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Thrift store worker finds a polio vaccine card from 1956. Sure looks familiar, doesn't it?

Vaccines are without a doubt one of the most impactful scientific advancements in human history. Through vaccines, we eliminated smallpox, have nearly eliminated polio worldwide, and have saved countless lives through protection from a host of other infectious diseases. Yet even with that history, millions of Americans are refusing the coronavirus vaccines and decrying efforts to mandate proof of vaccination to partake in certain activities.

A Twitter post is serving as a timely reminder that vaccination isn't new and neither are proof-of-immunization requirements. The post shows a polio record card from 1956 that the poster found at the thrift store where they work. And the real kicker here is that COVID is actually far deadlier than polio ever was.

COVID-19 has killed nearly 670,000 Americans in the past year and a half. We are just days away from surpassing the death toll from the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. Those numbers are staggering in comparison with the polio epidemic, which at its peak in 1952, killed 3,000 Americans in one year. Thousands more were paralyzed, but nowhere near hundreds of thousands in the span of a year.


I'm not trying to downplay polio—it's a terrible disease. It was especially scary because primarily impacted children, but by every other measure, the COVID pandemic is far worse than the polio epidemic ever was. In deaths, there's no comparison. In long-term effects, we simply don't know yet. COVID isn't leaving people paralyzed like polio did, but "long COVID" is a thing and organ damage caused by COVID can lead to a host of ongoing health problems.

People downplay COVID by saying most people who get the virus don't get severely sick, but the same is true of polio. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, around 70% of polio cases are totally asymptomic, and another 25% have just mild symptoms. Less than 1% of cases result in paralysis, and far fewer result in death.

And yet, we never hear people say, "We should just take our chances with polio, since most people who get it are fine!" We still vaccinate for it, even though the chances of getting it in the U.S. is practically nil at this point because vaccination has eradicated it.

Some people don't trust the coronavirus vaccines because they think they were approved for use too quickly. But do you know how long it was between the start of clinical trials for the polio vaccine to when it was approved? Less than a year. Clinical trials for the Salk polio vaccine began on 1.8 million children (650,000 of whom got the vaccine, with 1.2 million getting a placebo) on April 26, 1954 and the vaccine was approved April 12, 1955. It wasn't without controversy, of course, but the success of the vaccine speaks for itself.

That was nearly seven decades ago. Think of how far medical research has come since then and how much greater our understanding of infectious disease and immunology is now. We already had enormous amounts of base knowledge about coronaviruses in general, decades of mRNA research under our belt, and more than a decade of mRNA vaccine development already underway, so the quickly developed and tested COVID vaccines are not terribly surprising.

As for proof of vaccination complaints, the polio card post also prompted a flood of other photos of immunization "passports," from record books to reminders that people with smallpox inoculations had to literally show the scar on their arm to prove that they'd been vaccinated.

The military has been required to get vaccines for pretty much ever.

And yes, people with smallpox vaccinations used to have to lift their shirt sleeves to show that they'd been immunized before being allowed to enter some public places.

Sometimes a "vaccine passport" is literally called a vaccine passport. And many jobs have long required them.

One of the unfortunate side effects of living in the information age is that we spend so much time battling misinformation. I recall predictions from disease specialists in March 2020 that we may lose 100,000 to 200,000 Americans to COVID-19, and people scoffing about fearmongering. Here we are 18 months and 680,000 deaths later, still having to convince people that COVID is real, the pandemic is serious, vaccination is good, and requiring proof of immunization for life-threatening infectious disease is not an authoritarian power-grab.

If you're immunized for polio, which you most probably are, being immunized for coronavirus should be a no brainer. The risk of COVID is much higher, the vaccines have had ample time for testing in comparison to the early days of polio immunization, and the vaccines have been proven safe and effective according to the vast majority of people who are qualified to evaluate such things.

We're all tired of this stupid pandemic. Please do your part and get vaccinated if you are able.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

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Woman left at the altar by her fiance decided to 'turn the day around’ and have a wedding anyway

'I didn’t want to remember the day as complete sadness.'

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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Education

How a 3,800-year-old stone tablet helped create modern legal systems

'Innocent until proven guilty' isn't that new of a concept.

Kind of looks like the Matrix code...

The modern justice system is certainly not without its flaws, however most can agree that the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” is one that (when not abused) stands as the foundation of what fair due process looks like. This principle, it turns out, isn’t so modern at all. It can actually be traced all the way back to nearly 3,800 years ago.

historyLady Justice, the image of impartial fairness. Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

English barrister Sir William Garrow is known for coining the "innocent until proven guilty" phrase between the 18th and 19th century, after insisting that evidence be provided by accusers and thoroughly tested in court. But this notion, as radical as it seemed at the time, can, in fact, be credited to an ancient Babylonian king who ruled Mesopotamia.

During his reign from 1792 to 1750 B.C., Hammurabi left behind a legacy of accomplishments as a ruler and a diplomat. His most influential contribution was a series of 282 laws and regulations that were painstakingly compiled after he sent legal experts throughout his kingdom to gather existing laws, then adapted or eliminated them in order to create a universal system.

Those laws were inscribed on a large, seven-foot stone monument, and they were known as the Code of Hammurabi.

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via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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