When You Build it...They Won't Come Till You Build It Again!

covid19

If there is one thing the people of the world, including the citizens of the U.S.A., can certainly appreciate - it's the hurry-up-but-wait syndrome.   The question on everyone's mind at the onset of the Pandemic was simple, "When will a vaccine be available?"

When one considers that vaccines often take years to produce, the pace at which the current vaccines appeared might conjure the term warp speed.

However, that moniker belies the fact that scientists, such as Katalin Kariko, an immigrant who fled Hungarian Communist rule, has been researching and studying for more than 40 years on how RNA (ribonucleic acid) the genetic code that gives cells instructions on how to make proteins might trigger the production of a protein identical to that of Coronavirus-19, thereby eliciting the desired immune response.

We owe a debt of gratitude to a woman who worked on a project that often garnered her criticism and even dismissal from positions at universities that provided her access to a laboratory only to take those privileges away when her results didn't come fast enough.  Fortunately for Kariko, her serendipitous meeting with Dr. Drew Weissman at a university in the Philadelphia area eventually lead to success.

But the development of a vaccine only works if it can be deliverable into the arms of earth's human inhabitants, and that creates a whole new series of problems, obstacles, and challenges.  Hence my headline, "When You Build it...They Won't Come Till You Build It Again!"

We often salute the work of inventors, those who have a vision that's extraordinary in their ability to see what many miss.

thomas-alva-edison-holding-an-incandescent-lightbulb-c1911-1-750x500

Thomas Alva Edison is America's foremost inventor.  He is famous for being the creative genius that developed numerous works of wonder including the phonograph, the kinescope, and the incandescent bulb that could resurrect from darkness - the brilliance of light.   Unlike the phonograph or the kinescope, the light bulb forced Edison, a shy somewhat introverted individual to seek the help of numerous New York civic leaders to allow him to create a power system that would electrify the incandescent bulb in a very crowded New York.  Like Kariko and Weissman's achievement, Edison had an amazing technological advancement, that demanded a delivery system that would inadvertently create disruption, inconvenience, and sacrifice by all living in America's largest cosmopolitan area of the 1880 decade of progress.  A power station would demand the manufacture of novel machinery, cabling, underground tunnels, and the need to wire every house that subscribed to the miracle of light.  All of those requirements also required a certain amount of invention.

Edison realized that the best way to get the attention of the movers and shakers that could fund such a transformation would be for him to invite the cynical doubting-Thomas guests for a seven-course meal prepared by the chefs of Delmonico's, one of New York's finest eateries at the time.   The elaborate dinner staged at Edison's Menlo Park campus was illuminated by incandescent bulbs rather than candlelight.  Food can be a currency that unites even the most resistant to new ideas; Edison cleverly provided an unforgettable evening for his guests enticing their sense of taste and vision.

What people often overlook or fail to realize is that when you build it, you often are forced to resolve a whole new set of parameters if you want that dream to turn into a reality.

Thank goodness the drive and irrepressible will of Edison, Kariko & Weissman surmounted the impossible challenges of their mission - met without reservation - in their quest to GO DO GOOD.

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