Not, so very long ago, in a land not so far away, our people were dying or becoming horribly incapacitated, for one reason and one reason alone – COMMUNICABLE DISEASES. Just when all seemed lost and we had sadly resigned ourselves to the inevitability and certainty of our children and adults always being prey to these horrible health scourges, our brilliant Doctors came up with a solution – VACCINATION. This wonderful solution actually worked and we, as a species, were able to reduce and in some cases wipe out the terrible, terrible suffering caused by things such as Polio, Whooping Cough, Scarlet Fever, Measles, Diphtheria and a whole host of other diseases that regularly scourged our Society – HALLELUJAH!
As time passes, memories fade and we see people starting to question the need and the veracity of childhood vaccination. I want to use today’s blog to try and remind today’s generation just how horrific life with these diseases really was. Anyone over seventy can probably recall what happened back before the freedom of childhood vaccinations. I’m here to remind you and yes, to scare you just a little bit. This is that IMPORTANT. Nobody would dispute that very rarely, there are some side effects from vaccination, but trust me, the alternatives are much, much worse, for us, as a society as a whole.
I am seventy and my husband is seventy-six. I'm glad that I never had diphtheria, which almost claimed my mother at twenty, or polio, which made many of my school friends’ lives a misery. Even as a child I knew so many adults who were grieving terribly, having lost all their children to diseases that are now preventable today.
Let me tell you the history of communicable diseases in just my family alone and hopefully, that will enlighten you as to the absolute burden and horror parents, less than a century ago, were facing. Before I was born there was a niece, Kathryn, who died at seven days old from a childhood infectious disease that's now preventable. Then along came healthy baby Michelle, but she died at seven months- old from a childhood infectious disease, that's now preventable. The third child, the most adored and almost worshiped by the family, talented musician, was loved by everyone. She died within twenty-four hours of contracting an infectious disease, that's now preventable, on her seventh birthday.
Back then, mothers had six children, in the hope of raising one to adult life. I almost didn't survive the childhood minefield, nor did one of the other three out of the six who did not die from a preventable disease, for which we now have vaccines. Oh, and not forgetting my Grandfather who managed to survive fighting in The First World War only to die from an infectious disease at the ripe old age of twenty-eight, after he arrived home from the war.
Hope, by Ryn Shell is an inspirational short story of survival from the minefield of childhood.