As this coronavirus pandemic is upon us, my thoughts go back to 1954 and the polio epidemic. I was at that time a second-year, 20-year old student nurse at Evanston Hospital in Evanston, Illinois, which was a regional center for polio patients. Assigned to the infectious disease ward, I cared for newly admitted, desperately ill, bulbar polio victims in "iron lungs." Young and healthy, I never thought of the possibility of contracting this dangerously deadly disease myself, though some of the patients I cared for had, themselves, been "young and healthy."


I think of those on the front lines today, risking their health and their lives and courageously caring for those afflicted with the potentially deadly coronavirus. I commend them for their selflessness and dedication.


Now, at age 86, there is so little that I can do to help. Yet, there is much for all of us to do in obeying our governor, mayor and health officials in "staying home" and, hopefully, preventing the spread of this deadly virus to others.


May we do it with hope and good cheer.


— Mary Ross, Rockford