Quarantines and Sack Dresses

What goes around "comes around"

The corona virus seems have tucked the present generation into an “inconvenient and unfamiliar place.”

It brings to memory some of my family experiences during World War II. Reflecting back, times we tough, jobs were difficult to find, and we saved everything, for ourselves and for our soldiers who were fighting on the front. My grandmother saved every cotton ball tucked in pill boxes and used the cotton to stuff pillows. A swatch of her long auburn hair was inside a bag in the closet, and used for hair pieces or “rats”, as they were called. Flour, sugar and other foodstuffs were rationed. And yes, the stamps inside our ration book were carefully torn. My mother saved flour sacks to stitch up dresses because of the imprinted designs. I gotta tell you, they made some really cute school dresses! The frayed collars and sleeves on my father’s white dress shirts were turned for a better appearance, rolled in starch, refrigerated, and ironed.

The war brought air raids and wardens sent around the neighborhood to make certain that lights were extinguished. A walk around the block usually revealed a quarantine sign tacked on a door or two.

My parent’s generation rolled up their sleeves and went to work to make the best of things. They had suffered during the Great Depression, and now the Big One, World War II. Old bottles, tins, metals, etc. were saved for the war effort. Local dry cleaners paid 1 penny for every returned coat hanger and bottles were recycled at grocery stores. Few household items were replaced because everything was saved! We did not hoard. We were simply not wasteful.

For those persons preferring not to innoculate today, I have to tell you that the childhood diseases like measles are not only contagius, but very dangerous.

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