Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 14, 2010/ 6 Tishrei, 5771

We can fix what ails us

By Tom Purcell




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sure, the economy is a mess and the future isn't looking so hot. But we've had big problems before -- we've solved them before.

Take polio.

According to the book "SuperFreakonomics," it would be hard to invent a more frightening illness. Polio struck children. Nobody knew how it was contracted. There was no prevention or cure. And it hit hard every summer.

My Aunt Cece contracted polio in the summer of 1951, just as she was starting the eighth grade.

She came home from school with a high temperature, feeling very ill. The next morning, her legs gave out as she tried to get out of bed. By that evening, she was so weak she could barely move.

The public was in such a panic that the ambulance driver wouldn't take her to the hospital for fear that other patients might become infected.

The Health Department quarantined her family -- a notice was placed on their front door. My mother and her four other siblings were forbidden to leave their home or accept visitors for two weeks, the lifespan of the virus.

Within two weeks, polio had ravaged my aunt's body. Her arms and legs were paralyzed to varying degrees. She could barely lift her head. It would be a year before she could go home. She would need crutches for the rest of her life.

In 1952, America had its worst bout with the virus. More than 57,000 polio cases were reported nationwide. Of those, 3,000 died and 21,000 were paralyzed permanently.

As the population of living polio victims grew, the cost of their medical care soared. Only one in 10 families had health insurance. The cost of boarding a polio patient was $900 a year at a time when the annual wage averaged $875 a year.

Had a preventive for polio not been found, say the authors of "SuperFreakonomics," the United States would now be caring for at least 250,000 long-term polio patients at an annual cost of $30 billion.

In the 1950s there was an abundance of fear and doubt. But we didn't dwell on what was wrong. We did what Americans always do. We focused on the solution.

The March of Dimes -- the largest charitable army the country had ever known, according to David M. Oshinsky, author of "Polio: An American Story" -- mobilized millions to raise money.

A long line of researchers, including Jonas Salk, refused to accept defeat. Together, we won. On April 12, 1955, Salk's vaccine was declared safe and effective.

It's easy to find clarity regarding events that took place about 50 years ago, but polio in the '50s certainly was dire. We responded well to the challenge.

Though her legs were left partially paralyzed, my Aunt Cece dwelled on what she could do, not on what she couldn't. It took her two years of rehabilitation before she was able to get around on her own. She'd eventually marry and have four children and seven grandchildren.

We are in the midst of significant challenges now. Our economy is stagnant. We're on an unsustainable spending path. There is an uneasy sense that things will get plenty worse before they get better.

But we've been here before -- hello, late 1970s -- and good people came forward with new ideas, innovations and government policies that resolved our problems.

We kicked polio's butt, and I'm hopeful we'll do likewise to the challenges facing us now.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR Contributor Tom Purcell's column, by clicking here. To visit his web site, click here.


ARCHIVES

© 2010, Tom Purcell

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles