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Carol Perkins: Leading the Horse

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By Carol Perkins

The ongoing discussion about the Covid shot has reminded me of the days when the health department nurse came to school and we lined up for shots. Refusing wasn't a choice. It was all I could do to keep from scratching my arm or pulling off the scab as it healed. Guy recalls that his classmates didn't know when the nurse was coming, and when they saw her, they all wanted to run out the door! Thankfully, our kids and grandkids don't know about smallpox.

My mother has talked about the polio epidemic and how it crippled so many people-some in our own community. When the vaccination became available, the population rushed to take the shot. No one in her circle questioned what was in it; they had seen the destruction it brought and wanted to avoid the risk. My mother had a light case of it and even now, she feels it has had a lasting impact.

When our babies were born, it was imperative they have their vaccinations. When school started, parents had to show proof their children were vaccinated or they couldn't enter. For many years when I was teaching, I had to show proof that I had taken the TB skin test. We owe scientists like Jonas Salk (for polio), Edward Jenner (who discovered the first vaccine in history) for smallpox, and Alexandra Fleming for the discovery of penicillin, to name a few, abundant gratitude for the millions of lives they saved.

The idea behind vaccinations, of course, is to prevent rather than cure. I can only hope that the few in my family who have not taken the shot will reconsider. In a conversation with one of them, I told him I was no longer going to force my will upon him (a lie), but he might consider making a "will" just in case because unvaccinated young people were at high risk. Maybe that will give him pause; however, "You can lead a horse to water but...."

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This story was posted on 2021-08-28 20:31:06
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