Short work weeks make for short posts, doubly so when virtually all the health-related news is about the healthcare bill in Congress. So I’ll end the year with two unrelated bits of good news.

The first is that the H1N1 flu pandemic is mostly behind us. The peak numbers of people getting sick both nationally and in California was about two months ago, with decreasing numbers ever since. As predicted by yours truly in April, the world did not end (though a bunch of my patients were plenty miserable).

The second bit of good news is that Americans are living longer then ever. In 2007, the most recent year for which statistics are available, average life expectancy at birth crept up to a record high of 77.9 years. That’s an average, so many of us will live longer. So for everyone who had a mediocre 2009, here’s hoping you have many better years ahead.

Tangential miscellany:

Posting will be suspended next week and will resume in the New Year. Merry Christmas to all who are celebrating, and to all of us a prosperous, healthy and happy 2010!

Learn more:

Follow the H1N1 flu trends at the Centers for Disease Control FluView Weekly Report or at Google Flu Trends

The statistic about your increasing life expectancy is from the LA Times Booster Shots post: U.S. birth rates back on the rise