COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 Vaccine. COVID-19 Corona Virus 2019-ncov Vaccine Injection Vials Medicine bottles. Vaccination, immunization, treatment to cure Covid-19 Corona Virus infection. Healthcare And Medical concept. Image taken from: https://amp.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2020/10/30/588822.html

*Note: due to the nature of the vaccine rollout, some information in this article may no longer be current.

COVID-19 has spread throughout the world. But now, there are authorized vaccines to prevent COVID-19 in the United States: the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, and  Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine​​.

Two doses are needed for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The Pfizer vaccine must be given 21 days apart and the Moderna vaccine must be given 28 days apart.

The vaccines can’t be fully effective if someone does not get both the doses, the same doses, and at the correct time. If someone gets only one vaccine dose, they will not be fully protected from COVID-19.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is for individuals 16 years of age and older. The common side effects from this vaccine is a pain when it’s injected, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and tiredness. These side effects are experienced after the second dose of the vaccination. 

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine was made public on December 18, 2020. This vaccine​​ is for individuals 18 years or older. This vaccine also comes with side effects that will last for seven days. The common side effects are: tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, swelling, nausea, and fever.

These vaccines won’t be available to regular Americans for some time. The vaccines will be given to front-line workers first (that includes firefighters, police officers, food workers, postal workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, teachers, and daycare workers).

People 75 years and older will receive the vaccination second. People 65 to 74 years will also receive the vaccination, and then people aged 16 to 64 years, with underlying medical conditions, will receive it last.

After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, you will not test positive for the COVID-19 test. If you have already had COVID-19, and recovered, you will still need to get the vaccine. 

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Mental health and the pandemic

By: Grace Blumer-Lamotte

Mental health is classified as our emotional, physiological, and social well-being.

The first report of COVID-19 was in Wuhan, China, on December 31st, 2019. The first reported cases in the United States of America were sometime in January, 2020.

The pandemic has taken a toll on everyone’s mental health. Whether it was beneficial or harmful.

To some people, the pandemic was beneficial to their mental health. I asked 4 people between the age range of 14-46 years old: “How has the pandemic impacted your mental health for the better?”

The 14-year-old answered that the pandemic has been beneficial to their mental health by being away from school and “toxic friends.”

The 16-year-old answered that the pandemic has not been beneficial to their mental health.

The 43-year-old answered that the pandemic impacted their mental health by having “More face time/contact with my immediate family and my kids.”

3 words they used to describe it being beneficial is “less-busy, family-time, and remote-work.”

The 46-year-old also answered that the pandemic impacted their mental health as the “flu-rate has dropped.” 

To other people, the pandemic was harmful to their mental health. The same 4 people answered how the pandemic impacted their mental health for the worse.

The 14-year-old said, “It is difficult not having social interaction.”

The 16-year-old said, “My girlfriend broke up with me. I lost multiple friends. My mental health went downhill.”

The 43-year-old said that the negatives about the pandemic are “Stress and worry about the safety and well-being of my family. Dealing with the unknown is exhausting.”

3 words they used to describe their mental health during the pandemic is that they feel: “isolated, stressed, and unknown.”

According to ‘The Philadelphia Inquirer,’ their crisis line has spiked and hasn’t come down since the pandemic started.

Everyone around the world struggles with something in their life. Whether it’s a mental illness(es), family issues, or abuse of substances. But since the Coronavirus has started, Federal Surveys showed that 40% of Americans are struggling with a mental illness and/or drug-related problem, and 75% of young adults are struggling.

When will the U.S. open back up after COVID-19?

By: Aisha Dirie

Throughout the pandemic there have been many different restrictions, in many different states. These restrictions have been going on since mid-March, when the pandemic first hit.

There are a lot of questions surrounding when certain countries, specifically the U.S., will open back up. This isn’t very clear since the U.S. is spiking in COVID-19 cases as of now. But, many states are implementing stricter mandates.

Although we do not know when the U.S. will open back up officially after COVID-19,  there is a way we can predict around what time the country will open back up. 

According to the New York Times, there are eight states that don’t have a mandatory mask law. Among these eight states, Idaho, Georgia, and Wyoming don’t have mandatory mask mandate as of early December.

Also by the New York Times, 2 out of 50 states have a stay-at-home order or curfew. These two states are California and Ohio.

There are also states being monitored to see if they need to go into lockdown. Even before Thanksgiving break, there were cases of spiking all around the country. In the weeks following Thanksgiving there is expected to be an increase in cases again. This is because of holiday traveling.

There are many clinical trials being done, as stated by the CDC, for a vaccine. Late in November, the CDC put out an article talking about the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. We know that we are close, or somewhat close, to the development of an effective vaccine to treat and prevent COVID-19. Late in December is the earliest a vaccine could be widely distributed. There are countless sources about when a vaccine should be out.

Although it’ll be a big breakthrough for developing a COVID-19, the vaccine has to be widely distributed. The vaccines will probably go to the people most at risk, i.e. healthcare workers and the elderly, first. 

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The sprouting of a new beginning

By: David Meyer

This is one of many backyard gardens that were made during the pandemic. Image taken from: https://www.lohud.com/story/life/2020/03/20/how-start-backyard-vegetable-garden/2878705001/

Many schools across the country have had school gardens for a very long time. And with the COVID-19 pandemic that has happened recently, going into schools was not available to most students.

However, one of the few activities that has still been ongoing for many schools is participating in the school gardens. These gardens have been able to provide an outlet for a large number of students while the pandemic has been happening. It’s a way of them to get outside and be productive when many people feel trapped inside their houses all day with not much to do.

A by product of all of these gardens is fresh produce that can go to either the school, the students who help out, or even to food banks. These food banks are ever more in need of food for the people that depend on them, especially fresh and organic fruits and vegetables.

Not only have people been participating in school gardens, but many have also made gardens of their own.

Since, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, the fresh produce had been limited, people have tried to find a way to get their own fresh fruits and vegetables. So, many home gardens have begun to appear. Not only is the food fresh, but it is almost guaranteed to be safe from COVID-19 because it is home-grown.

But, many families also kept on this trend, and many have started to take care of animals as well; for example, chickens in order to have fresh eggs. The sales of baby chicks that will end up producing eggs has skyrocketed, even as many as 10 times the amount before the pandemic are selling.

These, and other ways people are dealing with this pandemic positively, shows the resilience of many to make the best out of a bad situation.

COVID Halloween

By: Anna Hisle

During COVID, people have kept to themselves. Now, with Halloween approaching, children are getting antsy and are counting down the days until they can trick or treat. But are parents really going to let their kids trick or treat in the midst of a pandemic?

While no one really knows what will happen for Halloween, many neighborhoods and people do have plans.

Trick or treating 

According to “WMUR,” in the state of New Hampshire, along with trick or treating guidelines, each town/city has a specific trick or treating time. So, if you live in Nashua, you would most likely be trick or treating at a different time then someone that lives in Barnstead.

Even if you don’t trick or treat with many people near you, the CDC suspects that the holidays will bring more spread of the virus.

Wear masks even though you’re outside. Even if there’s no people near you while trick or treating, protect yourself from the person you are getting candy from. This also protects them from you.

Wearing your mask while going door to door isn’t just safer, but it will also keep you warm if it’s chilly outside. Your mask will also be a cute accessory in case your costume needs some pizzazz!

Parties/gatherings

While many people usually throw Halloween parties with friends or even just family, you might want to skip this year. If you must throw a party, the smart thing to do would be to limit the number of people attending the party and wear masks at all times.

If you attend, according to the “Centers for Disease Control (CDC),” there are many ways to stay safe while trick or treating:

  • Wear masks at all times
  • Stay socially distanced (at least 6 feet, if not more)
  • It might be chilly, but if possible, stay outside
  • Try to have a shorter gathering (the longer the party, the higher the risk of being exposed)
  • Keep it to very few people! (Many states/cities have a rule about how many people can gather)

There are so many more things you can do to stay safe during this pandemic and holiday season! Make sure that you are researching and do not go to large gatherings or parties unless you take proper precautions.

But honestly, be smart! Don’t throw a party or have a big gathering. Don’t trick or treat unless you stay distanced and wear a mask.

But most importantly, STAY SAFE!

COVID-19 and how different countries are handling the it

By: Aisha Dirie

Many countries are handling this pandemic differently. Many countries are still in lockdown, have certain restrictions, or restrict all travel from or to countries.

The US is still battling this pandemic. Many states still have COVID cases rising.

This pandemic has affected the economy in many different countries.

How different countries are handling this pandemic shows a lot about their leaders, how quickly this virus has spread, and how dangerous COVID-19 truly is. According to Worldometers.info, there are currently around 37 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with the US at the largest number of cases. Following the US is India with the second most cases worldwide.  

According to EndCoronavirus.org, some of the countries that are recovering, or have recovered completely from COVID, are New Zealand, Sudan, and Haiti.

In late March, New Zealand put in a very strict quarantine. This led the country COVID cases to decrease exponentially. This was a good move for the prime minister of New Zealand (Jacinda Ardern) because currently there are only a couple, or almost zero, COVID-19 cases in the country of New Zealand.

Other countries that have gone into strict lockdown have been managing their COVID-19 cases as well. 

Many different countries are handling this pandemic differently. On different scales, levels, seriousness, and population. There is definitely a trend between what countries are doing better than others. Some countries are back to normal life already.

This is different than some countries, including the US, Canada, etc. We are already far enough into this pandemic to recognize why certain countries have failed to reopen.

Time will tell.

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How COVID-19 has affected students’ education

By: Leslie Lopez Ibanez and Kayla Arellano

Image taken from: ps://napavalleyregister.com/opinion/article_c0d56bba-492b-5892-ac59-edf39607dec2.html

In December of 2020, a virus was discovered in Wuhan, China. The virus slowly went spreading worldwide creating a human pandemic. This virus is called the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and thousands of people have died from it. Some have recovered, but there is no cure for it yet.

To prevent the spread, there have been restrictions that caused all businesses and schools to shut down with only a few businesses open because they were deemed essential.

Now that the schools are closed, teachers are forced to be giving online classes. They are slowly opening everything back up, but still with restrictions, and it’s very difficult because school districts have to get their system approved on how they are going to manage to have all their students in school safely.

COVID-19 has affected student’s education in a couple different ways. Many schools around the U.S. have switched to full time online learning to prevent the spread of coronavirus and to social distance.

Other school’s have chosen to do part time online and part time in school.

Students K-12 are not being able to do face-to-face learning because of the restrictions. A family source informed the authors that because of this, parents are now taking their kids out of public schools to put them in private school because private schools are now open.

But not everyone can afford a private school, and are instead forced into isolation. They also can face depression and anxiety due to always being inside their house and not being able to go to school everyday.

Some students also don’t have equipment that the school provides for them like WiFi, food, and much more. A lot of families can’t afford WiFi, or an everyday meal for their kids, and a lot of students rely on the schools for that. 

Due to the pandemic, and school getting held back, student assignments are getting canceled or postponed. This is affecting students in a negative way because it’s interrupting their learning and they aren’t receiving the education they need.

Studies show that students have lost a large percentage of their learning skills, achievements in math and reading, and overall learning skills. According to brooking.edu, students are now showing low grades and are making less than 50% of educational gains, which may be putting them almost a year behind compared to when they were attending school. 

The class of 2020 graduation was also affected by COVID-19. College students have experienced teaching interruptions in the final parts of their studies. Instead of them graduating on time, they get to graduate at the beginning of a major global recession. As for high schoolers, they didn’t get the graduation they thought they would’ve had. Some schools did virtual graduation and some schools did a graduation ceremony, but having to be 6 feet apart or more without any family or friends being present. 

Many high school graduates have changed their mind about going to college and what they want to study for because of the crisis going on. Some of them are having a delay on college to start, or some of them just have decided to just work and not even go to college anymore. 

Even though all this negative stuff is happening, let’s look on the positive side!

Students are getting the chance for a new learning opportunity. Some people may find online school better for them and might just switch to online school learning from now on. People are also considering this because they find it more affordable and it’s a way to keep yourself socially distanced.

With all of this happening, this also means that there are more online resources for the students. More programs and educational resources are becoming available for students doing online classes. 

How COVID-19 has affected different forms of transportation

One thing that has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic is transportation. Whether that be public transportation, or moving by cars or bikes, they all have had significant changes over the last few months. 

Public transportation, including buses and subways, have taken a pretty big hit from the virus. This is because the amount of germs and commonly used areas deter lots of people from using public transit.

Also, many people are working from home and no longer are leaving their houses as often. As a result, in many large cities in the United States, China, and Europe, the amount of people who utilize public transit has dropped 50-90%.

Unfortunately, this takes a negative toll because the funding and money invested in these systems has been going quickly. 

Another form of transportation that has seen a significant difference recently are airlines. Because lots of people have been limiting their travel and staying home, airports are starting to resemble ghost towns and flights are almost completely empty,  with some flights only being about 15% full.

As of the time of this article, only one in five seats are being filled, while in the beginning of the year, airlines were filling about four out of five seats.

While thousands of airplanes are not being used and there are only a limited number of operating security lanes, airlines have asked for a $58 billion federal relief package. This is so they can pay grants to their employees and pay loans for some expenses during a time where airlines have lost big sums of money. 

While other forms of transportation have been struggling, a very popular way of getting around has been cars and personal vehicles. Not only is this the most sanitary option for many, but it also is significantly safer. Although fewer people are hitting the roads because of the ability to work from home, and the limited things to do outside, traffic has gone down leaving roads bare and somewhat empty.

Unfortunately, this has resulted in more fatal crashes and deaths mainly caused by speeding. In Minnesota and Louisiana, there have been more traffic related fatalities during the coronavirus pandemic than there had been at the same time in previous years. 

On a positive note, the environmentally friendly ways of getting around by foot and bike have flourished during this unfavorable time. While more of us have time to spare, and the weather has been enjoyable, lots of people have been out riding their bikes, walking their dogs, or going out for some exercise during the day. Not only is this a safe way to leave your house and get some fresh air, but it can be a very relaxing and stimulating thing to do after a long day of work at home to change up the scenery and relax. 

How the pandemic has affected movies

The coronavirus pandemic has brought a lot of changes to daily life and how things are going. Stores started closing early and only letting a certain number of people into the store, some business closed entirely, and many people have started to work from home.

One of the other things that has changed has been movie production.

Production on lots of movies and TV shows has been halted due to it including large groups of people and it being hard to adhere to the safety guidelines: like staying six feet apart. Movie theaters have also closed.

Due to the theaters closing, many film studios have opted to release their movies instead on a streaming service to be able to rent. Movies typically cost twenty dollars to watch this way.

The price has caused some controversy as some people feel like twenty dollars is too much. This is because theater ticket prices for one person can be as low as five dollars, depending on where you’re going. Even an AMC ticket is usually only around fourteen dollars for a single person.

However, for a family with children, this price is extremely cheap. Some families would be paying double the price to go see a movie, plus with food and drinks it becomes even more expensive.

An at home theater experience ensures families can pay a way lower price to see a film, they can have cheaper microwave popcorn, and they can pause the movie if they need to.

This has proved to be beneficial for the movie companies too, as Trolls: World Tour made way more money than its projected profit.

Companies seem to be comfortable offering their movies this way, as at home theater rentals seem to become more and more common.

Not every movie can benefit from the pandemic. Many have had to halt production and change their release date. This can cause a shift in a company’s schedule for years. This can be seen with Marvel. They had every movie planned out for many years, so even having to push back one release date can affect all their movies. This can result in a major profit loss.

Movies like Mulan, Wonder Woman 1984, and Venom 2 have been pushed back months for their release. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is nearing it’s tenth anniversary and was going to be rereleased in theaters, but now it’s going to have wait.

Other movies like Scoob! and The Invisible Man have adjusted to the pandemic by releasing for a rental.

The pandemic has caused many things in our daily life to change. One thing is for sure though, movies will always be around and many studios are willing to adapt to change to put out their movies for viewing. Although production has halted on some projects, they will still be released.

What the US government has done wrong during the pandemic

Some countries have handled the COVID-19 pandemic better than others: Australia is already going back to school, South Korea has had widespread testing since the beginning of the pandemic, and Germany has the lowest mortality rate in the world.

On the other hand, in the US, the stay at home orders are being extended into June, there is a shortage of testing, states are competing for resources, and we have the most cases in the world. 

One of the biggest issues that the US has faced is the lack of testing. In the beginning, the WHO came out with tests that worked and were widespread and were working for the most part, but the CDC made their own tests that were going to be used in the US. These tests had major setbacks, and the US couldn’t get as many people tested as other countries because we weren’t producing enough tests.

Another huge issue is that states are competing for resources like ventilators and masks. The US government hasn’t done a good job providing, and rationing, resources so whichever state has the most money, or is willing to spend the most money, will get the most resources.

Finally, the spread of misinformation by the president is causing a lot of problems. Trump has been contradicting Dr. Fauci and telling people to take medicine that hasn’t been proven to help, or ingest chemicals that could have disastrous side effects. He recently told people that testing is overrated and that the less you test the less cases you have. Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, Trump has been saying things that aren’t true and has not been listening to the government issued guidelines.

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