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'We're supposed to be a first-world country'—ER doc exposes what's happening at a NY hospital

The war with COVID-19 has arrived on our soil, and those on the front lines are being sent into battle without enough armor or armaments.

We've spent weeks watching hard-hit nations struggle under overwhelming conditions—countries like Italy, which has more hospital beds and more doctors per capita than the U.S.—having to make heartbreaking decisions about which patients will get ventilators and which patients will die.


The picture of what happens when healthcare systems—even developed, well-managed systems—get hit with more critically ill patients than they have room or equipment for, is stark. And that reality has just begun to play out in the U.S.. Not enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep healthcare workers from contracting the virus they're surrounded by in the hospital. Not enough ventilators to meet the swelling demand.

Heroic doctors and nurses on the front line are beginning to give us all a glimpse of what this battle looks like. ER doctor Colleen Smith in Elmhurst, Queens, shared with the New York Times what is happening inside her hospital, where 13 patients died of COVID-19 in one day. The hospital has had to place a refrigerated truck outside to hold the deceased bodies. She says their ER patient load has more than doubled in recent days, and those numbers are likely to increase.

"Leaders in various offices, from the president to the head of Health and Hospitals ,saying things like, 'We're going to be fine. Everything's fine.' And from our perspective, everything is not fine," Dr. Smith told the Times. "I don't have the support that I need, and even just the materials that I need, physically, to take care of my patients."

Another doctor called what's happening in the hospital "apocalyptic." Hearing Dr. Smith detail the overwhelming anxiety and daunting reality at the very beginning of the expected surge in cases should make us all realize the seriousness of what we're facing and understand why flattening the curve is so important.


Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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