Category Archives: News/Op-Ed

News/Op-Ed: Not So Fast… California to begin phases of reopening in wake of COVID-19

With states across America aiming to slowly reopen, California Governor Gavin Newsom aims to begin this week with phased reopening starting with public beaches and small businesses.

gallery_medium

With California nearly approaching two months since social distancing guidelines have been put into effect, the virus has strongly affected small businesses, and the Governor’s announcement would put them back into business, although they still have to maintain the distancing guidelines. Curbside pickup and delivery, according to Governor Newsom in a press conference on Tuesday, would be the way that these businesses would operate starting as soon as last Friday. Businesses must need the proper protective gear and constant deep cleaning is necessary for these small businesses. Governor Newsom is set to offer the full guidelines to the small businesses in coming days.

Among re-openings were also public beaches, which were reopened for only a short time before mass crowds caused the Governor to close them again. This led to protesters scattered across California, but mainly in Huntington Beach, where a mass gathering protested wanting their beaches reopened. People have had little to do in the last two months, and as the weather warms, many are getting antsy. These protests have worked and Newsom has begun reopening select beaches in Huntington Beach, Dana Point and Seal Beach. Huntington and Dana Point had filed suits against the closures. Also Laguna Beach and San Clemente have gained approval for the same phased reopenings. More reopenings are to slowly take place with Newsom aiming for phased reopening across California.

The updated Covid-19 number of cases in California is nearly 70,000, including almost 3,000 deaths. As the Governor takes steps to reopen the state, new measures are also being taken to combat another peak spread of the virus. To help healthcare workers and businesses, Newsom has an inventory of 19.3 million masks to help fight the spread of the virus. In a new measure, Newsom also announced the deployment of nearly 2,800 “disease detectives” to track and quarantine infected Californians. This as the state expects to have more available “drive-by” tests and more testing in general.

The phase two of the reopenings, according to Governor Newsom, will slowly begin close to the end of this week, defining it as a low-risk portion of the reopenings. Newsom wants to modify the stay-at-home order, and these changes will begin in the near future. If the cases begin to rise again then the restrictions will tighten again, according to the Governor. Governor Newsom sums up his plan for reopening California with it’s not “ready, fire, aim”, but it’s “ready, aim, fire.”

News/Op-Ed: Pope Francis Leads Faithful Through Pandemic Crisis

by Ryan Tavera

In this time of angst and uncertainty, Pope Francis hopes to shine a light through this cloud of darkness by delivering a prayer in a desolate St Peter’s Square. 

POPE

It was a rainy Friday in Vatican City as Pope Francis delivered his Urbi et Orbi blessing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic which has left more than 18,000 people dead in Italy. The Pope delivered the blessing in front of an empty St Peter’s Square in the heart of the Vatican City.

Speaking through the rain, Francis read from the Gospel where he urged the world to create a sense of unity and to comfort each other as times get tougher. Millions of people from around the world were able to tune into the Pope’s message via television and social media while remaining quarantined.

“We have realized that we are in the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other,” said Pope Francis.

Amidst the empty square, Francis stressed the importance of hope and faith. The leader of 1.3 billion Roman Catholics was asking for perseverance from his people.

“Reawaken and put into practice that solidarity and hope capable of giving strength, support, and meaning to these hours when everything seems to be floundering,” said Pope Francis.

Pope Francis believes the crisis has shown the depth of our sense of helplessness before the present crisis, Francis suggested, is a measure of our modern overconfidence in “ordinary” times.

“False . . . certainties we have constructed around which we have constructed our . . . projects. The tempest lays bare all our prepackaged ideas and forgetfulness of what nourishes our people’s souls. We have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything,” said Pope Francis

Likewise, Francis also praised the heroes who are on the front lines fighting this battle such as doctors, nurses, health care providers, police, grocery store employees and volunteers.

“Writing the decisive events of our time: doctors, nurses, supermarket employees, cleaners, caregivers, providers of transport, law and order forces, volunteers, priests, deacons, religious men and women and so very many others.We remember our families and the efforts of each of us to care for our families and our neighbors,” said Pope Francis.

The Vatican called the service “An Extraordinary Prayer in the Time of Pandemic,” and this pandemic is unfortunately still going strong. Nearly reaching 2,000,000 total confirmed cases worldwide, the USA currently having the most confirmed cases at over 500,000.

News/Op-Ed: Disneyland Closes for the First Time Since 9/11

by Christian Bode

California is on “lockdown,” from schools to sporting events, concerts, and other large public gatherings, which inevitably hit one of the biggest tourist attractions on the planet: Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, which will remain closed indefinitely.

dklsgjffi-624x352-1-1

These lockdowns have affected us in many different ways. L.A County is on lockdown, with schools being shut down, and non-essential outings and groups of 10 or more being banned. This, of course, would inevitably hit one of the biggest corporations and hangout places on the planet. Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure have been closed till March 31’st. This is not a shocker to anyone, but for people who know Disneyland. There is no other place that has the resilience to stay open through other hardships but it seems as though this is too hard for them. The reason this is big news is that through thick and thin, Disneyland has stayed open. Through the Ebola outbreak from Africa, Sars, and many other viruses. Through rainy days and earthquakes, Disneyland Theme Parks have stayed open. 

The last time Disneyland closed, to the public without any prior notice, was on September 11, 2001. This date was due to the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York which shook the nation to its core. For many people, Disneyland closure is scary, as it may make some people realize just how bad and dangerous this virus is. On the Disneyland website, you can find a notice about the epidemic and the reason for their closure.

“While there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort to date, after carefully reviewing the guidelines of the Governor of California’s executive order, and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we have closed Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure Park,” the statement reads.

The Disney Company has also announced that they will be pausing all charges for all pass holders, so you are not charged seventy-four dollars a month while not able to go. Many people were petitioning for this, as it was very important to many who did not have enough money to even survive the quarantine. The Disney Company paid attention to their family and kept their promise. Walt Disney did always care for everyone, no matter what race or gender someone was. He always put forward the safety of his guests and cared for them. You can still see his ideals shine bright today with his theme parks. As Walt Disney once said, “A man should never neglect his family or business”. We are all his family and will always be forever. 

One final major issue is that of the workers. The Hollywood Reporter has announced recently that Disney will start to Furlough, Grant leave of absence to the staff that have non-essential jobs at this time. This process will begin on April 19th and could affect more families than previously thought. It is not clear on how many employees will be affected but is very scary for those who work as food vendors, or ride operators. As there are no guests to give them work. We must pray for all of those that will be and already were affected by the current situations in the world.

 

News/OP-Ed: Biden Continues to Dominate Primary Race with Huge Delegate Lead, Amid Coronavirus Postponements

by Timothy Levine, Executive Editor

Following the conclusion of Super Tuesday, nine more states have held their Democratic Primaries. All but one of these states went to Joe Biden, who now takes a nearly insurmountable lead in delegates that seems to secure his spot as the inevitable nominee.

GettyImages_1209595079.0

It seemed that Biden had all the momentum following a surprisingly dominant performance on Super Tuesday, one that saw him win ten of the 14 states available off the endorsements of Klobuchar and Buttigieg. This momentum did not slow down in any way, as he won big the following week with victories in key states such as Michigan, Missouri, and Washington. These states were key for Bernie Sanders to make a comeback and build momentum for upcoming races, however, he performed worse than poll-predictions in these states and suffered from low youth-voter turnout.

Biden did not stop there, as he continued to widen his lead to his almost assured victory, sweeping the three primary races held on March 17. These states were Arizona, Florida, and Illinois, three big delegate states with 440 delegates combined of which Biden won 295 off, nearly 70 percent. This huge delegate victory comes from the margin that Biden is winning by, as he dominated in Florida with 62 percent of the vote, well above poll projections. Biden now has 1217 delegates, a 303 delegate lead over Sanders, virtually guaranteeing his victory. He will almost certainly win the delegate lead, it is now just a matter of if he wins the nomination outright or at the convention.

Sanders still can remain in the race and push for a contested convention, which is what he intends to do according to his campaign. He may also benefit from postponements in 14 states due to the Coronavirus. The postponement of states such as New York and Pennslyvania to as late as June, with New York’s being postponed to June 23, could help halt Biden’s momentum. Many states have also decided to switch to voting by mail with extended deadlines as well. Sanders has also gained some momentum himself for his criticism of the Coronavirus relief bill that was pushed in the Senate, which could help him, as the issue becomes more pressing and of concern to voters.

However, Sanders would have to dominantly win the remaining states to stay competitive and just push for a contested convention, which would not favor Sanders as many superdelegates have stated their intent to block a Sanders nomination. So this momentum is too little and too late, and Sanders’s choice remaining in the race can hurt the democratic party in its general election campaign. Similar to 2016, Sanders’s plan to remain in race hurts unification plans, which could lead to many distraught Bernie supporters staying at home rather than supporting who they view as corporate and status-quo.

With the Convention getting even closer, it appears that the race is nearing its conclusion, as Biden will work to expand his support and bring the party together for the general election. His Vice President pick will also be essential and it appears that it will be coming soon, as he is reported to have a shortlist of 10-12 women that he is deciding between according to CNN.

News/OP-Ed: Califonia Reacts To Gavin Newsom’s Shut Down of Schools Across State

by Joshua Lucero

Due to the unexpected rise of COVID-19 (the CoronaVirus), the majority of schools all over California have made the preemptive decision to physically shut down for an indefinite amount of time. Students were given an alternate version of school from home, online education.

gallery_medium

The main reason behind this difficult decision is the number of cases that have steadily risen in California. “The number has surpassed 31,000 and is continually on the rise”, said the LA Times. To attempt to ‘reach the curve’ and decrease the spread of this pandemic, entire local areas are being shut down, including schools, restaurants, malls, and many other commonplace areas. The governmental response to COVID-19 has received a widespread amount of different reactions all over the state of California.

Many families all around the state and the nation are beginning to see the true nature of the effects of the virus, as most people have been overbuying products and supplies for their homes. An active request has been in effect for social distancing, but it seems to be easier said than done and it shows through the people’s response toward this request by the government. 

There has been a shut down of malls, bars, roller coaster parks, gyms, and anything else that the public actively uses that is considered “non-essential”. This is all because of the request by California Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration that advises people to stay indoors and out of public spaces.

As a result of many of these spaces shutting down, there has been an influx of people in public parks and around the neighborhoods. In addition to this “common fad”, many teens and young adults have looked towards social media as a way to cope with the concept of being cooped up in one’s house and looking at the same four walls every day. 

The increase of social media awareness to COVID-19 has created trends that bring life to these “locked up” teens. For example, there have been many challenges such as “see 10 do 10”, which means someone would post a video of themselves doing 10 push-ups and nominate several different people to do the same. This is what is keeping teens occupied with all their free time of being indoors during this extremely challenging time. Another challenge that was going on was “#LetTheKidsPlay”. This is a trend that evolved around the student-athletes who had to sacrifice their season because of this pandemic plaguing the US as a whole. 

Especially in high school and college students who are a part of the senior class of 2020, there is definitely a change in their mindsets over what school meant to them. Senioritis is seemingly no more, many seniors are at the point where they actually miss school.

The rising class reaction to this pandemic seems to be even more depressing every day that physical school is shut down. Social media has covered this anxiety by having a platform for people to publish photos and videos on how the class of 2020 will most likely not be able to participate in events such as grad night, prom and even potentially, graduation.

When Governor Newsom says, “Please stay indoors”, it is for the right reason, not to be selfish but to protect the entire population of 40 million or more Californians who are at risk. 

It is for good reason that California is on lockdown, it is to help achieve the curve in the growing numbers of people afflicted by COVID-19 and to end the spread. 

Citing a model that state planners have been using, Mr. Newsom said that the coronavirus could infect 56 percent of Californians, or more than 25 million people, over eight weeks.” said the New York Times. 

Personal feelings aside, and no matter what the reaction of the individual person is towards this pandemic, it is crucial for the livelihood of every human being living in America, to stay indoors as much as possible and listen to those who are trying their best to help stop the spread of this pandemic. 

News/Op-Ed: Doing Our Parts to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

by Emilio Ceja and Ma’A Gaoteote

The recent pandemic outbreak of the coronavirus, COVID-19, has spread across nations. Over 400,000 people worldwide have tested positive for the virus, which started in Wuhan, China and spread quickly since reaching Europe, namely Italy. The virus has reached the United States, which now has the 3rd most cases of any country with over 600 fatalities. 

covid-one-sheet_16a842189fab06b69ec8ba68d296d776

The Coronavirus although an easily spread virus can be slowed down through simple steps that can be done by everyone. If more people take these simple measures seriously during this time of California state as well as national “lockdown,” Californians and Americans at large can do their little part to help avoid a further spike in new cases, which has led to a death toll that just yesterday increased by more than 100, according to reporting from CNN.

Of course, the most important thing that one can do is avoid contact with those who have been infected with the virus or been around others who have. Beyond that though, it’s important at this stage that we follow the Governor’s and the Presidential Task Force’s recommendations to “stay at home” and practice at least six feet of social distancing.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth because the virus can easily spread through these sinual areas. Make sure to consistently clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched by you and others, such as desks and countertops, with disinfecting wipes. Do these things whether you’re symptomatic or not. In order to minimize the possibility of getting the virus, it is strongly recommended to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds multiple times a day.

The contagious virus can be spread through the air, along with being able to spread through touch. This has led to the statewide and nationwide “lockdown” period to help prevent the spread of the virus. This recommended quarantine has been established primarily to prevent large crowds of more than ten, and schools have been cancelled as well.

The spread of COVID-19 can become a more serious issue if the proper steps are not taken to prevent it. Be sure to practice social distancing to the best of your ability, wash your hands, don’t touch your face and clean surfaces that are often touched. Stay safe Braves!

News/OP-Ed: From NBA Players to Our Everyday Lives, “Coronavirus” Has Been Felt Throughout The World

by R.J. Johnson

How serious is the “Coronavirus” or “COVID-19”? With COVID-19 being a new disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are still in the works of finding out how severe the illness might be and what causes it. 

5e6a6a07235c181bf42d711a

So far, one of the most important things that we know about COVID-19 is how easily it spreads from person-to-person. The main way that the virus has spread is through close proximity with other people through respiratory issues like coughing or sneezing. Droplets admitted from the mouth or nose can make its way onto people nearby, possibly being inhaled into the lungs. 

According to the CDC, people are most contagious when they are most symptomatic. Although people mainly spread the virus through being visibly sick, the CDC believes that some spread might be possible before visible symptoms are shown. A recent example of this would be an NBA player from the Utah Jazz in Rudy Gobert. 

“I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis…mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment,” Gobert wrote.

Having recently been diagnosed in the past few days, Gobert appeared to be perfectly healthy before his diagnostics. Shortly after Gobert was diagnosed with Coronavirus, his teammate Donovan Mitchell was too.  In an interview, he jokingly had touched all off the microphones with his hands before concluding. This contamination of surfaces and objects has been found to spread Covid-19 according to the CDC.

“The first and most important thing is I would like to apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected,” wrote Gobert.

Since the Coronavirus outbreak has taken off, we have seen an obvious shift in everyday life that has not been quite welcoming. There have been travel bans, leaving people stranded in countries that are not their own all over the world. Professional leagues such as the NHL, MLS, and NBA have all shut down due to the Coronavirus. There have also been colleges across America that have shut down such as Georgetown University, University of Florida, Michigan State University, and University of California, Los Angeles. 

After seeing plenty of universities temporarily close down the school, each state’s respective elementary, middle, and high schools all began to shut down as well. For many schools, online instruction is being offered to students to keep everyone up to speed with their work. 

Should we be missing out on school, work, and sports? As of right now, America is the 8th leading country in total Covid-19 cases and wants to continue to keep that number as low as possible. There are 135,837 confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide. Even with 70,427 people recovered and 4,990 deaths, there are still 60,420 currently infected patients worldwide according to Worldometer which is keeping track of the virus spread in real-time. 

The goal for scientists across the world is to slow down the spread of the virus so that they could study it more in-depth and develop a cure for it. There is currently no vaccination for the Coronavirus, but researchers in the U.S. National Institutes of Health are in the early stages of development. The first phase of the clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine is set to come within the next couple of months. 

The world moves fast and is ever-changing, waiting months for a vaccination like this might take an even larger toll on certain countries’ trade economies than expected. There is always room for the world to recover from this virus, it is just a matter of how and when. 

Until we find a vaccination, the best ways to try and avoid obtaining the virus are by not sharing food items, keeping your hands away from your face, refraining from unnecessary physical contact with items or people, and washing your hands as frequently as possible for twenty seconds at a time with soap and water!

« Older Entries