Updated: Oct 6
This year the average life expectancy in the United States dropped again for the second consecutive year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the decline was largely attributed to the impact of the Covid pandemic. However, Covid was not the only factor. In the last several years we have also seen an increase in many preventable deaths such as those caused by drug overdose, suicide, liver failure, and heart disease. What are we doing as a society to stop the surges in these preventable deaths?
The United States consistently spends more money on healthcare than any other country in the world. Considerably more. We are at the peak of technological advancements in medicine. You would think that because America spends so much money we would have the healthiest and longest living people on Earth. I mean, there are countries that are much poorer than the United States that have higher life expectancies. It’s hard to make sense of it all and warrants asking the question: Will all of this technology save us?
I would argue that some will benefit from technology, but most of humanity will not – at least not for a very long time. Advanced technology typically benefits only select groups of people. People that have the means to pay for the technology. For the poor, uninsured, or underinsured this may not be an option. There are steps you can take today that don’t rely on miracle cures or advanced technology.
Start taking personal accountability for our own health. Many of the causes of death that I mentioned above are preventable if you take care of your mind and body. Uncontrolled stress can be a leading factor in drug addiction and suicide. Chronic stress is also horrible on the heart and other organ systems. Your body needs a break. It needs downtime to relax and repair. Start by engaging in activities like yoga, massage, reiki, and meditation. Seek out regular exercise to keep your cardiovascular system healthy. Get treatment for unresolved anxiety, depression, or substance abuse. Make sleep a priority. Eat a well-balanced, plant-based diet. Most importantly – enjoy life and laugh more.
Stay safe and be well,