Some of the accounts that my parents shared with me were surprising to me when I was a child. I didn’t doubt their narratives, but they did seem odd to me as a youngster.
The first was about children coming to their summer resort and bringing food allocation booklets. Then my folks would pool the books all together to get allocated amounts of butter, sugar and assorted types of food. This occurrence happened after WWll and certainly prevented hoarding of food by some scared people.
The happening of having food booklets is a great idea during these current troubled times. They are perhaps presently needed by adults who lost their jobs and don’t have money to buy food on account.
It surely beats out volunteers wearing bandanas around their lower faces to try to hold back germ transmission. Yet the risk didn’t prevent them from delivering boxes of free food to doors of people who are starting to starve after losing employment.
After all, how much food can a single person deliver in his or car? Not much at a time. Therefore food booklets seem a viable alternative.
On a related note, I saw one woman on a news program crying when a volunteer brought her no charge foods. And he kept a six foot distance after dropping the box at her doorstep and ringing her doorbell.
I suppose that a person with such a face piece Can look scary. However, he or she simply backs away and leaves the box of items to eat.
In any case, food booklets would result in people getting the basics that they want even if it is delivered by a grocery store worker to a person’s home. Good plan, eh?
Now another event about which my mother and father shared concerned the polio outbreak. One of the epicenters for this misery was NYC. So some children at the resort and the summer staff had to be held into the cold fall at the resort as they were not legally allowed to go home.
When a mother of one of these retained children was crying to my mother on the phone, my mother explained that there are ALWAYS tough moments in life. Yet we do manage to get through uncertain, scary times because we can collectively be tough and be prepared for the troubles every time that they impact our lives. She wants to explain to the weeping mother that her child would be well tended until the youngster was allowed to go home.
Now doesn’t this sign seem familiar in this time of self-isolation? If not, please reconsider the outcome. The polio event kept people apart just like now with the coronavirus. So let’s keep it in a larger perspective, it would seem.
Moreover I saw a young man with polio sitting in a wheelchair on the side of a highway in 1975 in drizzling cold rain in the fall. His legs were tiny little sticks. Too much to bear without responding!
Getting him in the car by carrying him was easy. He was so light in weight to carry to the car due to his tiny legs and his wheelchair collapsed.
His story was that he was going to marry his true love, who he met in the summer. They planned to be together and she lived in Sweden. So he had to go there.
The endpoint of his events as far as I was involved goes thusly: I put him with the mother of a friend of mine in Brooklyn, NY — a burb of NYC, which may be ironic as it was a hotbed location for polio. He then got a free ride on a US military craft to Sweden. So my friend’s mom took him to catch his flight. He, then, got married to his love in Sweden and he repaid me the $50 USD, a huge sum to loan at the time since I was financially struggling.
So people, as my parents pointed out, have always faced perilous circumstances. Yet all the difference in the world is made if people rise up to the occasion for serving each other. What matters whether it is wearing a bandana to bring food, picking up a very cold and wet polio victim on the side of a highway or doing some other action to uplift life?
We always have to help the underdogs when problems arise. So this time of virus is a repeat situation in a way.
Concerning more about the current worldwide new disease, here is a good snd interesting overview:
Excerpted from “How the Pandemic Will End” by Ed Yong, a science writer at The Atlantic:
“Veterans of past epidemics have long warned that American society is trapped in a cycle of panic and neglect. After every crisis—anthrax, SARS, flu, Ebola—attention is paid and investments are made. But after short periods of peacetime, memories fade and budgets dwindle. This trend transcends red and blue administrations. When a new normal sets in, the abnormal once again becomes unimaginable. But there is reason to think that COVID-19 might be a disaster that leads to more radical and lasting change.“
Sally Dugman lives in MA, USA.