2018 Fall October 19 Friday

53 degrees this morning, no walk (rain again), 98 % humidity.  

Looking forward to walk this morning, looked like light rain.  Almost walked anyway, but didn’t when I saw the “weather app”, which proved to be correct that shortly a heavier rain was coming in.  A cold high humidity walk is probably not good for my cough.

More reading on vaccines, it is actually very interesting.  As I mentioned, by chance, I am listening to a “Great Course” on biology and reading a book about vaccines and they are providing a lot of information that is both interesting and surprising.  

The first smallpox vaccination (that is documented)  was actually by the Chinese (900-1000 AD) when they took the scabs from persons who survived smallpox, crushed them into powder and then breath it into the nose.  

This became a standard practice for children when they reached about 5 years of age.  

There is some indication that the Greeks, physicians in about 400 BC also were aware of the concept of immunity by people who survived smallpox etc.

Inoculation or “shots” first were crude incisions etc., but apparently became common around 1700, although a “small” percentage of persons inoculated died (about 2-3%) died from small pox.

I guess you could say this is “small” unless you are one of the 2-3 %

Anyway, I didn’t intend to give a lecture on the history of smallpox vaccines, it is just interesting.

I was surprised learn Cotton Mather (“Sinners in the hands of an Angry God”) was one of the early popularizers  of smallpox vaccines.  He played a major role in early tests and his support made it widely accepted.

Ironically he was criticized  for “interfering with God’s will” by popularizing and his support of vaccines to cure smallpox.  

I can remember reading “Sinners in the hands of an Angry God” when I was probably about in the 4th grade, it was a selection in my brothers and sisters high school literature books.  I don’t know that I ever really was affected by it, but I remember reading it, and probably more important, the introduction to it and an examination of it  

Anyway, until now, I had no idea that he was one of the persons who was at least socially responsible for the development of smallpox vaccines.

George Washington actually ordered all soldiers be inoculated for  smallpox if they hadn’t lardy surveyed it, so it was common by then.

Perhaps also, it reminded me that until just recently, deadly diseases like polio, smallpox, the plague etc. were common and everyone lived in fear of the disease.  

It makes you think perhaps there will be a “cure” or preventative technique for cancer, and other diseases/conditions that are still common. 

Glad it is Friday.  Will be a rainy day.  Not good since I am “In the field”, but I will deal with it!

That’s it for now, Friday, October 19, 2018.  

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