News from the Silerton Community of Chester County

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with Melea Beshires

This week’s Silerton news was written by Mrs. Marylynn Lambert.

Mrs. Donna (Wiley) Waldrip shared some memories about the polio scare from her childhood. She was a young girl when her nephew was playing outside one day, and then a few days later, he died from Polio. Mrs. Waldrip remembers the Piney Grove community was locked down for six weeks because Polio was believed to be highly contagious among children, and the prognosis was very scary. It was considered a mystery disease that often led to paralysis and death. Hardeman County may have been locked down, but she could not remember.
It took seven years for the polio vaccine to be available to the public. The main precaution was to stay away from children. Good hygiene was also stressed. When the vaccine was made available, Dr. Cobb, Hardeman County Health Physician, went around to the county schools to vaccinate the children.
The coronavirus shutdown can hardly be compared to the polio quarantine because of our current medical technology and highly specialized laboratories to produce a vaccine, but the fear and uncertainty of the virus and the future can certainly be compared.
Mrs. Waldrip had played with Weiner Siler the day before he began to feel sick. As a child, she remembers being scared and fearful that she might contact the virus. She said, “I always had a low degree of fear that I might get polio.”
On the positive side, America has come through many crises, but with God’s help, we have survived. We need to be cautious and pray for our friends and families as we go through this pandemic.