When Trump takes office in 70 days, the risk begins. Here's how you can take control now.

Trump won. Now what?

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

President-elect Trump ran a campaign of exclusion and fear. So until he shows us otherwise, it's smart to hope for the best but expect the worst when it comes to his governing style.


But there is some ... good news. There are 70 full days between noon Eastern time today, Nov. 10, 2016, and noon on Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, 2017.

If Trump intends to act on any or all of the promises he made in the past 18 months, there are a few things you and your family might want to do now to prepare for a Trump presidency.

Here they are:

1. If you're working or living in this country on a visa, work permit, or outdated passport, know the status of your documents.

Photo by Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images.

Trump campaigned on building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and didn't rule out mass deportations. As news of his election spread, uncertainty and fear took over.

"They are crying in despair," immigrant advocate Gaby Pacheco wrote in a Facebook post. "To those who voted for Trump, know that you have put a target on our backs."

Before Trump makes any sweeping changes to immigration policy, make sure you and your family secure or renew your work permits or visas as needed.

Also, if you're transgender, take this time to secure or renew your passport in your correct gender. That may be very difficult to do under the new administration.

2. Talk to your health care provider about birth control options that will outlast a Trump presidency.

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Under the Obama administration, Congress worked tirelessly to defund Planned Parenthood and push abstinence-only sex education. With Obama in the Oval Office, their plans stopped cold. He even delivered on free birth control. But that may change.

Abortion providers and reproductive justice organizations remained optimistic in the wake of the news. “He’s not the first Republican president who has wanted to overturn Roe," National Abortion Federation President Vicki Saporta told BuzzFeed News. "Ronald Regan and the two Bushes did, and none of them were successful.”

Even so, if Trump rolls back Obamacare or cuts funding to Planned Parenthood and other community health organizations, many women and families could be left without affordable contraception options. If you're currently taking birth control, talk to your health care provider about options for reversible, long-term birth control like implants or intra-uterine devices. Depending on your plan, or lack thereof, these options may be available for free or a reduced cost.

3. Get loud and serious about climate change.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

We're about to have a president who thinks global warming is a hoax.

Just one day after the election, stock in the world's largest manufacturer of wind turbines plummeted. The future of green jobs, much-needed regulation, and tough policy looks bleak.

But we can do a lot in 70 days and after that.  It's time to get loud. We need to stand by our experts, our academics, our Leonardo DiCaprios and make this the issue of our day. Because it is. In the interim, make small changes around your home and re-think the way you eat, shop, and travel. Small changes can add up, and in the wake of sweeping change, it's all we've got.

4. Support organizations making all of these things possible with your time, energy, or dollars.

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Helping new residents and undocumented families, protecting reproductive rights, and funding green innovations isn't often easy or cheap. There are people and organizations working hard to do all of these things and much, much more. But these organizations can't persist without support.

Step up to the plate and volunteer. If you have the capacity to do so, contribute money or in-kind donations. Tweet, talk-up, and share the brilliant work these organizations do so those in need can find these valuable resources.

5. Embrace kindness.

Support people who don't feel at home in Trump's America.

Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images.

This one isn't just for the next 70 days; it's forever.

Trump succeeded because he used hate and fear to divide and activate the electorate. He was openly hostile to Latinos, Muslims, blacks, the LGBTQ community, and people with disabilities. And while that worked for his campaign, that's no way to run a country. All of us dedicated to goodness, truth, and kindness need to stand together and stand up to white supremacy, misogyny, and discrimination.

Let's stand together, no matter what. Embrace kindness. Listen to and uplift underrepresented voices. Don't look to Canada; look right here. Let's make the country we want. Bigotry will not win the day.

We have — at most — 70 days before Obama hands the White House over to Trump.

But we have a lifetime to work toward a common goal: creating a nation and government that works for all of us.

It starts today.

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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