Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
This matches my experiences a lot too. Though I've been experimenting with embracing stuff like Save or Die and even old school level drain in recent years. I just make sure to signpost and telegraph them so they've got some more drama and players have more chance to avoid or engage.D&D has always been and continues to be as (permanently) lethal as the DM and group wants. Yes, there's less "oops you're dead" in 5E but raise dead was always there as a last resort.
But I think that goes back to how people played. Have a cleric in the party? Rest up, cast as many healing spells as you can. Rinse and repeat for a few days and you're good as new. I remember playing one of the gold box D&D games that had "rest and heal until full" option. I remember being in a collapsing tunnel towards the end of the game and spamming that button until it completed successfully. Didn't quite work that way in games, but it was close.
I think this in part goes back to people simply made the game their own. When I DMed I'd look at entries like the ear worm or trapper (the floor ate unsuspecting adventures), chuckled and then never used them. Same way I'll probably never use the feeblemind spell. Taking someone out of the game because of a single bad roll simply isn't much fun to me.