Back in 2020 (which seems like a different lifetime), I was fortunate enough to not have anyone close to me get diagnosed with covid and die soon after from/with it. But through the course of the year, the circle of who got sick closed in and I even saw a post or two on social media about a friend’s dad or mom whose death was amplified as a warning to all: the elderly and the really sick people are dying, and so we must do everything we can to stop that from happening, this is a grade A emergency, damnit.
And then, this year rolled around and not a day goes by that I don’t see a tribute post or an obituary, except they are, for the most part, of people who are quite young. And then there are the athletes. And the movie stars. And the public personas. And the politicians. And their kids. There’s cancer, and a wallop of overdoses and lots of suicides, and then there’s SADS: Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome or more commonly known as Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. And that’s just awfully analogous to SIDS, a still mysterious condition, the likes of which have infants tragically dying while they sleep. Incredulously, we’ve come to terms with the fact that, sometimes, ‘nature’ (?) unexpectedly and without a warning terminates a healthy baby. But until this year, I had never heard of SADS. I never knew that this could also happen to a young healthy adult. While they sleep.
How long before SADS becomes as normal as SIDS? Before we all notice that the surges happen around specific milestones and can be prevented only if one slept in the correct sleeping position? Or have we already normalized it? Endemic SADS. Maybe we can rename it SEADS. What’s it gonna end up taking to break our collective camel’s back?
Two yeas ago, iatrogenic deaths were the third leading cause of death in America. What’s the over/under on that rating this year?