear a mask or get vaccinated. It’s upsetting to watch parents attack teachers and school board members who are trying to protect the children in their care. It’s amazing how some of these people, who probably just managed to pass high school biology suddenly become immunologists after attending Facebook University. Thank God they weren’t my parents!
Having made it to my 73rd birthday and hoping for many more, because my parents cared enough and were intelligent enough to have me vaccinated, I continue to take preventative measures to keep healthy. This includes getting a yearly flu vaccination, the Covid vaccinations, and others such as the shingles and pneumonia vaccinations. I’m not being brave. I’m not a superhero. I’m just smart. It’s time for all Americans to smarten up and grow up!
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