The post-antibiotic future sounds terrifying, but here’s one upside you didn’t imagine: swilling Viking crunk juice to stay alive. New research suggests that mead, the vitality drink of gods and berserkers alike, was a potent medicine in ancient times. And with science, we can make it even better.
It’s a little jarring to see this fallacy repeated by a scientist in the article. Basically, infant mortality was rampant in the pre-modern world. People had a lot of kids, and hoped a few might survive to adulthood. But if you made it to your teenage years, you had a chance of enjoying nearly the same degree of longevity we do these days.
There was more war and a much greater chance of animal attack, but you could expect to have better cardio vascular health than most modern people and until recently, unless you were rich you could expect to finish life with most of your teeth, because you would most likely never taste sugar.
You could still die by fever, injury, infection and so on and for a lot of things like that, that are trivial maladies to us today, once you started down that road, the prognosis was grim. But it wasn’t like “wow, you’re thirty years old, what’s the secret of your longevity ?” It would be more like “Wow, three of your six siblings survived childhood, your family is good stock”.