Before the polio vaccine was invented by Jonas Salk, the...

Before the polio vaccine was invented by Jonas Salk, the public didn't know if or when life would return to "normal". Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/jarun011

I was born in 1945 and am now 74. My wife, Lancene, keeps asking when will we be back to “normal.” My thoughts return to when I was about 5 years old and polio was the big pandemic. My mother told me I had run a high fever and probably had a mild case of polio. Nobody knew when this disease would be defeated, and it was very scary. It was always being discussed.

In 1955, Dr. Jonas Salk released a vaccine he had been working on for seven years. I was one of the first children to receive the vaccine. The first time, it was an injection. Later, it was a blue liquid easier to tolerate. Nobody knew until his vaccine surfaced if life would be normal. Salk’s vaccine worked.

At least now, we know the best scientists are working on this current coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible. Hopefully, they can find a vaccine sooner than 12 to 18 months. I am anxious to get back to “normal” and start traveling again. But, I am sure, it will be a new normal.

Jerry Union,


Brian Dennehy, a mentor and friend

I am writing with great sadness after reading Brian Dennehy’s obituary, “A master at heroes, villains,” News, April 17].

I’m a playwright and high school English teacher who was called by Dennehy after he read my script “A Homecoming.” I had asked him to play the male lead, the aging patriarch of a fractured Irish family from Queens. Brian became a mentor and friend. We worked together just as two pros with no ego.

There will never be another one like him. Love and prayers to you and your family, Brian, and to the world of theater.

Joe Beck,


Mother Nature might be smart one

I believe that God is actually a woman, and her name is Mother Nature. Since the start of this disease, our environment’s health has greatly improved.

With cleaner air and fewer pollutants entering our ecosystem, the animals of the world are probably partying like it’s 1999. Crime is down and people from all over the globe are cooperating better. Maybe Mother Nature knows what she is doing.

John Silver,