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Military spouses often have to spend tons of time apart. One couple gets super creative.

Distance is relative as long as you have a strong Wi-Fi connection.

Military spouses often have to spend tons of time apart. One couple gets super creative.
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Cricket Wireless

Nick spent the first three years of his relationship with Stephanie stationed on a Pearl Harbor submarine.

The couple first met when he asked her for directions to a nearby restaurant and then invited her to join him.

The next day, she took him on a hike, then they went sightseeing. Each day, they spent more and more time together, planting the seeds for a romance that would blossom overseas.


Image via iStock.

Or rather, under it: Once Nick’s submarine began leaving port regularly, the tools and technology they’d come to rely on for their long-distance communication became tricky, a challenge that became even more difficult once Stephanie was deployed in Asia for six months.

These circumstances would be enough to put a strain on any relationship.

Thanks to resources like Skype and FaceTime and a strong commitment to making time to coordinate schedules and stick to it, they got through.

Image via iStock.

Hearing Nick call her his "bunny" at the end of the day was always worth it.  

Despite the occasional weirdness with underwater scenarios, the access to various communication technologies kept bringing them together, and their relationship sailed on smoothly, through the sharing of funny animal videos and recalling the memories they’d made while walking hand in hand.

Stephanie and Nick's story is reflective of many military couples who find themselves placed physically apart.

When a romantic relationship exists solely over Wi-Fi and phone calls for months at a time, you come to rely pretty heavily on a virtual connection to sustain your love.

Image via iStock.

To meet this growing demand to keep couples together, a number of technologies have been developed, including Couple, which allows couples to send each other intimate notes, photos, and videos that disappear after being seen, and MyMilitaryLife, which helps those at home get supplies and advice they might need while their partner is deployed.

Thanks to a good international texting plan and a constantly growing number of Wi-Fi spots around the world, Stephanie and Nick’s connection to each other remains strong as ever.

Sometimes, it even allows them to experience things as if they were in the same room together.

They often watch movies at the same time and comment on the action as they would if they were sitting side by side on the couch. And on one occasion, Nick brought up the idea of building something with the same Lego set so they could feel like they were being creative together.  

Image via iStock.

"Nick was always trying to think of things we could do over Skype together, so he sent me a small Lego set and bought himself one too," Stephanie recalls. "We put them together while on Skype one day."

The couple normally loves to do majorly physical activities when they’re together like going on long hikes and runs, so this was was just one small way for Nick to spark that same physical connection with Stephanie while they were so far apart.

Modern technology even allows them the chance to "travel the world together."

They got to go on an impromptu remote date while Nick was in Singapore.

"He and some friends used free Wi-Fi at a cafe in Clarke Quay, a fun riverside area popular there. So I got to people-watch and drink beers over Skype with him," she said.

Image via iStock.

Whether you’re in a military relationship or just a long-distance relationship, being away from the one you love is hard.

During a time of uncertainty, especially with heavy military action underway in the world, staying connected is important when we fear a loved one’s safety may be at risk.

We take it for granted now, but considering that years ago, people had to wait months to find out whether or not the people they cared for the most were still alive, being able to connect to the people we love with just one click is a gift.  

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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Canva

As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

Keep Reading Show less