31 Days of Happiness Countdown: Patti LaBelle's disastrous holiday performance. (Day 25)

Thanks for stopping by Day 25 of Upworthy's 31 Days of Happiness Countdown! If this is your first visit, here's the gist: Each day between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, we're sharing stories specifically designed to bring joy, smiles, and laughter into our lives and yours. It's been a challenging year, so why not end it on a high note with a bit of laughter? Check back tomorrow (or click the links at the bottom) for another installment!

Every so often, a vintage video resurfaces from a corner of the internet and reminds you why this life is worth living. For me, that video is Patti LaBelle performing "This Christmas" at the 1996 National Tree Lighting.


BUCKLE UP.

GIF via C-SPAN.

The video captures what a live performance looks like when almost everything — from an endless cue card mishap to the bizarre and complete absence of background singers — goes completely off the rails. And it's perfect.

The video has reared its head every now and then online since the '90s, but recently went viral on Twitter after user @itsKARY_ published a clip on Nov. 30. Activist DeRay McKesson shared the video a week later to his 1 million followers, and it took off into viral oblivion. "I haven’t laughed this hard in a while," McKesson wrote. "I needed this." (SAME, DeRay.)

The clip, seen below, gets good at about the 25-second mark, when LaBelle realizes she's all alone on stage.  “Where my background singers?!” she yells, equal parts amused and confused, as the music carries on. “And it’s the wrong words on the cue cards!" she motions to someone in front of the stage, who I assume is in a full-blown panic by that point. "I don’t know the song — THIS CHRISTMAS!” she belts.

That's just the beginning of the hilarity. Trust me. It's worth the watch.

Thank you, Ms. LaBelle, for reminding us that, while the holidays don't always turn out like you'd hope, they're always special ... in their own, unique way.

Watch LaBelle's disastrously perfect 1996 performance of "This Christmas":

More days of happiness here: DAY 1 / DAY 2 / DAY 3 / DAY 4 / DAY 5/ DAY 6 / DAY 7 / DAY 8 / DAY 9 / DAY 10 / DAY 11 / DAY 12 / DAY 13 / DAY 14 / DAY 15 / DAY 16 / DAY 17/ DAY 18 / DAY 19 / DAY 20 / DAY 21 / DAY 22 / DAY 23 / DAY 24 / [DAY 25] / DAY 26 / DAY 27 / DAY 28 / DAY 29 / DAY 30 / DAY 31
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As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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