When I started writing and researching “The Other Side of Morning” several years ago I certainly had never heard of Covid. In the novel, The discussion of “engrafting” as a medical practice to mitigate the proliferation of small pox, championed by the Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, which provided some immunity from the smallpox virus (though the scientific/medical underpinnings of this practice and the attendant vocabulary to deal with it were not yet known in the early 1700s) can be seen in a unique light given what is going on in the world today with our global vaccine initiatives and the emergence of “anti-vaxxers” and medical science deniers.
Smallpox is a contagious, disfiguring and often deadly disease that has affected humans for thousands of years. Naturally occurring smallpox was wiped out worldwide by 1980 — the result of an unprecedented global immunization campaign. Samples of smallpox virus have been kept for research purposes.