Lifestyle & Culture

Fall Is the Safest Season

September 15, 2019



I’M ALREADY sad that fall is over even though technically it hasn’t even started. Still, when you wait for something for nine months it would be nice if it went on for at least that long. Imagine if fall lasted for nine months and the crappy other seasons each lasted for one month. Life would be better.

For example, take winter, an especially harsh time of year. From 1999 to 2011, a total of 16,911 deaths in the United States (or an average of 1,301 per year) were associated with exposure to excessive natural cold. The highest number of annual hypothermia-related deaths (1,536) was in 2010. Added to that are deaths from other causes: Each year avalanches kill more than 150 people worldwide. Over the last 10 winters in the U.S. an average of 25 people died in avalanches annually.

According to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA): During the past 10 years, an average of 41 people have died skiing or snowboarding per year. During the 2011/12 season, 54 fatalities occurred out of the 51.0 million skier/snowboarder days reported.

Okay, then there’s summer. Skin cancer and shark attacks aside, from 2005-2014 there were an average of 3,536 fatal non-boating-related drownings annually in the U. S.—about ten a day.  Another 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-relatedincidents. About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.

Spring is nice, right? So why did T.S. Eliot famously write that, “April is the cruellest month”? Possibly because from 2000 to 2017, stings from bees and wasps were responsible for 1,109 deaths, or roughly 62 fatalities each year, the CDC said.

Conversely, not a single death has been reported due to breathing in the crisp fall air, or tromping through crunchy fallen leaves, or driving through mountains covered in a vast array of technicolor glow, so beautiful as to be distracting, especially on the road between Maine and Canada in early October, OMG! Anyway, apple cider has killed nobody.  Ditto apple cider donuts, hot mulled cider, apple crisp with whipped cream, pumpkin pie and turkey with all the trimmings. And don’t forget all those great wooly sweaters, cute hats, comfy socks and cozy PJ’s. And of course, Halloween, always sort of fun and different even if you hate it. And all the mums, they can’t hurt you. No more black flies, or greenhead flies, or any color flies. And guess what, all the mosquitoes are gone! You can walk outside without fear of mainlining calamine lotion later that night. It’s glorious.

I rest my case.

—Andrea Rouda

Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid


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