When you spend a lot of time walking around in the field (or doing various repetitive tasks in the field), your mind tends to wander. In my case, I end up making lists of things: stuff I want to eat when I get home, stuff I want to do when I get home, things I should try to prioritize during my second year. And, sometimes, most likely ways to die.
In my personal accounting, based on what I do with most of my time in the field, should I die while working the most likely causes would be:
1. Car accident
2. Falling off of a cliff (on foot/in a car when this happens is probably 50/50)
3. Disease/medical condition. Something insect- or water-borne and/or my appendix bursts too far out in the field. I like to think that my Evac. insurance would prevent this from becoming deadly, but if I'm honest with myself I know it probably wouldn't.
4. Bitten by poisonous animal/insect/whatever
5. Something dog-related: mauling might be more likely, but I also count rabies, even though I have the vaccination that would buy me more time and I keep it up to date
6. Equipment-related accident. Large metal things falling on my head, in particular.
7. Shot by some yokel (I don't really think this is likely, but I guess it should be on the list because it's strictly possible). This category also includes bullets falling from the sky, which is probably a more likely scenario than intentional shooting.
In contrast, in the States I think my list looks something like:
2. Car accident
3. Other accident (ya know, I fall off a ladder, or do something equally stupid)
4. Flu/other communicable disease (I do work with snotty students)
5. Heart attack/stroke (I don't think these likely, but I guess they are strictly possible).
The top causes of death in the States, as reported by the CDC are:
1. Heart disease
4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases
5. Accidents (unintentional injuries)
7. Alzheimer's disease
8. Influenza and Pneumonia
9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis
Honestly, I expect it to be Cancer many years from now; when I go into the field I don't really expect that I won't be coming back. But these are the things my mind spends its time on when I'm busy doing other things, like walking. Morbid? Maybe. A good time-waster when you need something to occupy your brain? Definitely.
8 hours ago