Located in the Inland Empire, Loma Linda is heavily populated with Seventh-day Adventists who observe the Sabbath on Saturday. The U.S. Postal Service has worked with the community by delivering mail instead on Sundays, but for the first time in 81 years, that stopped last weekend. Blame risings costs and a deficit.
Polite protests and lobbying to keep the Sunday delivery service went unheeded, reported Inland Media outlets like the Press-Enterprise. As much as the community-at-large may be disappointed, it won't deter them from practicing their Sabbath as they see fit. And they are healthier for it.
In fact, the health and spiritual practices of the Loma Linda Seventh-day Adventist community, which numbers up to 20,000, has the region designated as a "Blue Zone," an area where residents tend to live healthier and longer lives.
Coping skills aside, Loma Linda joins Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Ikaria, Greece as regions with higher life expectancy, according to author Dan Buettner, who researched longevity patterns through a partnership with National Geographic and the National Institute on Aging.
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"My husband says he's going to put a cover over our mailbox saying, `Don't deliver on Saturday,'" said resident Evangelina Pellecer to the Redlands' Daily Facts. "If they're delivering my mail, for me, they're violating my right not to do work on the Sabbath."
Those are strong words coming from the new postal zone coming within a "Blue Zone."