Can you do a quick thing to help nearly a million kids in Nepal survive the earthquake aftermath?

Nearly 4,000 are dead from the intense earthquake and avalanche. For many Nepalese, the fight for survival has just begun:


A family takes shelter on a sidewalk in the Kathmandu city centre.


They need warm blankets and shelter from the elements. But even more crucially, first they need clean water:

A young girl plays with a plastic bottle in an evacuation area set up by the authorities in Tundikhel park in Kathmandu.
"I think 100% of people in Kathmandu are not inside their homes."

A first-hand account courtesy of the humanitarian aid organization CARE:

Santosh Sharma, an emergency response coordinator with CARE in Nepal, said a few homes in his Kathmandu neighborhood lost walls or crumbled to the ground. Sharma rushed to help two people injured in the rubble. “Their houses completely collapsed," Sharma said. “They had bad wounds and were bleeding. We took them to the nearest health center where they got first aid."
...
Sharma said compound walls that ring homes near him collapsed into the streets, making the job of emergency responders even more difficult. And as darkness descended on the capital Saturday, families were gathered out in the streets, afraid to re-enter their homes for fear that aftershocks would send them tumbling to the ground as well.

“I think 100% of people in Kathmandu are not inside their homes," Sharma said.

“Everyone is outside with no tents or blankets. This are very difficult conditions for women, children and elderly people. It's very cold for them, and the aftershocks just keep coming for hours. Everyone is afraid to go indoors, so we will all sleep outside in the cold tonight."






A resident cries while speaking on the phone under her tent in an evacuation area in Tundikhel park.

What YOU can do right now — right this minute:

  • Give to CARE, UNICEF, or Oxfam, all good choices that use the money for a variety of first-response emergency needs.
  • Give to Habitat for Humanity International; they're preparing emergency shelter kits. According to their site, "Habitat for Humanity has worked in Nepal for 18 years and has helped tens of thousands of families in need of decent housing."
  • Get clean, potable water to the Nepalese earthquake victims posthaste through Waves for Water.

We don't usually beg people to share our posts, but in this case, we'll make an exception. Please, please, please take one of the actions above (if you can) and ask your friends to do the same.

"I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world."

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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A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

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.

Keep Reading Show less