19 things that happen when the government shuts down.

On May 2, 2017, President Trump tweeted that maybe what the government needs is "a good 'shutdown.'"

It would be to "force a partisan confrontation over federal spending," according to The New York Times — as if the American government were a kid who needs a timeout. But that's just not how government works. When politicians can't get their act together, the rest of the country suffers.

How do we know this? Because in 2013, it did shut down. For 16 days. It, uh, wasn't great. If you (and the government) need a reminder of what's at stake, here are 20 things that happened to real people because of it:


1. Furloughed government employees were forced to take part-time jobs.

One U.S. Capitol employee took a job as a middle-school janitor, according to the Washington Post. Another family had to lay off a reading specialist they hired for their autistic son. At its peak, the shutdown put about 850,000 government jobs on hold.

2. National parks closed.

Photo from David McNew/Getty Images.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Cleo Tung and Matthew Locascio had to reschedule their wedding after the government closed Yosemite National Park. Another group was told their reservation to raft down the Grand Canyon — a plan 18 years in the making — wasn't going to happen.

3. National wildlife refuges closed too. Officials had to cancel a wild pony roundup on the Virginia coast.

Each year, workers round up the wild ponies on Assateague Island, conducting vet checks, giving immunizations, and collecting and selling new foals. The event had to be cancelled because the national wildlife refuge was closed. The same park closure also stopped a yearly peregrine falcon survey.

4. Outdoor-dependent businesses near the parks and refuges suffered greatly.

Closing Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska cost fly-fishing guide Fred Telleen thousands of dollars, the Washington Post reported, and closing Zion National Park in Utah cost the Zion Park Inn tens of thousands of dollars, reported The New York Times.

5. If Americans thought they'd hit a museum instead, tough luck. National museums and monuments were closed too.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

The shutdown affected the Smithsonian museums and national monuments such as the Statue of Liberty and the Lincoln Memorial.

6. But it didn't stop 92 veterans from visiting the World War II Memorial.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight veterans dodged barricades to tour the temporarily closed site.

7. And this red-blooded American helped mow the Lincoln Memorial's lawn.

Photo from AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta.

Chris Cox from South Carolina took it upon himself to mow the lawns and empty the garbage cans on the National Mall. He refused donations, saying the point was to send a message to the government.

8. Meanwhile, 50,000 North Carolina families were left without baby formula.

The shutdown locked about 50,000 families in the state out of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, which provides vouchers to low-income moms and families.

9. Homeowners at Lake Mead were told to vacate.

Joyce and Ralph Spencer, whose home is located on government land, were given 24 hours to find new accommodations, according to the Washington Times.

10. $4 billion dollars worth of tax refunds were delayed.

Tax refunds aren't just a nice bonus — they're money that's legitimately owed to workers and families. Checks had to be delayed because of staffing issues at the IRS.

11. Farmers' planting plans were thrown into disarray.

When the government shut down, it stopped providing insurance rate and price predictions to farmers. Combine that with a frozen-at-the-time farm bill, and it's understandable why farmers like Val Wagner said they were having trouble planning the next year's crop.

12. Potentially life-saving clinical trials got all scrambled up.

The shutdown furloughed about three-quarters of the National Institutes of Health's staff, putting a freeze on new clinical trial enrollments. About 200 patients a week had to be deferred, wrote the L.A. Times.

13. Alaskan crab fishermen were idled on the docks, waiting for NOAA permits.

Crab fishermen depend on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to set quotas and issue licenses. The shutdown meant the crews had to sit around waiting.

14. New airplanes were delayed.

Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.

JetBlue and US Airways couldn't get new Airbus planes because the Federal Aviation Administration had furloughed the workers who certify them for flight.

15. In Daphne, Alabama, a domestic violence shelter had to ask the city for emergency funding.

A victim of domestic violence at a safe house in 2010. That year, domestic violence shelters in California experienced a similar crisis due to a state budget crisis. Photo by Rich Pedroncelli/AP.

The city came through with funds for the The Lighthouse, but not all shelters were so lucky. The White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, which serves the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, said they had to turn at least four people away.

16. Native American communities lost big.

In Fort Yukon, Alaska, for instance, the political brouhaha shut down jobs, scholarships, and aid programs.

17. Asylum-seekers' cases were delayed or frozen entirely.

A Congolese doctor, applying for U.S. asylum after he spoke out about human rights atrocities, had his case frozen. The already backed-up system became even slower after courts shut down, a situation one lawyer called "a nightmare."

18. An investigation into Dartmouth College's sexual assault policies ground to a halt.

The college was under investigation after students complained the college hadn't been reporting or prosecuting sexual violence on campus. The shutdown paused the investigation.

19. Government workers grew beards.

With nothing else to do, furloughed employees grew beards and posting them on social media, leading to what must be one of our country's lowest moments: the creation of the #ShutdownBeards hashtag.

Ultimately, the 2013 shutdown cost the country about $24 billion.

According to the Standard & Poor's rating agency, the shutdown ended up draining $1.5 billion a day from the American economy.

So no, Mr. President. A government shutdown isn't a good thing.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

These are just a handful of the shutdown's effects. From passport applications to airplane accident investigations, we depend on the government to do its job. When politicians play games, real people get hurt.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

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Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

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A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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