You kids are living in a golden age of medical technology. MRI machines, remote controlled robo-doctors, take-home pregnancy tests–the list goes on. Life expectancy is so high, I have yet to succumb to tubes shoved up my nose to tell me how to breathe, and I’m 86. Every disease is a fleeting cultural phenomenon that has the youth of this country hootin’ and hollerin’ as they dump water on their heads or run from one place to another.
But back in my day we knew how to take a disease head on. We didn’t partake in gimmicky viral videos; we targeted the viral infection, and we eliminated it.
In fact, there are many disease you’ve probably never heard of, thanks to my generation. Polio, for instance, is a thing of the past. I’m sure many of you don’t know what polio is, so I’ll be brief for those of you who will find this “too long” or “don’t read.” TL;DR polio was a horrible nightmare disease that left its victims sick to the point of paralysis.
When polio ravaged the countryside we had a real president running this once glorious nation. That president was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a man who took note of the coming polio epidemic and set out to battle it personally. This was a man who understood you couldn’t wait around for a disease to reach its potential 100,000 weekly diagnoses. He learned firsthand how the disease affected the human body, all in the name of science. And it’s thanks to his bravery that polio is a thing of the past.
President Roosevelt wasn’t the only one to take on disease. Taft foresaw the current obesity epidemic and wedged himself into a bathtub as a warning to the nation about the dangers of obesity. Even a president in office as recent as Ronald Reagan was brave enough to come out using a hearing aid, a move to eliminate the stigma associated with common geriatric devices, it was the greatest thing he could do for national health during his presidency.
So perhaps this young hotshot in the White House ought to take a lesson from his elders. All I know is back in my day, Ebola wouldn’t have been a problem.
Giles is a prominent member of the Falls Church Assisted Living community. He is well read, with over 30 books currently in his room and over one hundred in storage. Giles enjoys playing backgammon on wednesday afternoons with his pal Franklin.