Scroll down for my Boston Glone lettter:
For those outides the firewall. This is what I said. They edited out the material in brackets.
Some 70 years ago when I was ten or eleven years old, I suffered from sinusitis. It was severe enough that I was in hospital for a few weeks in the winter at the Bristol (UK) Children’s Hospital. All I remember about the treatment was that at night, they bundled us up warmly and trundled our hospital beds on to an open balcony so we could get fresh air while we slept. [I do remember that the patients were cared for by rotating shifts of nurses from the West Indies; part of the Windrush diaspora that saved the expanding British National Health Service in its early years.]
During the day we were free to sit in bed, walk around our ward, and venture a little into nearby wards as long as they were not filled with infectious children.
Our ward was adjacent to the polio ward. Several kids were usually swinging around on their crutches making good time going from friend to friend. They were the lucky ones. Others, sicker, were propped up in their beds reading or listening to headphones. The sickest were cocooned in their iron lungs that wheezed while squeezing air into these critically ill kids to help them stay alive.
I always remember that the kids on crutches were awed that I could walk around without any help.
Within ten years, polio vaccinations eliminated this devastating disease from our lives.
Right now the COVID-19 vaccines are keeping this disease from further ravaging our society. They will only do so if all of us who can get vaccinated do get vaccinated. Any adverse reactions to the vaccine are miniscule compared with the suffering that one might experience if COVID-19 struck.
I will never forget how as a child, I saw polio stricken youngsters my age facing a life on crutches or in iron lungs, just like COVID-19 sufferers on ventilators are immobilized. That haunting memory made me set aside vaccination hesitation.