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Vaccinations do end dread diseases
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Vaccinations do end dread diseases

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Thank you SO-O-O-O much for Steven Doyle’s recent column (“Spread your germy views in private,” Aug. 29). Incredulous, idiotic, incomprehensible and unkind are just a few adjectives I can think of to describes the views of people who refuse to be immunized and/or wear masks. They are not bad people, for we are all children of God who sin daily and need to plead for God’s forgiveness.

My wife and I are both immuno-compromised by virtue of age and certain medications. We have maintained a relatively quarantined lifestyle ever since mid-March, when our ER nurse/daughter revealed that she had been exposed but had no symptoms when her family had visited several days earlier.

Subsequently, we received our Moderna vaccinations when they became available a few weeks later. No bad reactions—just some local muscle soreness relieved by cold-packs applied almost immediately after being injected. The second booster was joyfully received four weeks later at Sovah Health, where we were wonderfully treated.

My first quarantine was at the age of 6 years at a boarding school in South India, where my parents were Lutheran missionaries. The disease was chickenpox. Two years later I contracted diphtheria that required hospitalization at an English hospital 40 miles from home because I had the laryngeal form.

If the diphtheretic membrane which forms had loosened while coughing, it could have blocked the opening to my trachea and required an emergency tracheostomy. Mom stayed with me two weeks, while Pop and my younger brother suffered from the nasal form at home.

Many other forms of contagious diseases were all around us: leprosy, smallpox, whooping cough, tetanus, amebic dysentery and many others.

We did not experience the dread of poliomyelitis until we were back in the USA. Every summer when it became hot like today, the public swimming pool was the only relief for outdoor activity. Because this was discovered to be a prime source for spreading the virus, all pools were closed.

President Franklin Roosevelt was confined to a wheelchair because of polio affecting his lower spinal cord. If your upper spinal cord was affected, you spent the rest of your life in an “iron lung.” It breathed for you by increasing the pressure within a huge metal tube provided with “porthole windows” to see in or out.

Plugged into an electrical circuit, a huge bellows-like devise sucked in outside “good” air and then increased the pressure within the tube to squeeze out the “bad” air from the patient’s chest. A mechanical form of artificial respiration. If the electrical circuit was broken, an alarm sounded, and manual pumping was performed 20 times per minute.

I had to do that on one occasion when the patient was being transferred to a different hospital. His mentality and/or life were literally in my hands for almost one hour.

But we no more dread this now. Why? Because of vaccinations.

When I hear complaints about masking or getting immunized against COVID-19 today, I ask folks, “Have you heard of anybody in Danville getting polio, smallpox, diphtheria, whooping cough, or tetanus recently?” So far, the answer is No.

“How about COVID-19?” The answer is “yes.” Always!

Immunizations work, folks! Moderna is 96% effective! Now you can go to Walgreens or CVS drugstores to be tested and/or immunized for free.

My heartfelt thanks to both of these companies, Sovah Health and all health care givers who are helping to end the pandemic.

Get on board, folks.

The writer is a medical doctor who lives in Danville.

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