Friday, April 12, 2024

ILLNESSES: Been there, survived that

| August 14, 2020 1:00 AM

I am old enough to remember the Depression of the 1930s. The United States was confronted with these contagious diseases: Smallpox, Polio, Measles, Chickenpox, Mumps, Diphtheria, Tuberculosis, Whooping Cough, and probably more that I’ve forgotten.

This list does make the point; all were seriously life-threatening! Caution was taken, but the USA and the world didn’t stop functioning. People with specific diseases were quarantined. By isolating diseased persons in the community, the unaffected people in community continued to function practically in a normal fashion. Homes where the disease existed were placed under quarantine. Fortunately, modern medicine research has brought these diseases under control.

My philosophy in life is to deal in facts and truth, not with cynicism and false fear. I am seriously suspicious of politics influencing the COVID-19 pandemic panic we have been experiencing. Fact, in my lifetime with the above diseases, plus the threat of normal winter flu seasons, we accepted the challenges of the Depression and the U.S. winning a World War in spite of the menacing existence of several life-threatening diseases.

In 1968, the U.S. was in the throes of Hong Kong flu. I contracted the flu and we had a 3-week-old baby girl. The pediatrician told my wife to use good judgment and keep the baby away from me, and all would be well. All was well!

I read that The New York Times kept tabs of the number of cases and deaths of Hong Kong flu, on page 20. This was not front page — top of the fold news, as most newspapers do today. My question: If by magic, we could wave a wand and stop all news of COVID-19 from being reported in all newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and social media forums, for a month, how long would we be living in false fear, in a lock down? How long would we allow the leaders to run the cities, counties and country by “permitted use and activities stages?”

I never thought that the United States of America could be brought to its knees in such a short time and such a small effort.