A dog in Colorado is delivering groceries to his elderly neighbor with respiratory problems
via KKTV

A dog in Colorado is doing his part to help during the coronavirus pandemic. Sunny, a golden retriever, has been delivering groceries to his neighbor, Renee, while she self-isolates.

Sunny's owner, Eveleth, and Renee have lived next to each other for over a decade.

Renee has respiratory problems so she uses an oxygen tank. The COVID-19 virus is especially deadly for people with respiratory problems because it creates inflammation and fluid build-up in the lungs.

People with chronic respiratory issues have some of the highest mortality rates from the COVID-19 virus.


The delivery process is simple: Eveleth sends Sunny over to Renee's house to get her shopping list. After Eveleth returns from the store, she gives Sunny the grocery bag and he delivers it next door to Renee.

"She got the list, she gave it to Sunny, Sunny brought it to me," Eveleth told KKTV. "I went to the store, got her her groceries, and he delivered them all to her."

Sunny has been making deliveries to Renee since the virus began to spread in the U.S. a few weeks ago.

"What a wonderful thing, just a sweet thing," Renee said. "So he started doing the schlepping, back and forth. It's been fun, it's been a real treat." Sunny seems to enjoy it, too. Renee gives him the equivalent of a doggy tip after each successful delivery by asking, "Who's a good boy?" and giving him a rub down.

Golden retrievers are bred to be bird dogs so they are great at fetching and returning items to people. The breed is eager to please so they are popular service dogs and often used on search and rescue teams. So delivering groceries comes naturally to dogs like Sunny.

Sunny's regular visits are also a great pick me up for Renee, who lives alone. "Little things like Sunny coming over to visit is nice and it makes you feel good," Renee said. "It's a way of communicating."

Plus, Sunny is safe for Renee to be around because dogs can't get COVID-19 or pass it to humans.

"There is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19," the World Health Organization said in a statement. "COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks."

Eveleth hopes that the story of Sunny and Renee gives people something to smile about in these trying times.

"Anybody can do something small, that can be so helpful," she said.

The story of Renee and Sunny is a great example of neighbors helping each other in a crisis. It goes to show that even when people practice social isolation they can also help each other if they get a little creative. It also helps to have an amazing golden retriever like Sunny.

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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