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Covid vaccination resembles treatment efforts for past plagues
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To the editor,

I read the article in the Great Bend Tribune: “Vaccine drive-through is on, but only for Moderna doses” (April 14 issue, posted online April 13). I am thankful I already received my first Moderna type of Covid-19 vaccine on Jan. 20 and my second jab on Feb. 23. I feel comfortably, yet cautiously, at-ease that I have received both shots. I only pray that it remains effective (at least for awhile). I am also thankful that continuing opportunities will be offered for “drive-through” Moderna shots for people entering via vehicles at the Brit Spaugh Park.

This effort almost reminds me of efforts to help people in past plagues (and that is what this pandemic is – a plague). It is a serious (and sometimes fatal) widespread sickness which has spread globally with doctors, nurses, researchers, and volunteers working valiantly to try to combat this awful ailment which attacks cells in the human body.

I have a lot of respect for the “Polio Vaccine” and for Jonas Salk, who developed one of the first successful vaccines for it. Salk was not only a Medical Doctor but a scientist and a virologist (a person who studies infections, and management of viruses).

I am thankful that by the time I was in grade school, there were vaccines for the most part, for a wide variety of conditions, including, but not limited to: Measles, Mumps, and Rubella, Smallpox, Pneumococcal, Typhoid Fever, Yellow Fever, Tetanus shots, and several others. Thankfully, I never had a need for a rabies shot; yet it has saved lives. Although I am in my mid-50s age wise, I have received a Shingles shot. The HPV vaccine I haven’t had, but appreciate its availability.

Dr. Albert Sabin, a Polish-born Medical Doctor, expanded on previous vaccine-research and he helped develop an oral polio vaccine, and is credited with nearly eradicating the disease. It is important for me to say that the disease is “nearly” eradicated; yet not totally eradicated.

So many doctors and nurses have played pivotal roles down through the ages. I am mindful that my late dad’s “Marples” ancestors came from a small village called Baslow, Derbyshire, England, where church records indicate they have lived since the late 1400s (if not earlier). In September 1665, just three and a half miles from Baslow is another village named Eyam, Derbyshire, a flea-infested bundle of cloth arrived from London. Soon, many people died. The villagers decided to isolate themselves off, in order to save others. They suffered greatly; and only a few lived, after the scourge of the “Bubonic Plague” left the area wiped-out by pestilence and death. 

I am reminded of an earlier time, a young boy raised in a Catholic monastery in the south part of Germany. He was lucky enough to live to the age of 106 years (born 1378 - died 1484). He grew up to be a Catholic monk who wanted to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (the burial spot of Jesus Christ). He was shipwrecked in Cyprus. His itinerary was diverted to Damascus, Syria and Fez, Morocco; and elsewhere. However, Christian Rosenkreutz indeed made it to Jerusalem and thence went back home to Germany, stopping in Spain first, hoping to develop a Medicant order (similar to the Catholic Dominican order) which would travel, preach, treating the sick at no cost; gratis. The Order of the “Rose and Cross” still exists today in some  parts of the world.  

I hope  COVID can be eradicated and society will learn and heal.

James Marples