Todd William

Life today versus Life 150 years ago (Part 2 of 2)

(Artwork by: Rob Gonsalves)
I used to look at the average life expectancy numbers going back 150 years (it was 49 then) and marvel at how amazing it is that we’ve extended it to almost 80 years worldwide. Have you ever considered what it means to have a life expectancy of 49 versus 80?
How many people currently living would be long gone by now?

We live roughly SIXTY percent longer than our ancestors did a mere 150 years ago because we’ve made massive strides in healthcare, sanitation, and access to clean water. We also know a lot more about what kills us and how to deal with it.

Some will argue that the huge jump in life expectancy is primarily because we’ve improved how we deliver babies. That is accurate. The bulk of this improvement is from a lot less babies dying during birth (as though this was a bad thing?). But that’s not all of it.

What we Fail to Appreciate

Imagine yourself living 150 years ago and think about what it would have meant to have spent time in a hospital.

You would not have had access to any of the following:
<> X-Rays (1900s)
<> Defibrillators (1960s)
<> Dialysis Machines (1960s)
<> Respirators (1950)
<> Ultrasound Machines (1970s)
<> MRIs (1980)
<> Heart Monitors (1950s)
<> Intravenous Tubes (1950s)
<> Local Anesthesia (1930s)

If you were lucky enough to survive your stay at the hospital in lieu of all these scientific breakthroughs, there was always the good chance you would have died from unnecessary germs because even the best doctors didn’t know the importance of washing hands between surgeries.

Assuming you had avoided the hospital entirely, you or someone you know would have been dealing with with Smallpox, Typhoid, Rheumatic Fever, Scarlet Fever, Polio, or Tuberculosis – all death sentences. Thanks science.

Even a persistent cough in those days was a red flag. How willing would you be to roll the dice with any health concerns if you didn’t have access to the last 150 years of breakthroughs?

Todd William

About Todd William -

My name is Todd William and I’m an indie author. I like to focus on the positives in life. I’m like kryptonite for cynics. I’m a dedicated father and husband, a science and tech buff, a psychology enthusiast, chess and MMA fanatic, and noble introvert. My biggest fault might just be that I’m annoyingly happy all the time.

I’m addicted to books. I read constantly on a variety of topics, the result being that I tend to know a little about a lot of things yet not a whole lot about any one thing. I lay no claim to superior wisdom. I merely have an unyielding appetite for knowledge coupled with a strong desire to contemplate intriguing thoughts.