How Far We've Come

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A photograph of an American with smallpox in 1881 - from a graphic slide-show from CBS News from the collection of Stanley K. Burns. The slide-show focuses on surgery and treatment of eye disorders and other illnesses we once could do nothing about. It's pretty horrifying.

If you're as depressed by the news these days as I am, it's sometimes worth remembering that the world is also light years less painful for Westerners than ever before. I also remind myself that however bad my mood, without miraculous modern medicine, I would no longer have a body to have a mood in.