Doctors and nurses are begging people to stay home so they can save lives
Dr. Ahmed Rabea, NurseTimes/Facebook

Many Americans have begun adjusting to life under social distance measures, staying at home and away from other humans as much as possible. But not everyone has hopped aboard the "flatten the curve" wagon, and healthcare workers have a message for those who haven't.

Stay. Home. If you are able, stay at home and away from people. If you won't do it for yourself or for the elderly and immunocompromised, do it for the doctors and nurses who are literally putting their own lives on the line to make care for those who are ill. Right now, every hospital in the nation is preparing for a wave of COVID-19 patients, and medical experts are hoping Americans do what needs to be done to keep that wave from becoming a tsunami.


Doctors and nurses have taken to social media to encourage people to abide by the recommendation to stay at home as much as possible. A physician named Dr. Ahmed Rabea shared a selfie with a sign that reads, "I stayed at work for you. You stay at home for us!" It's a plea to all Americans to take action to slow the spread of the virus.

If we fail at this, our healthcare system will be overwhelmed in the coming weeks with more critically ill patients than hospitals can handle. There won't be enough hospital beds. There won't be enough life-saving ventilators, and people will die who don't need to.

Dr. Ahmed Rabea

Italy has already shown us what happens when people don't take this virus seriously enough early enough, as their hospitals have been overrun and healthcare workers are struggling with having to decide which patients to treat and which patients to leave to their fate.

(Yes, Italy's population is older than the U.S. But our age demographics aren't as drastically different as people are making it sound. Italy's over-65 age group makes up 22 percent of its population vs. 15 percent in the U.S. And Italy has more hospital beds and doctors per 1000 people than the U.S. has. We can't think it won't happen here.)

An Italian nurse named Irene shared a selfie of her own, completely wrapped in protective equipment, holding a sign that translates as: "Those who think 'It will not happen to me' will be the next person to be infected!!! Stay at home!!!"

She also wrote about the emotional toll Italy's coronavirus crisis is taking.

"Yesterday I had the first emotional breakdown," she wrote. "I cried a lot because on my way home from work the city was crowded with people. I live near a big park and walked past it to get home. There were groups of people doing exercises, others running their dogs (at least three of them).

Meanwhile, the materials to protect us are starting to run out.

You don't understand. You don't have to find a way around the system. You have to stay home. Period.
STAY AT HOME.
STAY HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

An American nurse, Ashley Barton, also shared the message that people need to stay put, pointing out repeatedly that "It's not about you."

She wrote:

"It's not about you.

I'm a nurse working on the front line of COVID-19. When I mean front line, I mean since the hospital essentially went on lockdown since this virus was announced a pandemic, I've been working at the main entrance screening every single person that walks in those doors. Even those who are trying to find the Emergency Department so they can be tested for COVID-19.

Every single person gets asked the same series of questions. If you fail the screening you are asked to leave.

It is the same criteria for staff.

Let me tell you—many people are very unhappy about this.

But guess what, it's not about you.

It's about the mother of 3 undergoing chemotherapy on the Cancer Ward that has zero immune system.

It's about the 30 week old NICU baby that has already had to fight every single day of its life to stay alive.

It's about the favourite uncle that just had a massive stroke and is just barely out of the woods.

It's about the father of 2 who just had open heart surgery and has a long road of healing ahead.

It's about the grandmother who had broken her hip last week and is just beginning to mobilize again.

It's about protecting them. Not about punishing you.

I was yelled at on multiple occasions over the past couple of days while I worked my shifts.

"Well this isn't fair- Yes, I travelled recently but I don't have symptoms!"

"I have other places to be- the restricted hours are going to make me late"

"You will never understand until you have children!!"

"You have got to be kidding me- I'll have to wait in the car while my family member visits?!"

I'll say it again—IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU.

I have a 13 month old son, I have elderly grandparents, I have people in my family who are very susceptible to getting ill and have a very difficult time recovering when they do get sick—I do not want them to contract this virus—and they aren't currently hospitalized.

People in the hospital are already immunocompromised, one more virus—especially this particular one—could KILL them.

This is a matter of life and death. Stop being selfish and think of everyone else who is already fighting for their lives here.

Yell at me? Fine. I can take it. I'm human, and I understand your frustrations. Honestly, we wish you could be with your loved ones, it decreases anxiety in the patients, facilitates healing and most definitely makes our jobs as busy nurses just a little bit easier. But policy is policy for a reason—it's not for punishment I can promise you that.

Maybe try to see things from our perspective before totally losing self control—we honestly are just looking out for those who really need it right now.

Thank you."

Out of respect for these heroes on the front line of this crisis, let's do what they're asking us to do. If you can, stay home.

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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

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Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.