Polio Epidemics and Pandemics

jerry old

redneck, but brainy
Many of us are old enough to remember polio: infants and kids were the targets of choice.

I certainly remember my parent's being meanies, not letting me play with the other kids in the spring or summer.
Kids were supposed to avoid gatherings.

Many parents would take turns keeping the kids as separate as possible.

As kids, what did we know, we buried our first social distancing somewhere in our pasts, though it was an annual event.

Funny, don't remember any social distancing in the school yards?
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Tonight PBS ran an hour of the 1918 Spanish influenza- the draft for WW I had just hit high gear, young men were housed in very crowded rooms and long lines.

Influenza killed the troop in Europe; young men on crowded troop ships-dying of influenza before they got to the battlefield.

Industry ramped up to provide armament, in crowed industrial plants

Our species has limited memories, or maybe we don't want to remember.
 

oldman

Well-known Member
Location
PA
I don't remember much about being afraid of getting polio. I think I had my first injection of the vaccine when I was in third grade. What I remember more was when I was in the Boy Scouts and one of my closest friends died from Spinal Meningitis.

Because all of us scouts that had interacted with him and attended the meeting before he died, we had to be injected with Gamma Globulin injections. I remember that they really hurt.
 
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ancientmariner

New Member
Contracted polio in 1953. Remember it like a really bad case of the flu. I was spending a week at my cousins, my father came to pick me up in his 40's Buick. Felt every bump in the road. Mine affected my lower back and legs. I recovered somewhat. I was able to play baseball, football and threw the shot put in HS. Joined the military service in 63. Non-combat veteran, 4 years.

Back problems have and still hinder me. I was always the slowest runner on the team but I was good enough to play. All my friends and family were blood tested for years afterward until my father put a stop to it. Later the conspiracy theorists claimed the government had given many children mild cases of polio to spur the FDA into rushing the vaccine approval. Later I was contacted by a nurse representing a study group trying to tie it together, said I wasn’t interested, never heard anymore.
 

Liberty

Senior Member
Location
Texas
My mom thought I had polio when, after having been in quarantine for 9 months I couldn't walk. The doctor told her "she doesn't have polio, she just can't walk because she's been in bed for 9 months." I'm sure my mother was sth most relieved mom in the state of Ohio!
 

Aneeda72

Senior Member
I remember we were not allowed to play in the water-especially puddles after the rain. We got vaccinated at an open air mall. Stood in a long line of people for a few hours.
 

Em in Ohio

Senior Member
Location
OH HI OH
Such interesting stories - I was raised much differently (My mother evidently hated me from birth) - If anyone was sick with any childhood illness, she would purposely invite them over to play so that I would get the illness over with. When I was bedridden for many months due to a kidney problem and too weak to walk, she thought I was lazy - stopped helping me to the bathroom (that didn't work out well for her), and after rains, she would pretty much insist that I go out and play in puddles and make mud pies. Wow... I had no idea how it should have been. /-;
 

Em in Ohio

Senior Member
Location
OH HI OH
Contracted polio in 1953. Remember it like a really bad case of the flu. I was spending a week at my cousins, my father came to pick me up in his 40's Buick. Felt every bump in the road. Mine affected my lower back and legs. I recovered somewhat. I was able to play baseball, football and threw the shot put in HS. Joined the military service in 63. Non-combat veteran, 4 years.

Back problems have and still hinder me. I was always the slowest runner on the team but I was good enough to play. All my friends and family were blood tested for years afterward until my father put a stop to it. Later the conspiracy theorists claimed the government had given many children mild cases of polio to spur the FDA into rushing the vaccine approval. Later I was contacted by a nurse representing a study group trying to tie it together, said I wasn’t interested, never heard anymore.
I'm glad you made a good come-back. My first college friend was wheelchair-bound from polio.
 

Em in Ohio

Senior Member
Location
OH HI OH
Many of us are old enough to remember polio: infants and kids were the targets of choice.

I certainly remember my parent's being meanies, not letting me play with the other kids in the spring or summer.
Kids were supposed to avoid gatherings.

Many parents would take turns keeping the kids as separate as possible.

As kids, what did we know, we buried our first social distancing somewhere in our pasts, though it was an annual event.

Funny, don't remember any social distancing in the school yards?
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tonight PBS ran an hour of the 1918 Spanish influenza- the draft for WW I had just hit high gear, young men were housed in very crowded rooms and long lines.

Influenza killed the troop in Europe; young men on crowded troop ships-dying of influenza before they got to the battlefield.

Industry ramped up to provide armament, in crowed industrial plants

Our species has limited memories, or maybe we don't want to remember.
The USS Roosevelt has many cases of Covid-19 and they are off the coast of Guam. How awful it must be for their families to have them on-board with no way to distance themselves, so far from home.
 

Aneeda72

Senior Member
The USS Roosevelt has many cases of Covid-19 and they are off the coast of Guam. How awful it must be for their families to have them on-board with no way to distance themselves, so far from home.
I think they have docked now and are getting the sick off the ship, although I should think everyone has to get off and the ship has to be cleaned or empty for a few days while the virus dies off. There are also several cruise ships off the Florida coast trying to dock.
 

Aneeda72

Senior Member
Such interesting stories - I was raised much differently (My mother evidently hated me from birth) - If anyone was sick with any childhood illness, she would purposely invite them over to play so that I would get the illness over with. When I was bedridden for many months due to a kidney problem and too weak to walk, she thought I was lazy - stopped helping me to the bathroom (that didn't work out well for her), and after rains, she would pretty much insist that I go out and play in puddles and make mud pies. Wow... I had no idea how it should have been. /-;
My mother didn’t want me either (you can read my diary, if you want, so you know I am not just saying this.). However, it was common practice to expose your children to childhood diseases in the 40’s, 50’s, and early 60’s.

She probably did it for the reasons you stated, but it might explain why the other parents, who presumably loved their children, let them come play with you.
 

Em in Ohio

Senior Member
Location
OH HI OH
My mother didn’t want me either (you can read my diary, if you want, so you know I am not just saying this.). However, it was common practice to expose your children to childhood diseases in the 40’s, 50’s, and early 60’s.

She probably did it for the reasons you stated, but it might explain why the other parents, who presumably loved their children, let them come play with you.
I believe you. (Started to write details, but it was going off topic)... I don't know where diaries are - probably a separate forum, I would guess. I'll check into it later.
 

Rosemarie

Senior Member
Location
England
I remember we were not allowed to play in the water-especially puddles after the rain. We got vaccinated at an open air mall. Stood in a long line of people for a few hours.
Yes, I remember it seemed to be associated with water. All swimming pools were closed and people were advised not to swim in the sea.
 

oldman

Well-known Member
Location
PA
It’s been 35 years ago now that my friend became a paraplegic. Long story short, he was riding his motorcycle when a pickup truck hit him and the impact threw him into a steel light pole, crushing his spine. He laid there in a hospital bed at home for 20 years until he got pneumonia and passed away. Tragic, to say the least. A great guy that was super smart and had a beautiful girlfriend. He had planned on attending Penn State and then Med school. He wanted to be a doctor.

The doctors told him about a week after the accident that he would never walk again. He said he would. As the years went by, I could tell that he kind of gave up a little more each year. After he had been lying in bed for maybe five years, he told me that he was praying for the Lord to take him home.
 

jerry old

redneck, but brainy
Original Poster
March of Dimes, had forgotten, it was a big deal, not so much
for prevention of polio; rather status-had to turn cards into teacher, those with few dimes teased
 

Llynn

Non-ranked Constituent
I well remember the polio epedemic. I lived in the country and we had no swimming pools to worry about as we swam in a creek. Pre vaccine we were told to not get everheated when playing at recess and to wash our hands several times a day. The media of the day didn't try to build circulation by publishing scare stories.

When the Saulk vaccine came out, we got it right away and everyone calmed down. Life in my logging camp home went on pretty normally during the whole deal. Money was solicited at store counters using red plastic containers shaped like iron lungs.
 

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