Sunday, March 29, 2020

This Isn't Our First Rodeo Folks.

Iron Lung made from wood

Needless to say, we are living in interesting times.

The world seems to be in a great deal of turmoil these days trying to deal with the virus is anywhere and everywhere. There is a lot of fear out there and it seems like the world has shut down and people are hunkering down.

On the whole, I do need to take a moment and at least appreciate what I do have. I am thankful that I have a job that allows me to be virtually anywhere - especially in my home - and still be able to work and interact with my colleagues (albeit via a webcam).

At the time I write this, I am and my immediate family are still healthy.  While we are not under a quarantine order, we have greatly curtailed our activities dealing with the outside world and staying at home as much as possible.  Thankfully this also means that I'm not locked away from the shop - which has proven to be a Godsend for me since it allows me an escape from the constant bad news out there.

Yes, in light of everything that is going on, there is much to be thankful for.

We have almost every convenience on hand to make the time inside as comfortable as possible with many entertainment options bombarding us with the likes of Netflix and Youtube.

However, as with any good thing, you do tend to get a bit bored of it after a while.

And so that was where I found myself the other day, a bit bored of the fare that the streaming services were offering so I decided to do some prowling around online looking for ideas on what I can try out back in the shop.

Eventually, my surfing brought me to an online archive of all issues of Popular Mechanics going back to the turn of the 20th century.

Back when I was a kid, I always enjoyed browsing the latest copy of Popular Mechanics at the magazine rack at my local grocery store. I was always intrigued by all the plans to build cool stuff that was published within its pages, everything from hovercrafts to steam engines - the possibilities seemed endless.

So, when I stumbled across this magazine archive, I was immediately sucked in.

As I was perusing the archive, I was immediately struck on the situation we are facing today really wasn't all that much different to other challenges the human race has faced with the past 100 years, be it world wars, flu pandemics, economic depression, or any other number of challenges.

Interestingly we always found ways to just make do, and I had found that magazines like Popular Mechanics kept a written diary of that.

A case in point, Polio was very much a dreaded disease in the early 1950s, with a lot of the same fear back then that we are seeing today.

Back then people were looking for ways to fight back, like building such things as an iron lung made entirely from wood.

It's actually pretty easy to build

It's all very much in the spirit as the people of today who are creating masks and other protective equipment with their home 3D printers. 

Likewise, I saw similar homemade solutions that saw people get through depression and both world wars. 

It struck me that what we are experiencing, while new to us, is not really new for the human race. 

Like we did in the past, we will just work through it, come up with creative ways to cope and we will carry on. 

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