The bus driver who called out a woman coughing on his bus two weeks ago has died of COVID-19

On March 21, Detroit bus driver Jason Hargrove shared a video on social media describing how a woman on his bus had been coughing without covering her mouth. On March 25, he fell ill. On April 2—just under two weeks after he shared his video—it was announced that Hargrove has died from COVID-19.

Yes, it is horrible and heartbreaking. It's also vitally important for us to acknowledge stories like this.


First and foremost, this tragedy reminds us that essential workers like Hargrove are heroes in the battle against this pandemic. Many of our front line workers in the medical field rely on public transportation, as do other essential workers such as grocery store clerks and custodians. Right now, we are all relying on these folks to keep doing their jobs, even though they are quite literally risking their own health to do so. They should be commended. They should be compensated. And they should be protected as much as is humanly possible.

Hargrove's story also reminds us how crucial it is that we all adhere to the safety guidelines for slowing the spread of this disease. Only go out to the store if it's absolutely necessary. Behave as if you and everyone you see is already infected. We know this virus is highly contagious and far more deadly than the seasonal flu. We have to take it seriously.

"This coronavirus shit is for real," Hargrove said in his video, "and we are here as public workers doing our job, trying to make an honest living to take care of our families. But for you to get on the bus and stand on the bus and cough several times without covering up your mouth, and you know that we in the middle of a pandemic, that lets me know that some folks don't care..."

The video contains profanity, so view at your own discretion. But it's worth watching and listening to what this man had to say. We do not know for sure how or when he was infected, but the timeline is on par with what we know about transmission. His job as a bus driver may literally have cost him his life because someone was thoughtless and cavelier about coughing.

"I try to be the professional that they want me to be," said Hargrove, "and I kept my mouth closed, but at some point in time we got to draw the line and say enough is enough. That shit was uncalled for. I feel violated. I feel violated for the folks that was on the bus when this happened. It was about a good 8 or 9 people on the bus and she stood there and coughed. Never covered up her mouth."

Unreal. It should be crystal clear to everyone by now that this virus is nothing to mess around with, and that there is a very good reason that the world has come to a screeching halt in order to stop it. Whether you feel ill or not, whether your area has had a surge in cases or not, whether you are part of the most at-risk populations or not, you need to get on board with what we're all being asked to do.

We owe that much to Mr. Hargrove, and to all of the other essential workers who are putting their own lives on the line to keep life running for the rest of us.

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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