My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

HYDE PARK N.Y.—I have been reading with distress of the poliomyelitis outbreak in Chicago. It is always a sad story and one that interests me personally so very much. But this year I have been reading it with a special regret because, as each report comes through, it is clearer that a great deal of the suffering might have been avoided if people only had paid attention to Salk vaccine injections!

The overwhelming number of cases in Chicago has been among children who had not received any vaccine. Only 10 to 12 percent, I believe, had one or two shots—and so far no patient who received the full series of three injections has come down with paralytic polio.

This seems to point up a dramatic lesson and Chicago parents are hastening to act upon it. Emergency vaccine clinics in Chicago are jammed and doctors are giving hundreds of vaccinations in their offices each day.

Those of us who live in other cities, where polio cases have not yet occurred in great numbers, would do well to see that our children have had their shots, too. All children and teenagers should start their vaccinations now, while there still is time to reduce some of the cases that are bound to develop in the months ahead. Just think of the numbers of paralytic cases that could be saved if everybody under 20 were vaccinated before this month is out!

Headlines in our newspapers sometimes make one wonder how unrealistic people can be. On Sunday one headline said, "Syria Says Mideast Stands as Unit and Will Fight Against Compromise."

How foolish can the Mideast be! The gentleman who made that statement surely could not have been thinking of military strength. He was hoping for Soviet support in any stand taken by Egypt on the Suez Canal, and counting on the Soviets insisting that no force be used.

Even if the August 16 conference of 24 nations does not come off, why should not the United Nations be asked to consider taking over, not only the Suez Canal, but all other small bodies of water through which world trade must pass. I realize that this means the Panama Canal, the Dardanelles and various other waterways in the world, but it seems to me that it is the one solution which can be permanent. Otherwise, there seems very little chance of any permanent settlement.

These difficulties in the Mideast make it seem more important to keep up the strength of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the countries of the West that have military troops in Europe. Therefore, a situation like the Suez Canal crisis affects the whole military setup of the European area.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL