Prepare to feel heartbroken.
We've all heard the tragic stories of the unintended consequences of the shutdown — cancer patients denied treatments; military families who can't bury loved ones ; mothers who can't feed their babies — but none will probably spread as far and wide as this kid in a bear costume being locked out of the National Zoo.
The photo was posted on Reddit last night by user "superbonnie" (before spreading like wildfire over Twitter), although there weren't any other details or backstory provided on the thread. Perhaps that's for the best. In conflict, that's pretty much become only about metaphor and symbolism , the image — staged or not — is all that matters. It's time to think of the children.