Time to throw your support behind the U.S. women's soccer team. They deserve it.
‌U.S. soccer's Matt Besler after the loss to Trinidad and Tobago. Photo by Abraham Diaz/AFP/Getty Images‌.

When the U.S. men's soccer team was eliminated from this year's World Cup contention, people were devastated. The U.S. Men's National Team's 2-1 loss Wednesday loss to Trinidad and Tobago marked the end of a 31-year run of World Cup appearances by the team (though they've never won).

People ... didn't take it well.


Social media erupted with outrage, along with hot-headed analysis trying to figure out how we could have let this happen.

USA Today even called the loss "the biggest embarrassment in U.S. sports history." Ouch.

Soccer may be less of a national pastime in America than football or baseball, but for fans of the sport in the U.S., this was an apocalyptic moment that had them questioning the very future of soccer in our country.

Meanwhile, America's uber-talented and successful women's soccer team is just over here like: "Hi."

"Remember us?"

U.S. soccer's Magan Rapinoe would like to say Hi. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Yes, the U.S. Women's National Team, which ran away with the 2015 World Cup and has an excellent shot at qualifying for the 2019 tournament.

Yes, the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team that earns about a quarter of what their male colleagues do.

Yes, the U.S. Women's National Team that brings in similar revenue to the men's team when you factor in their recent successes.

Yes, the U.S. Women's National Team that consistently gets far worse training resources, food, and lodging than the men's team.

Yes, the U.S. Women's National Team that, despite the inequalities listed above, responded with grace and dignity as their fellow athletes suffered a crushing loss:

Yes, the U.S. Women's National Team that, simply put, kicks ass.

They're still around, gearing up for another World Cup run next year. And they deserve to be more than an afterthought in the conversation about American soccer.

It's disappointing to see the men's team knocked out of contention, but this is the perfect opportunity to support America's real top soccer players.

There are a lot of great conversations to be had about how more diverse athletes can get a fair shake at playing at soccer's highest level. But right now, there are already some terrific American players gearing up for an international showdown. They deserve the support, admiration, excitement, and — yes — even the money that had been set aside for the men's team.

The U.S. women's team has earned the right to be the face of American soccer. It's time to stop prioritizing our mediocre men's team and let the winning women's team shine.

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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Every year, around 100 million carats of rough diamonds are mined to supply the world's multi-billion dollar diamond jewelry industry, leaving both human and environmental damage behind.

The ethical issues at the heart of diamond mining, from violence to human rights abuses to forced labor, are no secret. The destruction of land and water in the mining process is also well known. Though an official chain of practices for creating "conflict-free" diamonds known as the Kimberley Process is supposed to reduce some of these issues, ongoing problems remain.

Science has a solution.

Instead of digging up gemstones that have taken a billion or more years to form in the earth, scientists can now make diamonds in a lab in just six to ten weeks—without the bloodshed and devastation involved in mining traditional diamonds.

Are they the same, though? If anyone were going to be a purist about gems, you'd think the world's largest jewelry brand would. But Pandora, the Danish jeweler that boasts that title, is all in on lab-grown bling.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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