Daily Archives: April 16, 2015

The Inoculation Theory (Unmentionables, 15)

“We are so exceedingly apt to take our blessings as a matter of

I was lucky, she says. I always am.

“In Russia one-seventh of all children were said to die of it”

I never get hurt too bad, just a bit.

“From love and smallpox, none remain free”

Like getting a vaccine – hurts a little,

“vaccination is like a section of pearl on a rose-leaf”

but then, whatever the bad thing might be,

“a little chilly, lost his appetite, and … slight headache”

I don’t get it bad. Just enough for me

“Today, in the community, its fatality is negligible”

to understand what it’s like, how it feels,

“The child had a slight illness from which he rapidly recovered”

enough to be sympathetic, enough

“Language was not strong enough to convey the fear”

to make me want to protect other folk.

“avoid giving a false sense … of freedom from harm”

The other guy who raped me? No, not him,

“The same men who dressed these abscesses milked cows”

the OTHER other guy. Well, the woman

“never eat into the fleshy parts”

he raped before was in the hospital

“which affected three servant men, two of whom had”

a long time. He’d smashed her face. She needed

“all we can do is to look them full in the face”

reconstructive surgery. Me? Nothing

“the efflorescence around the incisions”

like that. I was lucky. It wasn’t much.

“the book is free from the sanguine and exaggerated air”

A long scary night, and then afterwards

“which assumed rather a darker hue”

I cried. Wiped my eyes off with ice water.

“the state of the limpid fluid”

Then I went to work and tried not to look

“like those which are commonly of a bluish cast”

up all day, hoping no one else noticed.

“Now this kind of argument is a very common one with statistically immoral persons, and is known as the suppression of the ratio.”

NOTE: Quotes selected from:

Dock, George. The Works of Edward Jenner and Their Value in the Modern Study of Smallpox. Reprinted from the New York Medical Journal For November 29 and December 6, 1902.

Harris, D. Fraser. Edward Jenner and Vaccination. The Scientific Monthly Oct 1915, 1(1):66-85