The obituary for a man who died of COVID-19 takes aim at anti-maskers
via Becker1999 / Flickr and Price and Sons

One of the major themes that arose out of World War II was how America's national character helped propel the Allies to victory over the Axis powers. Americans came together and sacrificed by either picking up a rifle and heading "over there" or on the homefront, they did whatever they could to help the war effort.

They bought bonds. They turned their businesses into factories. They rationed items such as meat, dairy, fruits, shortening, cars, firewood, and gasoline.

After living through nine months of COVID-19, one wonders whether today's Americans would be adult enough to make the sacrifices necessary to win such a war.


While many people have sacrificed during the pandemic, for some, getting them to social distance and wear a mask has been like pulling teeth. This reluctance to sacrifice for the common good has led to tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths.

Courtney Farrar lost his father Dr. Marvin Farr, 81, to COVID-19 on December 1, and used his obituary to illustrate the difference in attitudes between those of the "Greatest Generation" and the selfish anti-maskers he believes contributed to his father's death.

"He was preceded in death by more than 260,000 Americans infected with covid-19. He died in a room not his own, being cared for by people dressed in confusing and frightening ways. He died with covid-19, and his final days were harder, scarier and lonelier than necessary. He was not surrounded by friends and family."

via Tim Dennell / Flickr

The obituary draws a sharp comparison between those who heard the call of duty when their country needed them versus many today who confuse inconvenience for tyranny.

"He was born into an America recovering from the Great Depression and about to face World War 2, times of loss and sacrifice difficult for most of us to imagine. Americans would be asked to ration essential supplies and send their children around the world to fight and die in wars of unfathomable destruction. He died in a world where many of his fellow Americans refuse to wear a piece of cloth on their face to protect one another."

Marvin Farr had a doctorate in veterinary science, which stands in sharp contrast to those who've chosen to promote the spread of the virus.

"He chose life over death. The science that guided his professional life has been disparaged and abandoned by so many of the same people who depended on his knowledge to care for their animals and to raise their food."

After the obituary went viral, Courtney lashed out at those who've played down the deadly virus.

"I've spent most of this year hearing people from my hometown talk about how this disease isn't real, isn't that bad, only kills old people, masks don't work, etc," he wrote on Facebook. "And because of the prevalence of those attitudes, my father's death was so much harder on him, his family and his caregivers than it should have been. Which is why this obit is written as it is."

He also pushed back against those who criticized him for turning his father's obituary into a political statement.

"Well, his death was political," Courtney Farr wrote. "He died in isolation with an infectious disease that is causing a national crisis. To pretend otherwise or to obfuscate is also a political decision."

Courtney Farr isn't the only person to use a family member's obituary to speak out against those responsible for spreading the pandemic.

In July, Stacey Nagy, 72, blamed the death of her husband, David W. Nagy, 79, on President Trump, Texas Governor Greg Abott, and "the many ignorant, self-centered and selfish people" who refuse to wear a mask.

"Dave did everything he was supposed to do, but you did not," Stacey Nagy, 72, wrote in the tribute to her husband. "Shame on all of you, and may Karma find you all!"

"Family members believe David's death was needless," the obituary reads. "They blame his death and the deaths of all other innocent people, on Trump, Abbott and all of the other politicians who did not take this pandemic seriously and were more concerned with their popularity and votes than lives."

When the history of America's reaction to COVID-19 is written, the story won't be about how America's heroic national character shone through and helped the country beat the disease.

Sadly, it'll be about how a lot of Americans didn't stand up and sacrifice for their communities' health and refused to listen to science until it came up with a vaccine, then they were all ears.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

This article originally appeared on 11.21.16


Photographer Katie Joy Crawford had been battling anxiety for 10 years when she decided to face it straight on by turning the camera lens on herself.

In 2015, Upworthy shared Crawford's self-portraits and our readers responded with tons of empathy. One person said, "What a wonderful way to express what words cannot." Another reader added, "I think she hit the nail right on the head. It's like a constant battle with yourself. I often feel my emotions battling each other."

So we wanted to go back and talk to the photographer directly about this soul-baring project.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."