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Photo by @isadorakosofsky / Salvador Arvizu, 81, sits in the communal living room of the memory care unit as Alejandra Gamboa Duro, a certified nursing assistant, adjusts another resident's shirt at the Albuquerque Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Even as vaccinations make their way across the United States, the impact of the pandemic remains present for residents of long-term care and their loved ones. According to data from the NM Department of Health, 55 residents at the facility contracted the virus and eight died. Clinicians report an elevated rate of depression and anxiety among residents over the past 14 months. Before the pandemic struck in March 2020, seniors experienced grief as they entered long-term care. Some had lost their spouse, home, community, belongings, and cognition. Others lost friends, mobility, and finances. Nancy Kusmaul, associate professor of social work at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and others studying long-term care, call this “disenfranchised grief,” a hidden grief unacknowledged by social norms. “The amount of loss that’s there at baseline is huge,” she says. “And then you add the loss, the losses that have come over the last year.” Nearly everyone in the dementia and Alzheimer’s unit at this facility contracted COVID. Getting residents to remember to wear masks, maintain social distance, and remain in their rooms was a challenge. Salvador Arvizu was among those infected. “That is when I really lost it,” says Annette Arvizu, Salvador’s wife. “It’s not just traumatic for them. It’s traumatic for the whole family,” she says. “He’s there and all of a sudden, after 43 years, he is not.”Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story, “For long-term care, COVID-19 compounded the weight of grief.”
Photo by @amivitale / A wild bull elephant visits a watering hole in the Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy, in northern Kenya. In the 1990s elephant populations in this region had been heavily poached. Thanks to community-based conservation here, the elephants have made an extraordinary comeback. Today the area contains Kenya's second largest population of elephants, more than 8,700 according to the most recent census. It is truly amazing how resilient nature is when we give it a chance.Please follow @amivitale and @SararaFoundation for more stories about our connections with nature. @thephotosociety #DontLetThemDisappear #elephants #kenya #natureisspeaking #conservation #empathyiseverything
Photo by Matthieu Paley @paleyphoto / “My pigeon needs to feel the love as much as I do.” Raja Baba is one of the many Sufi believers who recently walked 180 kilometers (112 mi) for a yearly pilgrimage, in extreme heat, across the desert and mountains of south Pakistan. He keeps pigeons back home and took a few on the road with him, which surprised me. A pigeon pilgrim… I wanted to photograph that! We went for a stroll behind a shrine in a cemetery where pilgrims have been buried over the hundreds of years since this pilgrimage began. His pigeon flew around, always staying close. Raja’s necklace reads Lal Shahbaz Qalander in Urdu, which translates to “the red falcon wanderer,” in reference to one of Pakistan's Sufi saints. For more insights into our world, follow @paleyphoto #pilgrimage #pilgrim #sufism #lalshahbazqalander @insidenatgeo
Photo by @edkashi / A Dutch court recently gave a major victory to environmentalists and perhaps all human beings on the planet. Royal Dutch Shell, one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world, was issued a ruling that it must reduce its carbon emissions (from 2019 levels) by 45% by 2030. The civil suit was led by environmental nonprofits, and Shell can appeal the ruling. The court held that Shell violated its "duty of care" under Dutch law because its emissions contribute to climate change. The court didn’t outline how the reductions would be met, or how it might enforce the ruling.This ruling could potentially help communities who live under the specter of pollution and environmental mishaps, like the young girl in this photo who must daily cross active gas and oil pipelines (belonging to Nigerian National Petroleum) that frequently leak or rupture, with the potential for violent explosions. It's not safe or healthy for people to live among industrial facilities, and any reduction in pollution will be beneficial to them. This is a matter of environmental justice, which is long overdue for affected communities like this one in Okrika, Nigeria. #oil #environmental #nigerdelta #nigeria #Africa
Photo by Charlie Hamilton James @chamiltonjames / A young kingfisher begs its parent for a meal. Young kingfishers have just a couple of weeks to learn to dive for fish after leaving the nest. It's a difficult skill for them to master, and so their parents help by feeding them for the first week or so. The love doesn't last long, though; within two weeks the adult birds turn on them, aggressively driving them from their territory.
Photo by Brendan Hoffman @hoffmanbrendan / Women climb onto a trailer pulled by a tractor after harvesting cotton in the village of Tiba Sultanpur, Punjab, Pakistan. They typically earn $4-5 per day for the work—one of few options for women to work outside the home in conservative rural Pakistan—contributing to a textile industry that brings the majority of Pakistan's foreign exchange earnings. Follow me @hoffmanbrendan for more human stories from around the world. #punjab #pakistan #cotton
Photo by @erintrieb / Billows of smoke rise from a brush fire in the Jacks Valley area bordering California, south of Carson City, Nevada, on June 9. According to the U.S. Forest Service, the fire reached 100 percent containment by late afternoon Thursday. The fire prompted evacuations and created power outages, and the cause is currently unknown. Coupled with the effects of climate change, California’s drought is accelerating the start of the 2021 wildfire season, and its neighboring states are also highly vulnerable. 2020 was the worst in modern California history in terms of acres burned: more than four million. For more stories from around the world, follow @erintrieb .
Photos by @stevewinterphoto / These rare glimpses of an Indochinese tiger, an Indochinese leopard, and an Asian elephant were captured in the Western Forest Complex in Thailand. The mystical tiger is the largest of the big cats—and the most endangered. There are perhaps 4,000 left in the wild across their Asian range, split among five subspecies. India’s Bengals have the most hope, with about 2,900; meanwhile, just a few hundred Indochinese, Siberian, Sumatran, and Malay tigers remain. Their numbers seem to be increasing, though, in India and Thailand, where last year in the Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng forest 79 tigers were captured by camera traps set up for a Nat Geo assignment, an increase of more than 70% from 13 years ago. Tigers face habitat loss, deforestation, and poaching for a lucrative, growing trade in tiger skins and bones used in “tiger bone wine.” This deadly commerce is driven by consumer demand—and masterminded by international cartels. Still, there is hope: Saving the vast landscapes these animals inhabit will protect other animals, including seed dispersers and pollinators, and will conserve forests that sequester carbon, mitigating climate change. So if we can save big cats we can help save ourselves!To get these shots, we made a bamboo tripod over a trail used by the animals—and it needed to be taller than the largest, the elephant. I wanted the resulting image to look spotlit, so I placed the camera to shoot (with flash) through a curve of the bamboo beside the trail. #tigers
Video by @PaulNicklen / I encountered this crater-feeding bottlenose dolphin on a recent dive in the Bahamas. The technique is named for the cavities left scattered across the ocean floor, as though it were some distant moon. After using echolocation to spot fish hiding deep in the soft sand, the dolphins dive in with their snouts, sometimes down to their pectoral fins, before wriggling back out moments later with their catch. Follow @PaulNicklen , where I reveal more secrets of life beneath the tropical waves and speak out against the industries that threaten them. #Dolphin #BottlenoseDolphin #Bahamas #TheBahamas #CraterFeeding
Photo by @tamaramerino_photography / Olga, 94, is witnessing the "desierto florido" (flowering desert) phenomenon for the third time in her life. Located in northern Chile, the Atacama Desert is one of the world's most arid landscapes, which is transformed during the flowering. About 200 species, many of them endemic, sprout in natural conditions only during this particular event. The flowers open toward the sun, dyeing plains and ravines in deep and intense colors. The multicolored carpet dominates the land for days. Most of the seeds lie dormant for years under the soil, until favorable conditions prompt them to germinate and bloom. In 2017 the explosion of color followed a great amount of rainfall. Large blooms like this cannot be determined ahead of time, as they occur during random periods, approximately every five to ten years. The phenomenon witnessed that year was of great national and international importance, bringing hundreds of tourists and botanists from everywhere in the world to witness this unusual event. Follow me on @tamaramerino_photography for more photos. #Desert #FloweringDesert #Chile #Flowers
Photo by @sarahyltonphoto / A farmer tends a greenhouse in Depalle, a village about 75 kilometers southwest of Hyderabad, in India. The village is a research and development station, helping India's small-scale farms adapt to climate change in a region that experiences unpredictable rainfall and extreme weather fluctuations. For more stories follow me @sarahyltonphoto . Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story. #india #farming #agriculture
Photo by Muhammed Muheisen @mmuheisen / The sun sets over the Argolic Gulf on the Greek island of Hydra. I enjoyed this breathtaking scene in November while visiting the island. For more photos and videos from different parts of the world, follow me @mmuheisen and @mmuheisenpublic . #muhammedmuheisen #Hydra #Greece #Sunset
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