So many things running through my brain tonight but
I still need to write a poem so this will be quick.
Who am I kidding?
I'll natter on here for much longer than I ever intended...
It makes me wonder why I bother to attempt
these quick just-check-in-and-get-right-back-out posts...
Never works that way...
I returned, earlier this evening, from a couple days in FD.
My mom and sister had been planning a yard sale
and ( for a variety of reasons) I agreed to help.
So I made myself available, driving up on Thursday,
and returning home today.
That covered set-up to clean-up
and divvying the loot.
We managed to play a couple games of scrabble.
Crossed paths with old acquaintances.
Managed to stay warm in the mornings and then
- later in the day -
peeled off sweatshirts in the sun.
So on the drive the array of color was breathtaking.
I was entranced by the barest blush of color the trees were sporting.
It seems that everything is in bud right now
and it creates an almost fuzzy effect on the bare branches against the sky.
Not leaf green but, on many, a pinkish glow.
(For instance - the maples in our back yard have a deep burgundy bud case.)
And the weeping willows were a fluorescent yellow.
And the red-twig dogwoods along the fence lines were a treat to see.
So I'm driving and listening to Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio
The numbers are mind-blowing!!
10s of thousands every year for soooo many years!
They reported 40+000 cases in 1950.
That's (almost) in my lifetime.
What happened to the young victims who survived?
How long did they live? Are they still alive?
I asked my mother if there she knew area families
from her childhood that had dealt with polio.
She could think of two incidents.
Living on a farm she said "you just didn't hear much..."
The process of the medical research is riveting.
The prevailing methodology of the time was to use
live -but greatly weakened -
virus for most vaccines.
Salk had been successful in creating a "killed"
influenza vaccine for the Army
and wanted to bring that same approach to polio.
I can remember going
to the high school one night, as a kid,
to get a sugar cube with vaccine.
I learned today that means we ingested live virus. (unless the next few chapters explain that they found a way around that...)
I see much more reading about this in my near future.