Two Sikh doctor brothers shaved their beards so they can safely treat coronavirus patients
via Impact de Montreal / YouTube

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to adjust their lifestyles to keep themselves and others healthy. But physician Sanjeet Singh-Saluja and his brother Rajeet, a neurosurgeon, were forced to make a decision that affected them on a very deep, spiritual level.

The Singh-Saluja brothers are both members of the Sikh religion. One of the major pillars of their belief system is sewa. Sewa means "selfless service." It involves acting selflessly and helping others in a variety of ways, without any reward or personal gain.

This commitment to sewa is the big reason why the brothers work as doctors.


Another major pillar in Sikhism is kesh. According to Sanjeet, kesh is the practice of allowing one's hair to grow naturally out of respect for the perfection of God's creation.

The COVID-19 pandemic put the brothers in a position that they had to choose between both pillars.


Sikh doctor shaves beard to help in COVID-19 fight www.youtube.com


Because of the virus, the brothers both had to wear N95 masks, but they were unable to because of their beards. So they faced a dilemma, to either shave their beards or not be part of the fight against the disease. Both decisions would violate a pillar of their faith.

"We could choose not to work, but in a time when healthcare workers are falling sick, we would be adding stress to an already taxed system," Sanjeet said in a video posted by the McGill University Health Centre.

"We could decide to simply refuse to see COVID-19 patients until viable protection is available to us, but that goes against our oath as physicians and against the principles of sewa," he continued.

To come to a decision, the brothers consulted leaders of their faith, friends and family. In the end, they decided their commitment to selflessly serving others was more important than having their beards.


So they both shaved them off for the first time in their lives.

"It's a decision that has left me with much sadness," Sanjeet told the Montreal Gazette. "This was something that had been so much part of my identity. I look at myself in the mirror very differently now. Every morning when I see myself, it's a bit of a shock."

"But because COVID-19 has become so rampant in our community, it just wasn't feasible anymore (not to wear an N95 mask). There are so many people coming in. I felt I just couldn't sit on the sidelines. This was an exception to the rule, so we had to do what we had to do to help out," he said.

It was clearly a difficult decision for the men to choose between honoring their commitment to give selflessly and to respect what they see as the perfection of God's natural creation. However, in the Sikh religion, God created man, so by going out of their way to heal God's children, they are providing the ultimate service to God's creation.

Merci, Dr Saluja www.youtube.com


Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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