Watershed Situation Description

Published: 2019-10-10 07:00:00
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Smallpox was without any doubt one of the most deadly diseases in the history of human beings. One of the major factors that made smallpox to be increasingly feared amid most persons in different parts of the globe was the actuality that one in every three persons who contracted the disease died. However, the few persons who contracted the disease and yet survived ended up with disfigured body structures. Statistics has it that during the 18th century smallpox claimed the lives of more than 400,000 Europeans with each year that went by (Plotkin, 2010). In line with the above proclamations, smallpox was described to be the cause of the death of 300-500 million persons during the 20th century (Kotar & Gessler, 2013). Nonetheless, with the coming of European settlers in what was in the past considered the New World, the outbreak of the disease resulted to the death of 80-90% of the population of the natives of the United States (Kotar & Gessler, 2013). Due to the aforementioned turn of events scientists from diverse cross-sections of the universe developed interest to come up with a cure for the disease in due time. Out of sheer curiosity, a researcher by the name Edward Jenner carried out close observation of milkmaids and he came to the realization that milkmaids were not in any way affected by smallpox. Subsequently, Edward came to the conclusion that milkmaids were protected from smallpox by cowpox, which was a disease that affected milkmaids, but to a less virulent state. It was after his minor discovery that Jenner decided to test his hypothesis by inoculating 8-year-old James Phipps and several other persons with cowpox and he realized that the people who were inoculated with cowpox became immune to one of the worlds deadliest disease at the time, smallpox (Kotar & Gessler, 2013). It was all thanks to the abovementioned discovery and research that vaccinations against smallpox were successfully conducted in several localities all across the universe. As such, it is without any doubt that until today smallpox is the only human infectious disease to have ever been eradicated all thanks to the discovery that was made by Edward in unraveling the fact that cowpox would be used as a preventive measure in inoculating individuals against smallpox.

Watershed Situation Analysis

Five stages of endings

At this stage during the transition process, we all found it quite difficult to accept the fact that a cure for smallpox that had terrorized us in our societies for quite some time over the years existed. In fact very few individuals were willing to volunteer to be used as guinea pigs during the process of coming up with a cure or preventive measure for smallpox (Bridges, 2009). It is beyond any doubt that majority of persons had developed the misinformed mentality that now that smallpox took a toll of numerous persons in the society with not much breakthroughs being made in the field of medicine there will not be a cure for the disease any time not even in the near future. This was such that even after Edward had come up with the vaccine for smallpox most people were still not willing to allow themselves to be inoculated let alone their children. I myself did not believe in the ability of the vaccine to guard me from acquiring smallpox. In addition, a few persons thought of the invented vaccine as a means through which scientists could cut to the ever-increasing population in their areas of residence. Nevertheless, it was only after successes that were realized in the subsequent years after the invention of the vaccine that a good number of persons developed faith in the ability of the smallpox vaccine to prevent them and their children from acquiring the disease.

Neutral zone

At this stage during the transition process, I made every effort to try to understand the reason why the transformations outlined above were made as part of my society. Even with it being that it was not easy to understand the main reason why the changes were made as part of my society the need to attain a better understanding of the transformations made me develop more interests in learning more about the initiatives that had been put in place for the transformations (Bridges, 2009). It was then that I realized the importance of finding a sense of identity. I also learnt that it was important to establish the role that I played as a member of the society. With the aforementioned strategies in place, I realized that I was in a better position of enhancing my morale in supporting a good number of the projects that were developed within my society.

New beginning

I realized that even with the level of resistance that we elicited during the earlier stages of enacting new ventures we had to learn to accept innovations. Hence, embracing change initiatives is the only way we could progress into a brighter future (Bridges, 2009). At this stage, the few persons who were resistant to the use of vaccinations became increasingly devoted in spreading word about the significance of individuals vaccination against smallpox.

In the abovementioned situation analysis I realized that it was a new beginning for humanity at the point where Edward come up with a strategy that could enable individuals to be immunized against smallpox. It was at that point during the occurrence that I learnt of the fact that there is nothing in the world that could not be resolved as long as individuals devoted their time and effort in ensuring that they achieved their desires in life. Even with the sever nature of smallpox in the past years individuals such as Edward did not lose hope in there being the possibility of a cure or remedy to the disease (Bridges, 2009). Such persons kept on fighting to come up with ways through which smallpox could be eradicated from the society or at least be minimized when it came the rate of spreading of the disease. In the end, through a keen observation of the occurrences in his surrounding, Edward noticed something unique about the milkmaids in relation to the disease that had every person terrified not less hope for a brighter future. Edward learnt that unlike all other persons in his surrounding, milkmaids were less affected by smallpox. It was then that he also realized that the same milkmaids were affected by a defect known as cowpox, which was less severe. However, before he developed conclusions regarding the possibility of inoculations using cowpox being a preventive measure for smallpox, Edward tested his vaccine in the middle of a few sample groups after which he learned that those who were inoculated with cowpox were not affected by smallpox.

Reflective Analysis

I was able to acquire quite a number of insights from the reading and writing activity. For instance, I learnt of the strategies that could be put to play in steering individuals through the process of accepting new changes in their surroundings. Even with the level of resistance that would be witnessed in the process of trying to enact change in the middle of individuals from assorted backgrounds gradual efforts would at one point in time provide persons with the desired outcome. Firstly, it is important to accept individuals resistance to change, which would also entail an understanding of individuals emotions. Secondly, individuals should be given time to learn to accept the changes that were introduced as part of their surroundings. Individuals should then be allowed to talk about their feelings concerning the alterations that were incorporated as part of their society or workplace. It is through allowing individuals to share their thoughts regarding change initiatives that the implementers of change can be able to elaborate to the persons who would be affected by the change more about the change initiative. I also learnt that one of the ways through which individuals could be made to accept change is by making them learn more about the way they could contribute to the enactment process of the change and the value that their participation would add to overall wellbeing of their society or the workplace in the end of the project. Individuals would always want to be made to feel important at any point in their lives in order to make every effort in overseeing to different projects.


Bridges, W. (2009). Managing transitions: Making the most of change. London: Nicholas Brealey.

Kotar, S. L., & Gessler, J. E. (2013). Smallpox: A history.

Plotkin, S. A. (2010). History of vaccine development. New York, NY: Springer New York.


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