Until we meet again.
My father was discharged from WW II duties at Santa Ana in Southern California, and that is how our family found itself living there for several years in the late 1940s.
California was always a hotbed for polio. Before vaccines were developed, everyone was vulnerable, and everyone was a potential carrier.
1948 turned out to be terrible for polio. The first reported case in Los Angeles County that year was my brother, Peter. He was first placed in a hospital ward with a teenager in an iron lung on either side of him. Both those boys died as he watched. Then he spent several months in a rehab facility. That was approximately 75 years ago, a memory he would carry the rest of his life.
Meanwhile, I have clear memories of our family being placed in a very strict home quarantine regimen. The only visitor who came to see us was a doctor, employed by the county to make certain families like ours were following the protocol as required. Neighbors would do the shopping, leaving paper bags full of groceries at the bottom of our driveway.
Peter Young died a few days ago. He was 91. The official cause of death was complications from COVID. How sadly ironic that he had survived the polio epidemic three quarters of a century earlier only to be taken by this pandemic.
Most blog readers did not know my brother personally because the large gap in our ages and the distance we lived apart meant we traveled in different orbits. Let me simply say he was a very interesting character with friendships and relationships at all levels of life.
We are sad that Peter Young has passed, but we are very grateful he had all those extra years. There is always a bright side.
Peter Young, we will see you again somewhere up the road. May your legacy be that all blog readers give someone an extra hug today, especially a family member.
DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.
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