A message to the vax-hesistant from a pre-vaxxer

To the Expositor:

I am a pre-vaxxer. In the early ‘40s, our family of seven came down with the measles. A large quarantine sign was posted on our front door, and for two weeks no one left the house and no one came to the house. Groceries were left on the front steps.

In those days chicken pox, diphtheria, whooping cough, mumps, measles and scarlet fever were experienced at one time or another. Most of us survived but there were some that were left with the bad effects of the virus. Smallpox was a deadly virus and when the vaccine was made available we all lined up. The same could be said about polio, horrible virus. My mother, at the age of seven, contracted polio. Her whole class did. It was around 1916-1917. 

Just so that people do not know what polio can do, I will relate my mothers’ experience. She woke up one morning and discovered she could not feel her legs, then she discovered her heels were touching her back. You can imagine what went on in the house. Grandma immediately sent for her mother-in-law who was a well-known healer. She was an Algonquin woman from Gatineau.

In no time great grandmother sent the boys out to collect baskets of plantain leaves and a few other plants. My mother could not remember what they were, but they were supposed to keep kidneys going. Wool blankets, steaming with plantain leaves, constant massaging of her legs and back plus the concoction brewed up. Mother completely recovered. 

So, of course when we had a polio outbreak when I was a child my mother was terrified that we would get it. So, for weeks we were not allowed to go to any gathering like the park or the beach. It was summer, which was a good thing. Had we been in school the outcome could have been different. 

In the ‘50s polio came back to our small community and two of our young people were left crippled for the rest of their lives. How ironic, months later the Salk vaccine came out and we all lined up for our shot. 

In the ‘60s it was mandatory for all children going to school to get vaccinated. How wonderful. No more smallpox or polio outbreaks, no more measles, chicken pox and other viruses.

After watching people on TV screaming they want freedom, I guess you could say: 

Freedom to get the virus

Freedom to spread the virus

Freedom to fill up the beds in the hospital

Freedom to cause the death of others needlessly 

As long as there is a segment of people refusing to vaccinate, they will keep the virus alive and we will never get rid of it.

This is just a cautionary tale for today’s generation.

Denise Organ

Little Current