Kevin Bacon is using his 'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon' fame to promote social distancing
via Kevin Bacon / Instagram

Actor Kevin Bacon has starred in countless box-office hits including "Footloose," "A few Good Men," and "Apollo 13." He's been in so many films that he's almost as well known for being prolific as he is for his performances.

Bacon has worked with so many people in entertainment, he became the subject of a game where people would try to connect one Hollywood person to Kevin Bacon within six steps or degrees.


Example:

Elvis Presley:

Elvis Presley was in Change of Habit (1969) with Ed Asner

Ed Asner was in JFK (1991) with Kevin Bacon


In 1996, the game became a book and Bacon probably hasn't lived a day without hearing about it since. Which has to be annoying.

Bacon is using the fact that he's known for his connections to spread awareness at our own interconnectedness during the coronavirus pandemic. The virus can easily spread from person to person so the more humans that come in contact, the greater the pandemic will spread.

The actor posted a video on Instagram encouraging people to stay home during the pandemic and to ask others to do so as well through #IStayHomeFor.

"Hi, folks. You know me, right? I'm technically only six degrees away from you," he said in a video

"Right now, like people around the world, I'm staying home, because it saves lives and it is the only way we're going to slow down the spread of this coronavirus," he continued. "Because the contact that you make with someone, who makes contact with someone else, that may be what makes somebody's mom or grandpa or wife sick."

What makes the COVID-19 virus even more dangerous than other viruses is people can go up to two weeks without showing any symptoms. Someone who thinks they are healthy can infect countless numbers of people during that time. Then, the people they infect can infect others without knowing it.

That's why the infection rate can easily and quickly spin out of control.

"Every one of us has someone who is worth staying home for," he said, citing his wife Kyra Sedgwick."The more folks involved, the merrier – We're all connected by various degrees (Trust me, I know!)," he wrote in the caption.

People have been posting who they're staying home under #IStayHomeFor on social media and tagging six connections asking them to do so as well.

Elton John is staying home for his husband and kids.



David Beckham is staying home for his wife, Victoria, and for their kids.



People are staying home so they don't infect the sick



People are staying home for family.



Some people are staying home for their pets.



She's staying home for all of humanity and beyond.


Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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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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