Letter to the editor: To our grandchildren during the new coronavirus outbreak | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: To our grandchildren during the new coronavirus outbreak

Ken (Papa) Gansmann

We are sincerely hopeful that the coronavirus is the worst virus you will see in your lifetime and that you all come through this healthy and live long lives.

I have been on this earth 81 years and have seen many viruses come and be defeated with vaccines found by some of the best medical minds around. We (me and my three siblings) lived through Hong Kong flu, measles, mumps, polio, SARS, scarlet fever, etc.

Coupled with earlier miracles, including the introduction of antibiotics like penicillin and streptomycin, Americans have seen a huge increase in their life expectancy.

I had a dear friend and baseball teammate: Ron Stein, O’Fallon, Illinois. Google him. He lived an amazing life. I was with him the day before his mother called to ask where we were the previous day. Their only child had been diagnosed with polio and his legs were paralyzed. Fortunately for me and others, Dr. Jonas Salk discovered a vaccine for polio in 1953, and our parents took us to get that shot. Franklin D. Roosevelt, our second president, had polio.

About 22,000 people died from malaria and yellow fever during the French construction, and 12,000 people died from it during the American construction of the Panama Canal. Dr. Walter Reed discovered a vaccination for it in the early 1900s.

The worst influenza pandemic in the past 100 years was the Spanish flu. Between 1918 and 1920, nearly 50 million people died from it, and the global population was about 1.8 billion people then. Our global population in 2019 was about 7.6 billion people.

Please listen to the experts. Wash your hands and face many times daily and keep distance between you and others. Don’t get hysteric, and be safe. There is a good chance you will not contract the coronavirus.

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