Things That Matter

San Diego Karen Wants To Sue For Half Of Starbucks Barista’s $100K GoFundMe

Update: Amber Lynn Gilles is Internet famous for trying to shame a Starbucks barista on Facebook for telling her to wear a mask. Now she is becoming Internet famous for claims she is the victim and deserves half of the money raised on GoFundMe.

The GoFundMe page for Lenin Gutierrez is now over $100,000 and Gilles claims she deserves half.

Credit: GoFundMe

Gutierrez is now $100,000 richer after his friend Matt Cowan set up the GoFundMe to make the bad experience better. The original goal for the GoFundMe page was $1,000 but the amount keeps on growing as people share the love with Gutierrez.

According to the GoFundMe, Cowan set up for Gutierrez to meet with a financial advisor to help him invest the money. Gutierrez has said that he wants to use the money to pursue his dream of being a dancer. Even more, the young mans shared in a video that he wants to use the money to help others chase their dreams in dance as well.

“We crossed the $100,000 mark,” reads the GoFundMe page. “A huge thank you to everyone who has donated. Lenin is overjoyed and at a loss of words at the kindness that has been shown to him by everyone worldwide.”

After the fundraiser made a lot of money, Gilles has decided to sue for half of the money she feels she deserves. However, she needs people to send her money so she can hire an attorney to take on the case. The fundraiser was started on July 2, 2020, and has raised $460 of the $5,000 goal in two weeks.

“I have been attacked by liberals, the organizations who form many Facebook hate groups, I am silenced on media platforms and censored,” Gilles claims on her GoFundMe page. “I have been slandered and defamed on a GoFundMe raiser, he used my photo and personal information without my permission.”

Gilles claims that she has a medical condition and showed a note from a chiropractor saying she has a breathing condition.

Original: Karens are everywhere and one Starbuck barista in San Diego encountered one in the wild without a face mask. Lenin Gutierrez asked a customer if she had a mask when he saw her without one. She said no and refused to put on one. She then went to social media to call him out.

A white woman in San Diego was very upset that a Starbucks barista told her to wear a mask.

Credit: Amber Lynn Gilles / Facebook

Face masks have become a very controversial issue. The most important tool in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic has become a politicized issue. Conservatives have denounced the facial coverings claiming they infringe on their rights and are unconstitutional. A Vinn diagram of people protesting the lockdown and not wanting to wear masks would show a lot of overlap.

She included a photo of Lenin Gutierrez, the man who stood up to her.

Credit: Amber Lynn Gilles / Facebook

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a mandate ordering al Californians to wear facial coverings when they are in public. Private businesses, like Starbucks, are allowed to refuse service to anyone that employees deem necessary. During a pandemic that has killed more than 120,000 Americans and infected more than 2.6 million, facial coverings are crucial.

Gutierrez is the one coming out ahead when a GoFundMe was set up to show him support.

Credit: GoFundMe

So far, more than $49,000 have been raised to help Gutierrez. The money is being donated by people who are thanking him for stand up to the woman who thinks she is too good to wear a mask. If you want to donate, you can click here.

Gutierrez took to Facebook to thank everyone who donated to him.

I’ve received numerous messages asking for my side of the story. Since this seems to be the most popular thread I decided to post my personal experience here. Thank you all for the love and support.

Posted by Lenin Gutierrez on Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The barista was so moved by the donations. The young man shared that he was working at Starbucks to make the money to pursue his dreams of dancing. According to his Facebook, he likes Folklorico, the native dance of Mexico. There is no doubt that $49,000 will definitely help him pursuing is dreams of diving deeper into dancing.

Don’t forget that we are still in the middle of a pandemic. COVID-19 has not slowed down in the U.S. Instead, the number of infections continues to rise in the U.S. with more than 40,000 falling ill on Thursday. Facial coverings are the best tool we have to slow the spread. Be smart. Be safe. Listen to the scientists. We can make it through this together.

READ: People Are Using Social Media to Highlight Racism On The Islands

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Peru’s Indigenous Are Turning To Ancestral Medicines To Fight The Coronavirus

Culture

Peru’s Indigenous Are Turning To Ancestral Medicines To Fight The Coronavirus

Joao Laet / Getty Images

With news headlines like “How Covid-19 could destroy indigenous communities”, it’s hard to understate the affect that the Coronavirus has had on Indigenous communities across the world.

Even before the pandemic hit, native populations were already at increased risk of health complications, poor access to medical care, lack of proper education, and even premature death. The pandemic has only exacerbated these issues as government programs and NGOs who delivered aid to far flung communities have grind to a halt.

However, many communities have started taking the matter into their own hands by creating their own impromptu healthcare systems based on ancestral techniques and others have barricaded off their villages from the outside world in an effort to stem the flow of the virus.

In Peru, many Indigenous communities are turning to centuries-old medicines to fight back against the Coronavirus.

The Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on Peru – the country with the world’s highest per capita Covid-19 mortality rate. At particular risk is the nation’s large Indigenous community, who often lack proper access to education efforts and medical care. This has forced many Indigenous groups to find their own remedies.

In the Ucayali region, government rapid response teams deployed to a handful of Indigenous communities have found infection rates as high as 80% through antibody testing. Food and medicine donations have reached only a fraction of the population. Many say the only state presence they have seen is from a group responsible for collecting bodies of the dead.

At least one community, the Indigenous Shipibo from Peru’s Amazon region, have decided to rely on the wisdom of their ancestors. With hospitals far away, doctors stretch too thin and a lack of beds, many have accepted the alternative medicine.

In a report by the Associated Press, one villager, Mery Fasabi, speaks about gathering herbs, steeping them in boiling water and instructing her loved ones to breathe in the vapors. She also makes syrups of onion and ginger to help clear congested airways.

“We had knowledge about these plants, but we didn’t know if they’d really help treat COVID,” the teacher told the AP. “With the pandemic we are discovering new things.”

One of the plants the Shipibo are using is known locally as ‘matico.’ The plant has green leaves and brightly colored flowers. And although Fasabi admits that these ancestral remedies are by no means a cure, the holistic approach is proving successful. She says that “We are giving tranquility to our patients,” through words of encouragement and physical touch.

Even before the Coronavirus, Indigenous communities were at a greater risk for infectious diseases.

Indigenous peoples around the globe tend to be at higher risk from emerging infectious diseases compared to other populations. During the H1N1 pandemic in Canada in 2009, for example, aboriginal Canadians made up 16% of admissions to hospital, despite making up 3.4% of the population.

Covid-19 is no exception. In the US, one in every 2,300 indigenous Americans has died, compared to one in 3,600 white Americans.

Indigenous groups are particularly vulnerable to dying from Covid-19 because they often live days away from professional medical help. As of July 28, the disease had killed 1,108 indigenous people and there had been 27,517 recorded cases, with the majority in Brazil, according to data published by Red Eclesial Panamazonia (Repam).

Some communities are turning inward to survive COVID-19, barricading villages and growing their own food.

Despite the immense threat they face, Indigenous communities are fighting back.

“I am amazed to see the ways that indigenous peoples are stepping up to provide support where governments have not,” Tauli-Corpuz, a teacher at Mexico’s UNAM, told The Conversation. “They are providing PPE and sanitation, making their own masks, and ensuring that information on Covid-19 is available in local languages, and are distributing food and other necessities.”

They are also choosing to isolate. In Ecuador’s Siekopai nation, about 45 Indigenous elders, adults and children traveled deep into the forest to their ancestral heartland of Lagartococha to escape exposure to the Coronavirus, says the nation’s president Justino Piaguaje.

Despite their best efforts, many experts are extremely concerned for the survival of many Indigenous communities.

Credit: Ginebra Peña / Amazonian Alliance

They are already facing the ‘tipping point’ of ecological collapse due to increased threats of deforestation, fires, industrial extraction, agribusiness expansion and climate change,” Amazon Watch executive director Leila Salazar-Lopez told UNESCO of Amazonian Indigenous groups.

“Now, the pandemic has created one more crisis, and as each day passes, the risk of ethnocide becomes more real.”

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Pope Francis Condemns People Who Are “Taking Advantage” of the Coronavirus to “Create Economic or Political Advantages”

Things That Matter

Pope Francis Condemns People Who Are “Taking Advantage” of the Coronavirus to “Create Economic or Political Advantages”

Pope Francis, usually one to remain largely apoliticfal, has recently made headlines for his second public appearance since the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm starting in March.

Last Wednesday, 83-year-old Pope Francis made headlines for publicly wearing a mask–a garment that has become quite controversial in recent months.

via Getty Images

After months of virtual appearances, Pope Francis addressed an audience of around 500 people in the San Damasco courtyard in the Vatican. According to the Associated Press, the audience members were sitting on spaced-out chairs to accommodate social-distancing guidelines.

The Pope was seen entering and exiting his vehicle wearing a white mask. He was also seen using hand sanitizer in between greeting visitors. It is worth noting that Pope Francis had one of his lungs removed when he was younger, likely making him a high-risk person. Although he is usually known for his love of engaging with crowds, kept his distance this time.

In his speech, the Pope urged everyone to use the unusual circumstances of the pandemic to work towards the common good. He then warned against people using COVID-19 to exploit their own agendas.

“Unfortunately, we are witnessing the emergence of partisan interests,” he said, skirting around calling out anyone specifically.

“For example, there are those who want to appropriate possible solutions for themselves, such as (developing) vaccines and then selling them to others.”

He chastised these anonymous bad-faith actors further, adding: “Some are taking advantage of the situation to foment divisions, to create economic or political advantages, to start or intensify conflict.”

This isn’t the first time Pope Francis has condemned politicians and profiteers.

via Getty Images

He previously publicly criticized the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from the parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In 2018, Reverend Joe S.Vásquez of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement saying “forcibly separating children from their mothers and fathers is ineffective to the goals of deterrence and safety and contrary to our Catholic values”.

In an interview with Reuteurs, the Pope expressed his support of the statement, saying he was “on the side” of the Bishop’s conference. “It’s not easy, but populism is not the solution,” he concluded.

A few days later, he wrote on Twitter: “We encounter Jesus in those who are poor, rejected, or refugees. Do not let fear get in the way of welcoming our neighbour in need.” Some saw it as a clear sub-tweet directed at the Trump administration.

This time, it’s worth wondering if Pope Francis’s decision to wear a mask means he’s subtly making his politics known, even if he isn’t making grand political statements.

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