Errrgh, I’ll bite on this one. Long time reader, first time poster.
So I was the ripe age of “almost six” juuust a few years before the chickenpox vaccine was available (and a good bit before it was mandatory) – but just close enough that I nearly had to prove I had it to attend college after a few gap years. In any case, I came home from school one day with it, as was usual, and endured oatmeal baths and the general loss of dignity, just another learning experience on life’s small miseries, yes? And it was generally believed that the sooner the better, since it was understood that catching it later in life was a Very Bad Idea, what with complications and all. Better get it when you’re young!
But I had a sister, who was only months old at the time. The only reason we realized she’d caught it from me at all was the fact that her hair was still thin enough to see the couple of pox atop her head. And that was it, or at least for a good few years.
I’ll save you too many details, but I will never forget the MONTHS within my little sister’s middle school days taken from her by the nastiest shingles I’ve yet heard of. The exuberant dancer and marching band clarinet player, used to endurance like nerdy me couldn’t believe, knocked out on the couch and unable to do anything. Worse – nearly blinded because… remember where those pox were? That wasn’t insignificant, apparently. It bunkered down in the nerves there and ended up in her forehead…
So yeah, I remember chickenpox. I remember it being no big deal.
I also remember what “no big deal” did to my sis, and really wish the vaccine had existed back then. (So far, so good, on a lack of recurrences – but chances are high that when she gets older, it’ll be back. Hopefully that new anti-shingles vac will be enough to stave that off.)