27 April, 2013

Quick Catch-up

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.
Quite lovely.

 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.

Tim and Charlie were glad to see me.
I am glad to be home.


Chris Hunter said...

I love your haikus, but 'Quick Catch-up' was much more expressive and gave me a deeper feel for your perceptions & perspective-- thanks for blogging!

Valerie said...

Have you read about the new global health initiative to eradicate polio completely? There are only around 300 remaining cases in the world but the long term consequences of eradication are enormous just as the eradication of small pox was. I will look for the article. Plus Andrea tried to use "salk" as a word in one of our recent Scrabble games which provoked a short discussion of lining up at Corpus Christi school for the vaccine when it came out. I also remember the pool at Oleson Park was closed as a part of a polio outbreak in FD.

ilona said...

Chris - Thanks! glad you're enjoying my efforts.

Valerie - I don't remember the pool incident but I'll take a look for the eradicate polio info- thanks.