Drinking beer is often frowned upon by health-conscious nitwits. Little do these
condescending fools realise that the noble pursuit of drinking beer has saved millions
During the 19th century, Europe was racked with Cholera. The disease caused
hundreds of thousands of deaths, affecting individuals from all walks of life. The
leading theory at the time was that cholera was transmitted through certain gasses
coming from sewers and swamps. No one knew how to prevent nor treat the
disease and big cities like London where in a constant state of panic.
It was during these turbulent times that a young physician named Dr John Snow
moved to London and began practising medicine. Snow soon realized the extent of
the cholera outbreak and felt torn by the fact that he could do nothing for his sick
patients. Snow believed that the perceptions of how cholera was spread where
To prove his case Snow began keeping records of all the cholera-related deaths in a
highly populated suburb in London. Snow’s map was dotted full of marks, each mark
representing a cholera mortality, with a very high concentration around the local
plumbing station where water often leaked into the street. However, one spot on
Snow’s map was devoid of marks. This safe haven was the site of the local brewery.
Snow soon realized that the employees at the brewery only drank beer which led him
to the conclusion that cholera was spread through infected water.
To prove his theory Snow decided to live in one of London’s most cholera-stricken
areas, during which he only drank beer. Snow’s theory soon became fact and this
lead to massive reforms in how cities viewed hygiene particularly with regards to
sewerage treatment. This reform made the cholera epidemic a thing of the past and
saved millions of lives.
So next time someone judges you for drinking a few too many be sure to politely
inform them that you are merely paying homage to Dr Snow for saving millions of lives.
Written by: Janlouis Strydom