So, I looked in the comments, expecting to see discourse or historical background etc, but I found none. Therefore, I decided to learn more and add background. Apparently this machine was used because of polio because polio paralyzes your lungs. According to the wiki article on this bad boy, patients would spend two weeks in there sometimes. They still have these machines, though much, much more modern but they’re barely used at all anymore: “In 1959, there were 1,200 people using tank respirators in the United States, but by 2004 there were only 39. By 2014, there were only 10 people left with an iron lung.” (x)
I’ve read about one man who still lives in an iron lung. He taught himself how to breathe again by gulping down air, but it’s quite laborious because of the paralysis. His name is Paul Alexander, and he’s a lawyer. He’s 71 years old and has spent 65 years in an iron lung. Wild, right? He’s been working on a memoir that he was inspired to write by the recent resurgence of cases of polio caused by anti-vaccers.
Source: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4414081 (can’t hyperlink because I’m on mobile, apologies)
It’s amazing to me to recognize that we only defeated polio in this past century - that my mother’s father had it (he got lucky, it only deformed his feet and thereby kept him out of a couple wars); my mother got the big vaccination that left her upper arm scarred; and by the time I was vaccinated, polio basically didn’t exist. My grandfather must have been born like around 1900, so - in the space of less than 75 years, this was no longer something that parents dreaded the possibility of every summer.
In the 1950s, my mother would go to the corner shop. The owners had a daughter a few years older than my mum. She lived in an iron lung in the back of the shop.Vaccinate your fucking kids.
found @ 26 likes ON 2020-06-16 07:11:18 BY ME.ME