We owe a huge thanks to the heroes on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic

As the world faces a global pandemic, there are millions of people we all should be thanking—the doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel who are on the front line of the war against COVID-19.

While many of us are trying to figure out how to stay away from people as much as possible to avoid illness, these folks are gearing up for battle and running into the fire. People who work in clinics, hospitals, and care facilities are the courageous heroes of this worldwide story, knowingly putting themselves at risk to save lives.


In China, it was a young physician—an opthamologist named Li Wenliang—who first sounded the alarm in Wuhan about the virus. He was also among the first wave of people to die from it. Liu Zhiming, a neurosurgeon who was the director of Wuhan's Wuchang Hospital and who led its coronavirus response, also succumbed to the virus. Doctors there have worked tirelessly to treat an outbreak of an illness that none of them had seen before, some dying of fatigue and exhaustion as well as the infection.

Doctors in current outbreak epicenters, such as northern Italy, are working round the clock as hospitals are overwhelmed with critically ill patients. In some places, they are having to choose which patients they will treat with the equipment they have, and which will be left to perish—a horrifying position to be put in, but reality when there are more patients than respirators.

Iran has announced that the country will designate medical staff who have died from COVID-19 as "martyrs," giving them the same honor as slain soldiers.

Nurses, who rarely get the recognition they should for the vital work they do already, are also making sacrifices above and beyond the call of duty. A nurse named Alessia Bonari from Tuscany, Italy shared a selfie on Instagram that illustrated what doctors and nurses are going through in a country where more than 10,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 800 have died of the virus.

Her face chafed from the protective mask she's been wearing, Bonari shared her feelings of fear, exhaustion, and determination as she and her colleagues wage war with the outbreak:

"I am afraid because the mask might not stick properly to the face, or I might have accidentally touched myself with dirty gloves, or maybe the lenses don't cover my eyes fully and something slipped by.

I am physically tired because the protective devices hurt, the lab coat makes me sweat and once I'm dressed I can no longer go to the bathroom or drink for six hours.

I am psychologically tired, as are all my colleagues who have been in the same condition for weeks, but this will not prevent us from doing our job as we have always done. I will continue to take care of my patients because I am proud and in love with my job.

What I ask anyone who is reading this post is not to frustrate the effort we are making, to be selfless, to stay at home and thus protect those who are most fragile."

We're just beginning to see the strain this virus will place on health workers here in the U.S. In Kirkland, WA, EvergreenHealth hospital went from no coronavirus cases two weeks ago to being swarmed by more than 40 suspected or confirmed cases of the virus in one night.

The New York Times described the sobering reality in the Washington hospital:

"Caregivers who had been sent home into quarantine had to be called back to work to face the overwhelming task at hand. Engineers spent late nights scrambling to overhaul rooms so that contaminated air could not escape. Sanitation and janitorial crews struggled to swab down rooms where even a trace of the virus could infect the next patient. Supplies were so strained that nurses turned to menstrual pads to buttress the padding in their helmets."

And yet, manager of trauma services Barb Jensen told the Times that they've not had any issues with staff not wanting to come in to work. "We've had staff calling and say, 'If you need me, I'm available.'"

Just as we praise soldiers, firefighters, and police officers for running toward danger, we should praise everyone working in medicine right now for what they are doing—or what they may soon have to do. They are the ones who have to face this threat head-on, being exposed far more than any of the rest of us, and saving those of us who fall critically ill from it.

Thank you, doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel who are on the front lines of this pandemic. You are heroes daily anyway, but you deserve an extra dose of appreciation as we battle this new enemy.

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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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Yesterday I was perusing comments on an Welcometoterranova article about Joe Biden comforting the son of a Parkland shooting victim and immediately had flashbacks to the lead-up of the 2016 election. In describing former vice President Biden, some commenters were using the words "criminal," "corrupt," and "pedophile—exactly the same words people used to describe Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I remember being baffled so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

But none of that was true.

It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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via Twins Trust / Twitter

Twins born with separate fathers are rare in the human population. Although there isn't much known about heteropaternal superfecundation — as it's known in the scientific community — a study published in The Guardian, says about one in every 400 sets of fraternal twins has different fathers.

Simon and Graeme Berney-Edwards, a gay married couple, from London, England both wanted to be the biological father of their first child.

"We couldn't decide on who would be the biological father," Simon told The Daily Mail. "Graeme said it should be me, but I said that he had just as much right as I did."

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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