No relationship is more clearly established in population health science than the one between income and health. Those among us who are fortunate enough to have higher income live longer, healthier lives. By way of example, those born in 1960 who are in the lowest income quintile, can expect to live till age 76; those in the highest income quintile can expect to live till age 89. Money buys access to the resources that create a healthier life, from safe neighborhoods to walk in, to clean air to breathe, to time off to care for sick children, to nutritious food to eat. We write about this today, not because it is news, but because, quite simply, the United States is on the brink of creating a class of permanent health have-nots, shaped by entrenched class divides and ever increasing income disparity.
At a time when much of the news is dismaying, last week brought a development that was, for a change, truly joyous. The rescue of a Thai soccer team, along with their coach, from the cave where they had been trapped for 18 days was a welcome conclusion to an at-times harrowing tale. While the death of one of the team’s rescuers—former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Kunan—prevents this ending from being an unequivocally happy one, the fact that the team is now out of immediate physical danger is something we can all celebrate.
As the 2018 World Cup moves toward its finale, it's clear that soccer is the global sport, with an estimated 500 million people playing regularly, or about 5% of the world’s population. The game is simple: eleven players on one side try to get the ball into the net on the other side. Of the eleven players, only the goalie can use her hands to keep the ball from getting into the net.
Those who are not used to soccer may, reasonably enough, see the goalie as the key to winning. After all the goalie is the last defense, standing between the ball and the net, and in theory a spectacular goalie can stop every shot that comes her way.