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


Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

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School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

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