Here's a free printable door hanger that lets neighbors know you're available to help
Annie Reneau

We know right now is a dangerous time for our elderly and immunocompromised neighbors to be exposed to their fellow human beings. And we know that those of us who are healthy need to keep our social distance from one another in order to keep everyone safe.

But what happens when our neighbors who really shouldn't go out in public at all need something? Those of us who are healthy can offer to make grocery trips or pharmacy runs for those who are elderly or medically fragile. Here's a socially distant way to offer that help.



Annie Reneau

These free door hanger printables are made to be personalized with your information and delivered around your neighborhood. Not everyone has loved ones nearby or people they can call on, so this lets people know that someone is nearby and available to pick up and drop off anything they might need.

There are two versions—one worded for couples or families and one for individuals.

Click here or the image below for the printable PDF for families and couples.

Annie Reneau


Click here or the image below for the printable PDF for individuals.


Annie Reneau

Simply print, cut along the lines, fill in your information, and deliver to your neighbors' doors. (Wash your hands thoroughly first, of course. And don't greet neighbors face-to-face—now is a perfect time for a "ding-dong ditch.") There's no way to know who needs them—even young, seemingly healthy people can have invisible conditions that compromise their immune system—so we left them at every house within a certain radius of our house.

Naturally, some may wonder about how money will change hands, but that should be worked out on a case-by-case basis. Venmo, PayPal and other online payment options are great, but some elderly people may only have cash or checks.

Even if no one ends up contacting you, reaching out during a crisis can create a greater sense of community for everyone. After all, we're truly all in this together.

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

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
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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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