Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Spare a Thought for Kids with Measles

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Spare a Thought for Kids with Measles

Article excerpt

THE Carnival of Flowers coinciding with an outbreak of measles brought on a fit of deja vu this week.

As I recall my childhood of the 1960s, we didn't have vaccinations for measles - we all just got it.

And, when it was my turn to get it, it coincided with the Maraka Festival - the Carnival of Flowers equivalent, though without the flowers, in my North Queensland hometown of Ingham.

In those days, the kids of our local villages all belonged to the National Fitness Club, an Australia-wide out-of-school initiative that got kids up and active, as those who grew up in the '60s would well recall.

This particular year, when I was about eight, our club had a float in the Maraka parade through the crowd-lined streets of Ingham.

In what couldn't possibly be allowed today, about 20 kids jumped on the back of a truck with gym equipment and went through a number of gymnastic routines - while the truck was moving.

That no-one came to grief on the bitumen beside the truck during the parade is either testament to the skills of the young gymnasts on the truck or the efforts of the group's collective guardian angels but we got through unscathed... well, almost.

My part in this mobile act was to do a headstand on the tray of the truck, which for an eight-year-old isn't that difficult, but organisers (mainly my mum) had my older brother and one of his mates stand either side of me and catch a leg each if/when I started to wobble.

It was there, upside-down on the back of a truck, that my measles was diagnosed.

Not by any doctor mind you, but by my older brother and his mate.

"What are all those red pimples on his legs," I heard my brother say to his mate.

"I don't know, but they look like measles... my sister has just had them."

With that, my "handlers" left me dangling upside down and headed to the other side of the truck to make public that I was diseased.

Quarantined before the end of the parade, I missed out on the night-time festivities and was ushered back home and banished to the bedroom. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.