Guy Cicero

For now we see through a glass, darkly….

what I learned from the polio crisis

I think it was 1955 when I obediently lined up my seven-year-old self to get my polio medicine, delivered, I think, as a few drops of the good stuff soaked into a sugar cube. Clever folks, those public health pros. I never got polio, nor did any of my friends nor anyone I knew.

I was too young to know how serious and real the polio scare was. I knew nothing about our polio-stricken President, FDR, or anyone else who had the disease. I just knew that adults, and especially my teacher, said that taking the medicine was something I needed to do, and so, OK, I’m in.

From today’s perspective, I now can see that through my polio experience, or the lack of a polio experience, I learned some other things.

My leaders can be trusted.

Science, especially medical science, will figure out how to solve the most pressing problems of the day.

A steady job that puts food on the table is something you can count on. My dad, our breadwinner, worked for the same huge company for 48 years. No layoffs, even in the Depression.

These things are different now, 65 years later.

Leaders are at best fallible, and at worst, untrustworthy, mentally ill, and dangerous.

Science will solve most problems, given enough time and if leaders get out of the way.

Employment is a risky pursuit.

Best hopes and wishes to everyone suffering in any way in the current pandemic crisis. Science, we’re counting on you.






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