We do not know what might have happened to him under other circumstances, but if I had not been President, he would not have raised a blister on his toe, which resulted in blood poisoning, playing lawn tennis in the South Grounds.DeLong then asks,
"How much richer are all of us today than Calvin Coolidge, for we don't have to worry about our sixteen-year-olds dying of blood poisoning from an infected blister that developed while playing tennis?"This leads to some interesting comments. Atanu Dey affirms DeLong's celebration of modernity, citing the view above the clouds so many of us can afford with an airline ticket. theorajones confirms the issue,
This had a big impact on people of that era. When my mother was growing up, every single time she or her sister had a cut, my grandmother would say to them that they MUST run and put mecurechrome on it because, "Calvin Coolige's son died from a blister on his heel. He got it while playing tennis."marquer is pessimistic, "Given the rate at which antibiotic resistance is spreading, we will very shortly be worrying about that anew." But the really interesting comment, to me, was from 'As you know' Bob (Robert Oldendorf?) who pointed out that at 33,865 in 2002, septicemia is still the #10 cause of death in this country. Bob indicated that this is at least partially the fault of unequal healthcare access, which makes sense since bacterial infections are fairly easy to treat with antibiotics, so the main concern would be not getting the antibiotics in time, or at all. The google search on this is surprisingly unilluminating, however, even when you restrict yourself to the CDC. The numbers are always cluttered by an additional racial or occupational analysis. Makes you wonder why a simple study of causes-of-death versus household-income hasn't been done. Somehow, however, it's difficult to imagine a first-child dying from septicemia today.
Spring 2006: Guest Bloggers!
Rishi | Scott | Emily
Echan | Robert | ToastyKen