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Thinking of our current situation a famous woman came to mind. Her name was Mary Mallon also known as Typhoid Mary. (1869-1938) She was from Co. Tyrone. Tom Clarke (Easter Rising) and Paul Brady (musician) country. Mallon was a cook, she was the first person in America identified as an asymptomatic carrier of the disease, typhoid fever. (your body shows no clear signs of the disease)She worked for several different families as a cook by which she unknowingly exposed others to the disease. Twice she was forced into quarantine by authorities. Apparently, she was born with the disease because her mother got infected during pregnancy. They say with the corona virus 35%-50% of people are asymptomatic.

Mallon moved to America when she was 15 years old. She lived with relatives and worked as a maid before she became a cook. Mallon worked as a cook for several different wealthy families. As members of the families became infected with typhoid, Mallon would quit. Some families hired investigators to see where the problem/infection was coming from. They took water samples from all the pipes and faucets, but everything turned out negative. Mallon moved on from jobs when she would be suspected. She was hired by one wealthy family and this time their maid got sick with typhoid and also their daughter got sick and died. Mallon was identified as the cause and couldn’t escape it. The family hired an investigator after the outbreak and traced the disease to her. Mallon denied she was spreading the virus and maintained it was coming from contaminated water.

This time in history the idea of healthy carriers was unknown even to doctors. Mallon was forced by health authorities to quarantine. While in isolation she was forced to give stool and urine samples which suggested huge amounts of typhoid in her gallbladder. She was unwilling to have her gallbladder removed. She was let out of isolation if she agreed to stop working as a cook. Mallon took a position as a laundress which paid much less than a cook. So, she changed her name to Mary Brown and worked as a cook again. And naturally there were outbreaks again. She was arrested and forced into quarantine and unwilling to have her gallbladder removed. She remained in quarantine in the hospital for the rest of her life. It’s claimed that 3 deaths were attributed to her but because she used aliases the exact number will never be known some estimates said she may have caused 50 deaths. Over fifty diseases are asymptomatic, including cholera, celiac disease, covid 19, type 11 diabetes, hypothyroidism & osteoporosis.

This topic is quite scary & overwhelming. However, we’ve had so many scary events in our world history that were just as bad, maybe worse including Rwandan genocide, the slave trade, black plague, The Holocaust, the atomic bomb & the Irish famine. Over 700 million people in the world live in poverty, eleven million around the world are incarcerated, and 15% of the world population live with some form of disability. On the bright side good things have happened in the world including the birth of Jesus, the Renaissance, Pax Romana (peace in the Roman Empire)

 I pray for your safety and that we will all in some way reach out to our neighbor and spread hope, kindness and love into the world. If you feel despair, please call someone don’t go it alone. And lastly and most importantly thank you to all the people fighting this virus and risking their own lives. We are forever indebted to you. Up Tyrone where Mallon comes from. Comments or questions, call (708) 425-7021.

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