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Gates Foundation

This historic photo.


Why should I care about this photo?

The 10 people in this portrait aren't just randos. They are linked to the development of many of the life-saving vaccines we have today. In other words: They are linked to saving millions of lives over the past few decades and could be one of the reasons *you* are able to stay healthy! The fact that they are all together in one picture is so incredibly rare, and iconic photographer Annie Leibovitz did a beautiful job of capturing it all.


Who are these people?

Thanks for asking! We have:

In the 1960s, Dr. Stanley Plotkin developed the rubella vaccine to destroy ... rubella(!), which is a disease that sometimes comes with a mild fever and rash and often is referred to as German measles or three-day measles. It's not really known for being super-extreme, but it's still annoying. Here's what rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) have looked like in the United States, according to the CDC:

Thanks for the help on that decline, Dr. Plotkin!

Deborah Sabin is the daughter of the late Dr. Albert Sabin. Dr. Sabin developed the oral polio vaccine in 1961. Polio! Polio is the worst. It used to paralyze kids left and right and was one of the most feared diseases in industrialized countries. Thanks to effective vaccines and delivery, many think global eradication of the disease is within reach. Global cases have decreased by 99%, and there are just three countries left that have never stopped polio transmission. It's gonna be tough to get that last 1%, but I think we can do it. Don't you?

Dr. Ruth Bishop led a team that isolated rotavirus, a contagious virus that can cause inflammation of the stomach and intestines. The WHO calls it a leading cause of severe diarrheal disease and dehydration in infants and young children throughout the world ... aka messy and horrible. Good thing Dr. Bishop helped to discover the vaccine for it. Badass alert!

Dr. Kim Lee Sim and Dr. Stephen Hoffman are both working on a new malaria vaccine, which is *SO* needed as half the world's population live in areas at risk of malaria transmissions, some of which can be fatal. To all the infected mosquitoes out there: Consider this your warning. This duo is coming for you.


Dr. Peter Salk is the son of the late Dr. Jonas Salk. He developed the inactivated polio vaccine. Polio again! This polio vaccine is injected into the arm or leg and is the more common vaccine in the United States. Needless to say, it's helped us out a lot.

Dr. Marc Laforce is the founding director of the Meningitis Vaccine Project, where they work to fight meningitis, a potentially life-threatening inflammation of the brain and spinal cord membranes.

Dr. Xiao Yi-Sun is the spouse of the late Dr. Jian Zhou. Zhou co-developed the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine with Dr. Ian Frazer. The HPV vaccine has been talked about a lot in the past few years, mainly because HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives. In the United States, it is now recommended that boys and girls ages 11-12 get vaccinated against it to help protect them from most of the cancers caused by HPV and genital warts.



In the United States, from 2006-2010. Props to the CDC.

Dr. Peter Paradiso has worked on multiple vaccines, particularly for pneumococcal disease. What's that, you ask? It's a very serious infection that can cause pneumonia, meningitis, and bloodstream infection. The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases has a whole bunch of info on it. And it all sounds 0% fun.

Jeryl Hilleman is the daughter of Dr. Maurice Hilleman. Dr. Hilleman developed or perfected more than 30 vaccines, including eight used in vaccine programs around the world today. 30 VACCINES. Jeeze. Kind of like a 30-day vaccine challenge or something, and Maurice followed through.

It's cool to know where stuff comes from. Especially when it's had such an impact on many of our lives.

via Jess Martini / Tik Tok

There are few things as frightening to a parent than losing your child in a crowded place like a shopping mall, zoo, or stadium. The moment you realize your child is missing, it's impossible not to consider the terrifying idea they may have been kidnapped.

A woman in New Zealand recently lost her son in a Kmart but was able to locate him because of a potentially life-saving parenting hack she saw on TikTok a few months ago.

The woman was shopping at the retailer when she realized her two-year-old son Nathan was missing. She immediately told a friend to alert the staff to ensure he didn't leave through the store's front exit.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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Gates Foundation

Once upon a time, a scientist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines.

After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything.

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President Biden/Twitter, Yamiche Alcindor/Twitter

In a year when the U.S. saw the largest protest movement in history in support of Black lives, when people of color have experienced disproportionate outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic, and when Black voters showed up in droves to flip two Senate seats in Georgia, Joe Biden entered the White House with a mandate to address the issue of racial equity in a meaningful way.

Not that it took any of those things to make racial issues in America real. White supremacy has undergirded laws, policies, and practices throughout our nation's history, and the ongoing impacts of that history are seen and felt widely by various racial and ethnic groups in America in various ways.

Today, President Biden spoke to these issues in straightforward language before signing four executive actions that aim to:

- promote fair housing policies to redress historical racial discrimination in federal housing and lending

- address criminal justice, starting by ending federal contracts with for-profit prisons

- strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with Native American tribes and Alaskan natives

- combat xenophobia against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, which has skyrocketed during the pandemic

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