The Journal Gazette
Sunday, June 13, 2021 1:00 am

Golden Pen: May

Polio nightmare should be impetus to get vaccine

When I was a young girl, my parents were excited about Jonas Salk and his polio vaccine. In first grade, I took the vaccine on a sugar cube, then had a vaccine shot in second grade.

My parents had friends who had gone through bouts of polio and had residual effects. One of my close friends had a teenage sister who had polio. I remember visiting her; she was using an iron lung to stay alive. It was horrifying to me, and I will never forget it.

All of us were thrilled to get our polio vaccines. I never heard of anyone who refused to get the vaccine because of fear or uncertainty.

Now, we have been given the gift of available vaccines, safe and very effective, to help us out of this COVID-19 pandemic.

I prayed that I could get my vaccine before my April birthday, and I got my wish!

However, there are many people who, for one reason or another, are hesitant to get the vaccine. I keep seeing my friend's sister in her iron lung. I think the vaccines are what we need to give us back our lives, our health and peace of mind.

We all hate the masks and the separations. We want this nightmare to end.

I implore everyone to get a vaccine. If you have had your first shot, be sure and get your second shot. Get your children vaccinated as soon as possible, when their age group can receive it.

This is important for all Americans. For all the world!

About the author

Karen Deemer of Edgerton, Ohio, whose letter appeared May 24, has been selected as the month's Golden Pen Award winner. In the judgment of the editors, she had May's most effective letter.

Deemer said she thought it was important to offer factual perspective in this “crazy age (where) truth isn't truth and fact isn't fact.”

“I was trying to show people on the edge that there's good reason to get the vaccine,” she said. “It shouldn't be political at all; it's life or death.”

Deemer and her husband are retired; she as a librarian and he from Office Depot. Their two sons, residents of Auburn and Bryan, Ohio, have given them six grandchildren. Deemer is a piano instructor and lists her hobbies as knitting and reading, saying they “kept me sane in a year and a half of craziness.” 

Deemer was previously a Golden Pen winner in November 2002.

She received a gold-plated pen for her efforts. The Golden Pen Award was established to express our appreciation for the contribution our letter writers make to the editorial page.

Subscribe to our newsletters

* indicates required