We owe a huge thanks to the heroes on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic

As the world faces a global pandemic, there are millions of people we all should be thanking—the doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel who are on the front line of the war against COVID-19.

While many of us are trying to figure out how to stay away from people as much as possible to avoid illness, these folks are gearing up for battle and running into the fire. People who work in clinics, hospitals, and care facilities are the courageous heroes of this worldwide story, knowingly putting themselves at risk to save lives.


In China, it was a young physician—an opthamologist named Li Wenliang—who first sounded the alarm in Wuhan about the virus. He was also among the first wave of people to die from it. Liu Zhiming, a neurosurgeon who was the director of Wuhan's Wuchang Hospital and who led its coronavirus response, also succumbed to the virus. Doctors there have worked tirelessly to treat an outbreak of an illness that none of them had seen before, some dying of fatigue and exhaustion as well as the infection.

Doctors in current outbreak epicenters, such as northern Italy, are working round the clock as hospitals are overwhelmed with critically ill patients. In some places, they are having to choose which patients they will treat with the equipment they have, and which will be left to perish—a horrifying position to be put in, but reality when there are more patients than respirators.

Iran has announced that the country will designate medical staff who have died from COVID-19 as "martyrs," giving them the same honor as slain soldiers.

Nurses, who rarely get the recognition they should for the vital work they do already, are also making sacrifices above and beyond the call of duty. A nurse named Alessia Bonari from Tuscany, Italy shared a selfie on Instagram that illustrated what doctors and nurses are going through in a country where more than 10,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 800 have died of the virus.

Her face chafed from the protective mask she's been wearing, Bonari shared her feelings of fear, exhaustion, and determination as she and her colleagues wage war with the outbreak:

"I am afraid because the mask might not stick properly to the face, or I might have accidentally touched myself with dirty gloves, or maybe the lenses don't cover my eyes fully and something slipped by.

I am physically tired because the protective devices hurt, the lab coat makes me sweat and once I'm dressed I can no longer go to the bathroom or drink for six hours.

I am psychologically tired, as are all my colleagues who have been in the same condition for weeks, but this will not prevent us from doing our job as we have always done. I will continue to take care of my patients because I am proud and in love with my job.

What I ask anyone who is reading this post is not to frustrate the effort we are making, to be selfless, to stay at home and thus protect those who are most fragile."

We're just beginning to see the strain this virus will place on health workers here in the U.S. In Kirkland, WA, EvergreenHealth hospital went from no coronavirus cases two weeks ago to being swarmed by more than 40 suspected or confirmed cases of the virus in one night.

The New York Times described the sobering reality in the Washington hospital:

"Caregivers who had been sent home into quarantine had to be called back to work to face the overwhelming task at hand. Engineers spent late nights scrambling to overhaul rooms so that contaminated air could not escape. Sanitation and janitorial crews struggled to swab down rooms where even a trace of the virus could infect the next patient. Supplies were so strained that nurses turned to menstrual pads to buttress the padding in their helmets."

And yet, manager of trauma services Barb Jensen told the Times that they've not had any issues with staff not wanting to come in to work. "We've had staff calling and say, 'If you need me, I'm available.'"

Just as we praise soldiers, firefighters, and police officers for running toward danger, we should praise everyone working in medicine right now for what they are doing—or what they may soon have to do. They are the ones who have to face this threat head-on, being exposed far more than any of the rest of us, and saving those of us who fall critically ill from it.

Thank you, doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel who are on the front lines of this pandemic. You are heroes daily anyway, but you deserve an extra dose of appreciation as we battle this new enemy.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

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One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

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He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.