Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Modern Medicine

It seems as flu season nears the media won't stop talking about Swine Flu. Wash your hands people, and STAY HOME if you have symptoms! Anyway, Robert read this book called "A Short History of Nearly Everything", and in it there is some info of the "Great Swine Flu", also known as the "Great Spanish Flu". He read an exerpt for me that really puts everything into perspective. I will share some of it. The Great Swine Flu killed about 21 million people in its first 4 months!!! About 80% of American casualties in WWI, came from the flu. Yes, very shocking, but here is the exerpt that made me feel so blessed to live in these times:

"In an attempt to devise a vaccine, medical authorities conducted tests on volunteers at a military prison...The prisoners were promised pardons if they survived a battery of tests. These tests were rigorous to say the least. First the subjects were injected with the infected lung tissue taken from the dead and then sprayed in the eyes, nose, and mouth with infectious aerosols. If they still failed to succumb, they had their throats swabbed with discharges taken from the sick and dying. If all else failed, they were required to sit open-mouthed while a gravely ill victim was helped to cough into their faces."

ewwww. Those poor prisoners! How disgusting! What is ridiculous is that NONE of them got the flu! The only one who got sick was the ward doctor, who then died! The author, Bill Bryson, goes on to say that the explanation is that the epidemic had passed through the prison just a few weeks earlier, and all the volunteers had survived that, and probably had a natural immunity.

Aren't all of us happy to be alive today? And, of course, happy to not be prisoners willing to go through anything to get pardoned :)

Rylan stealing Beckam"s Pacifier (7 months old)