"In the midst of life we are in death," as the Book of Common Prayer puts it. Every faith has a way of conveying the same idea.
The technology world's version is the sad recognition that any device starts becoming obsolete the instant you buy it. But there perhaps should be a specific line or verse referring to USB sticks. I mentioned recently that one of mine (a PNY Optima Attache model) had survived a trip through the washer and dryer and still worked fine. Reader Gary Allen Vollink brings the unsurprising but sobering news that all is transience even with the hard silicon of USBs:
The corrosion starts once they get wet. There's no stopping it. It will die suddenly and unexpectedly. It will probably take between 4 and 8 weeks.
Sadly, I've done this with THREE already, and one of them was also an Attache. They all reacted - pretty much the same way.
That is -- back up your backup.
Book of Common Prayer: "Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down, like a flower." Tech world: "Back up your backup." It comes to the same thing.
Update: this does nothing about the human "in the midst of life" problem, but reader Matthew Wilbert reminds me that soaking the USB stick in WD-40 can do wonders against corrosion. "That's (more or less) why it was invented." FWIW.