Hope Barton

Viruses for Which We Have Vaccines

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Viruses for Which we Have Vaccines (full), © Hope Barton

 

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Viruses for Which we Have Vaccines (detail), © Hope Barton

News that the HPV vaccine is now known to protect against certain mouth and throat cancers as well as most cervical and vaginal cancers, started me thinking about vaccines, science, and this quilt. I was nine years old when the polio epidemic hit our area. It paralyzed our

I was nine years old when the polio epidemic hit our area. It paralyzed our neighbor, an outstanding high school athlete, and terrified us. Our only prevention in those days was, “Don’t swim in public pools or go to movie theaters.” When the Salk vaccine became available in 1955, we gratefully lined up for hours in our elementary school to get our injections.

According to the CDC, we now have vaccines against 26 different diseases. I feel great frustration with vaccine deniers because they haven’t lived in a world without the vaccines. I wanted to make this quilt as a reminder of how lucky we are.

My collection of Australian fabrics looked very appropriate as an abstract representation of viruses. The tulle surrounding many of them increases their look of malevolence.