Hey spring breakers: You are the dystopian horror movie characters nobody roots for
Rex Chapman/Twitter, ABC7 Chicago/Facebook

A video has been circulating of college students on spring break in Florida, boasting of their ability to totally ignore life-saving instructions to stay away from other humans.

As a pandemic the likes of which we've never seen in our lifetime sweeps the planet, these brave young folks are obliviously spreading their ignorant and self-obsessed germs all over the beaches and bars of the U.S. south.


Never mind the fact that millions of us are isolating in our homes trying to keep our healthcare system from being overwhelmed. Never mind that most of these kids surely have grandparents or loved ones with suppressed immune systems. Never mind that doctors and nurses on the front line are begging people to stay home so they can save lives.

I'm usually fairly forgiving of youthful transgressions, but not this time. The stakes are far too high for this kind of selfish immaturity.

You really want to rip a life-giving ventilator away from your grandma in two weeks, Jessica?

You really think a contagious virus gives a flying fig that you're young and invincible, Brady?

We all know that there's a certain obliviousness and self-centeredness that goes along with youth, but now's not the time for it, Alexis.

We're literally living through the early stages of a dystopian story right now. You and your generation grew up with The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner and Divergent, for the love. I assume you at least saw the movies. You should know how this goes.

Right now you are the dude that does something stupid and plunges everyone else further into the dystopian hellscape. You're the minor character in the opening of the story who somehow manages to make things worse. You're the one that makes the audience yell, "Why are you doing that?! That's so dumb!!" You're the one the reader can predict will come to an unsavory end, because one of you shows up in every story.

Not to mention, you're way behind the plot here. Your behavior belongs in the prologue, which was like a week ago. The rest of us have already moved on to Chapter 3. Catch up, Chad.

Please listen to what literally every public health expert on the planet is telling us. Young people can have the virus and spread it to others even if they aren't showing any symptoms. More than half the patients in the ICU in France have been under age 60. A new report just today shows that 40 percent of patients hospitalized with the virus in the U.S. are between ages 20 and 54.

Yeah, you probably won't die from it. But you may kill someone else by getting it.

Here's a scenario: You were carrying the virus but didn't know it because you're not showing symptoms yet so you jetted off for spring break. You wiped the drool off your chin after a boot-and-rally, then touched a barstool. The chick you were flirting with touched the stool, then hugged her friend who has asthma. A week from now, BOOM. That young lady is taking up critical hospital bed space because this virus is a lung eater and her lungs can't handle it.

Now a doctor who has been working her ass off to save people's lives while putting her own on the line has to decide whether to save that young lady or my 74-year-old mom who caught the virus because she only has one ventilator left. And they're going to choose the young woman, because youth takes precedence when someone has to decide who lives or dies.

But my mom not getting a ventilator and dying an unnecessary death will be your fault because you were young and fearless and "not going to let this virus stop you."

Fearlessness is foolishness right now. Stop it before you kill somebody. Seriously.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

ZACHOR Foundation

"What's 'the Holocaust'?" my 11-year-old son asks me. I take a deep breath as I gauge how much to tell him. He's old enough to understand that prejudice can lead to hatred, but I can't help but feel he's too young to hear about the full spectrum of human horror that hatred can lead to.

I wrestle with that thought, considering the conversation I recently had with Ben Lesser, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor who was just a little younger than my son when he witnessed his first Nazi atrocity.

It was September of 1939 and the Blitzkrieg occupation of Poland had just begun. Ben, his parents, and his siblings were awakened in their Krakow apartment by Nazi soldiers who pistol-whipped them out of bed and ransacked their home. As the men with the shiny black boots filled burlap sacks with the Jewish family's valuables, a scream came from the apartment across the hall. Ben and his sister ran toward the cry.

They found a Nazi swinging their neighbors' baby upside down by its legs, demanding that the baby's mother make it stop crying. As the parents screamed, "My baby! My baby!" the Nazi smirked—then swung the baby's head full force into the door frame, killing it instantly.

This story and others like it feel too terrible to tell my young son, too out of context from his life of relative safety and security. And yet Ben Lesser lived it at my son's age. And it was too terrible—for anyone, much less a 10-year-old. And it was also completely out of context from the life of relative safety and security Ben and his family had known before the Nazi tanks rolled in.

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True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

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It's a lot. And it's a lot more now that we're also dealing with the daily existential dread of a global pandemic, social unrest, political upheaval, and increasingly intense natural disasters.

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Same-sex marriage is legal in America and these days 63% of all Americans support the idea. Ten years ago, it was still a controversial issue among Democrats, but in 2019, 79% say they support same-sex marriage.

The issue played a big role in the Democratic primary for the Delaware's House of Representatives 27th district race. On September 15, Eric Morrison defeated incumbent Earl Jacques in a landslide and gay rights was a central issue.

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