The way Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan announced their separation is super refreshing.

By now, you've probably heard that Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan are no longer a couple.

The news dominated social media feeds the morning of April 3.

And even if you're not the kind of person who goes in for celebrity couples — Me? I remember where I was when Brad and Jen announced their split — it's probably been impossible to ignore the inevitable headlines pronouncing that the Tatum-Dewan breakup means love is over, dead, finished.


No matter what you may be feeling right now, love is most certainly not dead.

First of all, Tatum and Dewan said themselves that love is still alive and kicking in their separation announcement.

The short note to their fans on Instagram celebrated the couple's nine years together and made it clear their love for each other — and their daughter — is still there. It's just changed.

Which sometimes happens in relationships.

Of course, the split is still a hard pill to swallow. That's because even though we know nothing about the couple, we expect a lot from our celebrities. And when they — the shiniest, most beautiful people — get married, we expect them to stay together forever.

Because, if they — again, the shiniest, most beautiful people — can't make it, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Celebrity expectations? They're unrealistic.

All relationships are different.  And all relationships face different pressures. Tatum and Dewan, for instance, underwent intense scrutiny and idolization because of their celebrity. Could that have contributed to their breakup? We don't know. And that's the point!

As they shared in their statement: "There are no secrets or salacious events at the root of our decision — just two best friends realizing it's time to take some space."

While it's sad when celeb couples break up — I remember where I was when Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announced their split, too — their separation isn't an automatic reflection of the overall state of marriage and relationships.

The reality is that this is actually a great time for relationships.

You've probably heard the oft-touted statistic that 50% of all marriages end in divorce.

But it's probably time to let that one go. The truth is that divorce rates in the U.S. have actually declined since their peak (at 40%) in 1980. According to a 2014 New York Times report, "If current trends continue, nearly two-thirds of marriages will never involve a divorce."

And while divorce happens for a variety of reasons, the reality is that people getting married less because "it's a mandate" (thank you, #feminism) and more because they "love each other like whoa," the more they stay together. According to recent stats from the National Survey of Family Growth, "the probability of a first marriage lasting at least a decade was 68% for women and 70% for men between 2006 and 2010."

Marriage isn't the ultimate barometer of a relationship's success.

So, if you're spending your summers lamenting the fact that you're being invited to fewer and fewer weddings, don't despair!

It's not that people aren't still living, laughing, and loving together like those inspirational quotes are reminding them to do. It's just that Americans are waiting longer to get married, with some couples choosing never to get married at all.

The truth is that relationships exist on a spectrum of possibilities.

Stats won't keep you warm at night, but at least they can remind you that one couple's separation (or even the breakup of all your favorite celebrity pairings) isn't a sign that love has packed up and gone home.

Relationships end. For many reasons. That's just the way life is.

As Tatum and Dewan thoughtfully stated, "love is a beautiful adventure" — it just happens to be taking them on "different paths for now."

Are we sad about this latest ending? Absolutely. (You can bet I'll remember where I was when I heard Tatum and Dewan had called it quits.) But that's no reason to rule out love on a larger scale. And if you suffer a few broken hearts along the way? Consider them learning experiences.

In the immortal words of Aaliyah: "If at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again."

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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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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