While I am not old enough to remember the polio epidemic, I do have memories of its direct devastation.
My great aunt was stricken with polio while in her 20s and remained paralyzed for the remainder of her life. She would pass away when I was 4 years old but I have vivid images of her laying on the couch at her sister’s where she lived once polio took its effect.
Through my young eyes she seemed very old. I do remember her smiling and talking to me. It would be years later when I realized she was only in her 40s when she passed away.
If only the vaccine had been available a little sooner then my great aunt would have been spared such a tough life and fate. Her children were very young so it was fortunate she had family to help her with what became a life which turned into a daily struggle the likes of which I cannot imagine.
I’ve heard numerous stories about my great aunt from my mother. I can tell it is still tough for my mother to talk about, even decades later. Seeing a family member in that horrible of a condition had to be extremely tough.
Last year we were faced with yet another deadly virus which caused a waiting game for a vaccine to be manufactured and approved for us. In the meantime, thousands of Americans died. Americans are still dying from COVID-19. Similar to many of you, I have known people who have passed away from the virus.
What has been outright baffling is the reaction some people are having to COVID-19 and the vaccine which is now available. You see, we have so many people today who obtained their pretend medical degree from Facebook, Twitter and opinioned television and radio talk show hosts.
These “informed” people know all there is to know about medicine. They certainly know more than actual doctors and health workers. They have turned a health crisis into a pretend political one.
These so-called experts aren’t afraid to let you know they will never get vaccinated. They will never wear a mask. They have done so under the guise of “freedom,” but, in reality, it is the definition of stupidity.
Your freedom ends when it violates my freedom or, in this case, my right to be healthy and not obtain a virus which can certainly be deadly to anyone, especially those like myself with various medical issues.
Personally, I am not for a federal or state law which requires anyone to do anything. We should control our own bodies. However, one has to wonder if those in the anti-vaccine crowd put any faith in the medical field. Do they never go to a doctor? Do they never take any type of medicine, even over-the-counter brands?
It has become so ludicrous that you see heated arguments about wearing a mask. It’s become known as “mask shaming” and it has to be one of the most asinine things one can do.
At one of my work places, it is now required that employees wear a mask. That is the company policy. If I want to work there then I must follow that rule. Yet, at times, customers can be heard telling employees they are “dumb” for wearing a mask.
How did we end up on the current path we are on? When did people become experts in areas in which they truly know very little or anything about?
In talking with my mother recently I asked if there was any kind of negative outcry when the polio vaccine was finally available. She said it was the opposite. There was such relief that a vaccine for a deadly disease had been created. Compare that to what we have seen in 2020 and 2021.
With progress and the wisdom that comes from the passage of time, how have so many become an expert at being so down right ignorant?
Chris Bridges is a former sports editor for The Walton Tribune and The Covington News. He welcomes feedback about this column at email@example.com.