Elena Burnett

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Not long ago, Denver Public Schools nurse Rebecca Sposato was packing up her office at the end of a difficult school year. She remembers looking around at all her cleaning supplies and extra masks and thinking, "What am I going to do with all this stuff?"

It was May, when vaccine appointments were opening up for the majority of adults and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were loosening mask guidance.

"I honestly thought we were trending down in our COVID numbers, trending up in our vaccine numbers," she says. "And I thought the worst was over."

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Soccer player Megan Rapinoe, swimmer Katie Ledecky and gymnast Simone Biles are among the 11,000 athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympics beginning this week on July 23.

More than 600 athletes from across the U.S. are headed to Japan to represent Team USA, and they'll have to navigate the twists and turns of this year's unusual Olympic Games.

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This spring Steve Stuttard reunited with an unusual friend: Mrs. Mallard, a duck that nested in the fuchsia planter on his ninth-story apartment balcony in Manchester, U.K., last year. Upon her return, she laid 11 eggs in a planter filled with grass.

"I know ducks have strange routines when it comes to nesting, and mallards, if they have a successful site, they will return to it," says Stuttard, a retired Royal Navy survival specialist and an avid bird lover since childhood.

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Look. I wouldn't know what to do if a duck started nesting in a planter on my ninth floor balcony, but Steve Stuttard, an avid bird lover and retired Royal Navy specialist, was just the man for the job.

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From toilet paper to hand sanitizer to disinfecting wipes, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to some major shortages across the United States. While supermarket aisles may have finally returned to their fully stocked state, restaurants across the country are now facing a new and uniquely American shortage — ketchup.

"They are really sweating over it. I mean, it's costing a lot," says Heather Haddon, a restaurant reporter for The Wall Street Journal. "It's, you know, a service issue. So for these restaurant owners, it's not a laughing matter."

Canopies of pink and white flowers are blanketing Washington, D.C., after the city's cherry trees hit full bloom last week.