We modern-day-Aussies are very used to being able to detect, control, minimise & eradicate infections. But this is only a recent thing in human history – only a few generations ago, people (in Australia & around the world) used to die all the time from infections. This could be a reality we’re headed back towards, with antibiotic resistance looming, & who knows what on the viral front – maybe Covid is just a timely warning / a taste of what’s to come?
Relics from the past:
Check out these ‘causes of death’ (pics below) from the 1860’s & 70’s, taken from a rural Queensland area. You’ll notice that many people ‘died from fever’ or ‘consumption’ (also an infection) back then. Notes were rescued from my grandfather’s estate, he was a collector of all kinds of random data! So interesting to imagine how different life was for these people.
Maybe we’re entering into another era like this…some estimate that our average life expectancy could drop back to 50yrs in a world without effective antibiotics. Maybe we’ve been enjoying living through ‘the golden age’, a relatively short period of human history where infection was easily controlled, not a big threat? Not meaning to be pessimistic, but it’s totally possible!
Regardless of what lies ahead – the best thing you can do (to ensure positive infection outcomes) is look after your immune system / yourself, stay in the best shape you can. Look after yourself like you would a prized purebred pet or a fancy pot plant or your car…or something you care about! Here are some previous blog posts with my best tips:
Remember also that you are often fighting infections you don’t even realise you have – you are an ‘asymptomatic’ carrier of many infections, it’s only the occasional one that makes you feel seriously unwell. Your immune system just keeps handling most things without the need to bother you with symptoms. In the scheme of infections throughout history, the one dominating global news at present is not major. It’s just hit us at a time when we’re a) collectively quite old & very unhealthy; & b) not used to facing death from infection c) addicted to consuming dramatic news 24/7.
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