Nurses on America's front line are begging for our help. We owe it to them to listen.

A few weeks ago, we shared a doctor's description of his hospital in Italy after the coronavirus had hit them hard. His words were sobering and his account harrowing—but at that point such dire circumstances were still half a world away.

We knew it was only a matter of time before a surge in cases and hospitalizations started hitting the U.S., and now we're getting a taste of what that looks like from the people on the front line.


Healthcare workers have sounded the alarm on what COVID-19 looks like in the ICU, on their woeful lack of PPE (personal protective equipment), and on the fear and frustration they feel when they see people not adhering to social distancing rules. If you need an incentive to stay at home as much as possible and to avoid interacting in person with others, these nurses' pleas ought to do it.

A nurse in Southeast Michigan shared her thoughts on video after coming off a 13-hour shift at the hospital where she treated COVID-19 patients on ventilators in the ICU.

"I don't know what the f*ck just happened the past 13 hours," she began. "Honestly, you guys, I felt like I was working in a war zone."

After describing what it's like to deal with a medical crisis with limited supplies and overwhelmed team members, she said, "I'm already breaking, so for f*ck's sake, please take this seriously."

Another nurse wrote a post on Facebook about her night at work last week, where her boss was crying, nurses were breaking down, and they all went to the hospital chapel together to pray. "I ask myself how are we going to survive this?" she wrote. "I've never seen anything like it."

Another Michigan ER nurse shared a video on Instagram describing one night in her hospital when they were running out of everything—even Tylenol.

Mary MacDonald took a shift at the Southfield campus of Ascension Providence Hospital and was blown away by what she experienced. "If you would have asked me ten-plus days ago if I thought that this was going to get as bad as it was, I would have told you no. I mean, you heard the rumors and you saw the trends, but until you see it first hand you just have no idea...it's truly frightening."

The bottom-line message from all of these front line workers is "STAY HOME." This virus is highly contagious, and It's not worth the risk to make an extra trip to the store or let your kid see a friend because they're bored or lonely. Stay at home, even if your area hasn't been hit hard yet. Stay at home, even if you think it's safe because your hospitals are still in the calm before the storm.

For the sake of our healthcare workers' health and well-being, as well as everyone else's, we all need to do our part to slow the spread, flatten the curve, and keep our hospitals from getting overrun with patients. People's lives literally depend on it, and we owe it to these medical workers to heed their warnings.

Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

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When it comes to the topic of race, we all have questions. And sometimes, it honestly can be embarrassing to ask perfectly well-intentioned questions lest someone accuse you of being ignorant, or worse, racist, for simply admitting you don't know the answer.

America has a complicated history with race. For as long as we've been a country, our culture, politics and commerce have been structured in a way to deny our nation's past crimes, minimize the structural and systemic racism that still exists and make the entire discussion one that most people would rather simply not have.

For example, have you ever wondered what's really behind the term Black Pride? Is it an uplifting phrase for the Black community or a divisive term? Most people instinctively put the term "White Pride" in a negative context. Is there such a thing as non-racist, racial pride for white people? And while we're at it, what about Asian people, Native Americans, and so on?

Yes, a lot of people raise these questions with bad intent. But if you've ever genuinely wanted an answer, either for yourself or so that you best know how to handle the question when talking to someone with racist views, writer/director Michael McWhorter put together a short, simple and irrefutable video clip explaining why "White Pride" isn't a real thing, why "Black Pride" is and all the little details in between.


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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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The subject of late-term abortions has been brought up repeatedly during this election season, with President Trump making the outrageous claim that Democrats are in favor of executing babies.

This message grossly misrepresents what late-term abortion actually is, as well as what pro-choice advocates are actually "in favor of." No one is in favor of someone having a specific medical procedure—that would require being involved in someone's individual medical care—but rather they are in favor of keeping the government out of decisions about specific medical procedures.

Pete Buttigieg, who has become a media surrogate for the Biden campaign—and quite an effective one at that—addressed this issue in a Fox News town hall when he was on the campaign trail himself. When Chris Wallace asked him directly about late-term abortions, Buttigieg answered Wallace's questions is the best way possible.

"Do you believe, at any point in pregnancy, whether it's at six weeks or eight weeks or 24 weeks or whenever, that there should be any limit on a woman's right to have an abortion?" Wallace asked.

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As the once-celebrated Information Age devolves into the hell-hole-ish Misinformation Age, many of us feel a desperate sense of despair. It's one thing to have diverse perspectives on issues; it's entirely another to have millions of people living in an alternate reality where up is down, left is right, and a global pandemic is a global hoax put on by a powerful cabal of Satanic, baby-eating, pedophile elites.

Watching a not-insignificant portion of your country fall prey to false—and sometimes flat out bonkers—narratives is disconcerting. Watching politicians and spokespeople spout those narratives on national television is downright terrifying.

Clearly, the U.S. is not the only country with politicians who pander to conspiracy theorists for their own gain, but not every country lets them get away with it. In a now-viral interview, New Zealand's Tova O'Brien spoke with one her country's fringe political party leaders and showed journalists exactly how to handle a misinformation peddler.

Her guest was Jami-Lee Ross, leader of the Advance New Zealand party, which failed to garner enough votes in the country's general election this weekend to enter parliament. The party, which got less than one percent of the vote, had spread misinformation about the coronavirus on social media, and Ross's co-leader, Billy Te Kahika, is a known conspiracy theorist.

But O'Brien came prepared to shut down that nonsense.

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