Re: In case of an attack...

03/21/20 - posted by Paul Judge

As Myron and John brought to mind, I remember seeing photographs of kids in iron lungs on the pages of Life Magazine. I have a vague recollection of viewing an episode of an Edward R. Murrow television broadcast showing an entire ward full of children in iron lungs. It was scary to imagine the reason for such things. Art work hung along our hallway created by my mom’s niece after she was released from such confinement and convalesced bed bound for a year for treatment for Polio. She was among the fortunate to recover able bodied from that terrible episode.

Like so many others I received the Salk vaccinations. It necessitated a trip on the ‘B’ streetcar from the Outer Richmond to Kaiser Permanente Hospital on Geary Boulevard. At the entryway lobby we were instructed to follow a specified colored line taped on the linoleum flooring tiles to the appropriate station down a wide corridor. Curious about what I’d discover at the end of that line I soon found out. I didn’t care at all for the shock and pain of that injection in my shoulder. On the subsequent streetcar journeys to receive further inoculations I attempted to occupy my mom’s attention with conversation hoping she’d forget and we’d pass by our Kaiser and we’d end up downtown to explore the Emporium or something delightful. The wishful strategy never worked. The walk along that colored line to the inoculation station always happened.

When Sabin’s oral vaccine was introduced standing in line to swallow a sugar cube was walk in the park for everyone.

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