Bill and Melinda Gates released their annual letter, styled as a report
to Warren Buffett on his investment of over $30 billion in their work. Bill and
Melinda emphasize the value of global development and stress the importance of
vaccines — which they call one of the best deals in global health.
Last year, the city of Flint, Michigan, burst into the world spotlight after its children were exposed to lead in drinking water and some were poisoned. In the year after Flint switched to corrosive river water that leached lead from old pipes, 5 percent of the children screened there had high blood lead levels.
Flint is no aberration. In fact, it doesn’t even rank among the most dangerous lead hotspots in America.
In all, Reuters found nearly 3,000 areas with recently recorded lead poisoning rates at least double those in Flint during the peak of that city’s contamination crisis. And more than 1,100 of these communities had a rate of elevated blood tests at least four times higher.
The poisoned places on this map stretch from Warren, Pennsylvania, a town on the Allegheny River where 36 percent of children tested had high lead levels, to a zip code on Goat Island, Texas, where a quarter of tests showed poisoning. In some pockets of Baltimore, Cleveland and Philadelphia, where lead poisoning has spanned generations, the rate of elevated tests over the last decade was 40 to 50 percent.
I’m very young and I believe in love. But what I know to be true is that it’s so much more important to find yourself first, find out who you are on your own, before you invest so much of yourself in another person. To put so much into somebody else and put so much of somebody else into your life directly; I feel like sometimes you find yourself not really knowing who you are and getting lost in another person.