Letter Re: How Hygiene and Sanitation Have Increased Human Life Spans

While obtaining law doctorate, one of my classes was Health Law, which is two parts navigating your way through the morass of Federal intrusion. One part was actual policy. But, I digress. Only one thing of significance stuck in my mind from that whole class: “Of the forty years increased life expectancy enjoyed in the past one-hundred years, 35 of those years are the result of improvements in
hygiene and sanitation. Five years are due to clinical medicine.” I translate that to: “you owe more for your health to the trash man and plumber than you do your doctor.”

I hope yours was a Merry Christmas. – Ben W.

JWR Replies: As prepared individuals, we need to recognize the public health risks posed by any major disruption of utility water, sewers, and garbage collection. Again: It the power grids go down for more than four or five days, it will mean The End of the World as We Know it. (TEOTWAWKI)