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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Are video games good for you during quarantine?

During quarantine there is a little more free time for people to decide what to do.

Some people want to complete or start a video game. If you play video games in quarantine is that good for you?

It is good for you to a certain extent, meaning that you don’t want to stay up till 1am playing the video game. Video games help improve your mind with puzzles and strategy with interactive experiments throughout the game.

Video gaming is up 75% on Verizon’s networks. This means, if you go online to play with a stranger you are likely to find someone to play with.

Gaming helps you keep your mind off things, kills time, fun, and a good way to “social distance.”

With the new systems of gaming there are popular games that are really good that I personally also enjoy. With these popular games you can connect with your friends and play together.

Then though, video games have been stereotyped like “waste of time” but this is the perfect time to unwind, and hangout with friends.

Overall, video games are good for you during quarantine.

 

Apps

There are lots of things to do during this time.

You could draw or play board games.

You could do so much, but most people just like to chill on their phones.

That’s okay too!

Since we have a lot going on in our day, we have to make sure we are taking care of ourselves. We should all try and do our best to make good habits that can last us until after quarantine. If you already have good habits that you want to stick to there are some fun games to pass the time below as well. 

1. Headspace

This app is a really good way of keeping track of your mental and physical health. It’s good for stress, and is a good way to help wind down for the night.

On Google Play it has a 3.5 star review and over 10 million downloads. 

2. Brain Test:Tricky Puzzles

This app is so much fun! It’s a fun way to find new ways of solving problems and it is a really good way to spend time playing! It’s not really an IQ tester but it’s fun to play around on. 

It has a 4.6 star review and over 50 million downloads.

3. What’s up? – A Mental Health App

This app has a lot to offer, it keeps track of your good days, when you rate them on a scale of good to bad. It’s almost like an online diary to help you reflect on the past. It has habit trackers and uplifting quotes. 

It has a 4.3 star review and over 500 thousand downloads.

4. Bored Button – Games 

This app offers a bunch of games and puzzles! A great way to pass the time with many levels and games to choose from. Once you finish up school work this app has a lot to give.

It has a 3.8 star review and over 5 million downloads.

5. Houseparty 

This app is one of my favorites! It’s a great way to connect with others through a video chat! There are built in games that you can play with your friends from a distance! If you get your friends to download it you can play with a bunch of your friends! It’s a great way to stay connected and have fun! 

It has a 4 star review and over 10 million downloads!

I hope this was a helpful article! I know how hard it is to find ways to spend your time since we’re all stuck at home. Stay safe!

Conditions in Amazon warehouses

So, we all know there is a global pandemic going on right now where everybody who is labeled as a non-essential worker is being asked to stay inside in much as possible.

This, and the fear of contracting or spreading the virus, has many people shopping online.

With the rise in online orders, many things are out of stock or take longer to ship. All of this purchasing has been handled at distribution centers that are having significant losses in staff. 

According to the New York Times, workers in Amazon distribution centers across the country are realizing what a large role they play in the success of the company. The workers are using this as leverage to “demand better pay, better sick leave and more of a voice in how the company is run.”

Fear about, and around, the coronavirus has caused attendance at Amazon warehouses to fall as much as 30%, leaving the remaining workers to struggle with the rise in the number of orders while the numbers of staff are falling. 

Amazon has also been accused of firing workers who participated in protests about the working conditions inside the warehouses. These conditions depend on what state the warehouse is in, and has also been a rough topic as some are closed for cleanings while others remain open.

Many employees have tested positive for the corona virus. After the first case was found in Queens, NY, employees at 50 other sites had also tested positive.

Recently, Amazon has been giving its workers quarantine leave and has also raised their wages, while also giving more space between stations and tripling the janitorial staff.

Shanghai Disneyland reopen

By La Dafia Dehaney

Disneyland, in Shanghai, reopened back to the public on May 11, 2020. The SVP of Operations for Shanghai Disney Resorts, Andrew Bilstein, reported that “We have a very dedicated team of custodial cleaners that we’ve increased the number of those throughout the park that are constantly wiping down all the surfaces.”

To stay open, Disneyland is required to have only 24,000 people daily, the visitors are required to wear face masks (only costumed workers are the only ones not required to wear masks), the visitors should also practice social distancing, have their temperatures taken and have disinfectants. The park is covered with garbage cans dedicated solely for used face masks. 

Shanghai Disneyland parades have been canceled due to people always crowded at the sidewalk to watch them. The theatres there have also remained close.

To go on rides at Disney, they have placed purple social-distancing mats on the ground. To practice more social distancing Disney has decided to leave rows of seats empty on the rides, and the employees have been instructed to constantly disinfect ride vehicles and lap bars.

People who attend so far have been very respectful about the social distancing rules.

Due to the travel restrictions, only Shanghai residents, and the surrounding provinces, were allowed to go, but guests must book entry tickets online to avoid a large crowd. Also, they must show a green QR Shanghai health code, this helps the government track them if they are exposed and who they have been in contact with.

Shanghai Disneyland is the only one of the company’s parks to reopen, Disney is uncertain when they will reopen the other theme parks. But, Disney has signaled that Disneyworld in Florida might reopen next. The mall there, Disney Springs, will begin phased reopening on May 20.

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A quick list of how to stay positive during quarantine

Here are some suggestions on how to stay positive during quarantine:

  • Make sure to let sunlight in: Sunlight is shown to increase the brain’s release of serotonin a hormone. Serotonin can boost moods and helps a person feel calm and focused.
  • Listen to music: Music can cause your brain to release dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that makes you feel good and is often associated with why we use our phones so much. The dopamine is addicting and your brain gets used to it.
  • Talk to someone: We may be separated but we are not alone in these times. We all are going through the same thing so we all have something to talk to each other about. You should also ask your family how they are doing and how they are holding up, it could just make there day better.
  • Exercise: Exercise is good for your body and your mind. Some of us may being doing this already but I know a lot of us are just inside sitting around and that can’t be healthy. So get a move on and get some exercise even if it’s once a week
  • Eat healthy: Eating healthy has always been a good way to stay positive and it shown to have good effects in your life. Junk food can make you groggy and lazy if you eat it more then healthy food. So eat your greens and veggies, oh and don’t forget the fruits

Good things happening in the world

Coronavirus came to the U.S. in late January. The first confirmed case in the U.S. was on January 21st. Ever since, the news has been filled with new information about the virus. How to stay safe, how to prevent it, etc.

Along with the negativity, there have been many more positive things happening in both the environment and the world. 

Disneyland is donating excess food to food banks. Even though Disneyland closed temporarily due to the safety concerns, their oversupply of snacks will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. The food donated was dairy, fruit, and vegetables.

Walt Disney, and Disneyland resorts, have a continuing commitment to reducing any food waste. Each year they donate over 1.2 meals to their local Second Harvest Food Bank. There are also cast members volunteering to collect, sort, and distribute food donations. 

Specialists say that there is still hope in conserving marine life. Although the process will take three decades; it’s all due to human activity. According to Mongabay, 8 million tons of plastic pollute the ocean every year. If humans can pollute less, then the ocean could be fully re-established by 2050.

Humans can strive to help by attempting to decrease carbon emissions that accelerate climate change. While some parts of the ocean are easy to restore, some aren’t. For example the coral reefs. Coral reefs are bleaching because of climate change.

If the ocean is going to be saved, action must be taken within a short amount of time.

Oil companies are collapsing during these times but the wind and solar energy are the opposite of collapsing, they are growing. Industry executives and analysts expect renewable businesses to grow in 2020, while oil, coal, and gas companies struggle.

In California and Texas, for example, solar panels and wind turbines now produce more electricity, in a more economical way, than coal and natural gas. The good thing about solar and wind energy is that it’s sustainable and clean for humankind. 

While the world has been having a problem with polluted air and non-clear skies, during the time of self-quarantining and not leaving the house, carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced. According to VICE, air travel has dropped by over half in late March. Which accounts for 2.5% global carbon dioxide emissions. This is a good thing because when we do need to go outside for some fresh air or take a walk, we will smell pure and clean air. 

Quarantine haircuts

By: Vivian S

About a week ago, at the time of writing this, as the sun set over the horizon and the day wound to a halt, I walked upstairs with my mother. We stood in front of a mirror and she handed me a pair of scissors. Reaching out, I grabbed her hair, and carefully, I hacked through the mounds of tangled hair she had grown during quarantine.

It was the best experience of my life.

Stuck at home during social distancing, one of the businesses that has been closed (at least here in Minnesota) are hairdressers.

Now, lost as we are without our stylists’ help, our hairs have begun to grow long and matted. Some have taken this tragedy into their own hands though, as my mother did, and cut their own hair at home.

Now is the time! That haircut you dream of yourself having in your nightmares? You can give yourself that! No one ever need know; it’s not like you shall be seeing anyone anyway.

Of course, I can make no promises as to how long social distancing shall last. Who knows? Perhaps you may be called back to work tomorrow, and all of your coworkers will see, and laugh, at the mohawk you gave yourself. It may be better to play it safe and give yourself a haircut you would be willing for others to see you with.

If you want ideas for your own haircut, you need only to search for “coronacut” on Twitter or Instagram to see all the photos of people trying to do their own.

Why, you could partially shave your head. That’s an idea, though whether your razor will die halfway through is out of my vision.

Regardless, corona haircuts seem like a great way to have fun during social distancing. I have not gotten mine yet, but it is only a matter of time.

2011 film ‘Contagion’ compared to COVID-19

In 2011, the film Contagion was released. The film is about a virus that, started in China, and spread rapidly throughout the world causing people to get sick and die.

This description is eerily close to the current 2020 pandemic that’s caused by COVID-19.

Starting off, both the viruses attack the respiratory system and have extremely close symptoms. According to cdc.gov, the COVID-19 symptoms are: cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and/or new loss of taste or smell. 

In the film, Dr. Mears, a doctor from Minnesota, is given the job to investigate the virus but ends up catching the virus. Her symptoms were that she couldn’t breathe very well and had a tight chest. She was coughing a lot and she had fever along with chills. She didn’t go into more depth, but in the film, you can see other people that caught the virus shared the same symptoms and died usually by seizure.

Next, both viruses came from bats. There is no clear answer as to how COVID-19 started, but most scientists say, and believe, it started from a virus that bats carried and then transferred to someone from Wuhan, China. This then developed into something more dangerous that was passed onto other humans. 

In the film, a fruit had fallen from a bat’s mouth into a pig pen. The pig then ate the fruit and there, the virus started developing. The pig was then slaughtered and brought to a casino in Hong Kong, China where the cook touched the pig and didn’t stop to wash his hands before holding someone else’s.

The pandemic in the film and in reality both put the whole world in chaos and had extremely close similarities, but there were also things the film did differently. Beth Emhoff, the first case of the virus in the movie, went home to Minnesota and gave her family the virus. Her son passed shortly after she did, but we learned that her husband was immune. Currently there isn’t a known person that’s immune to the Coronavirus.

Also, in the film, people died within a day to 3 days of getting the virus, whereas COVID-19 seems to have a 2 week incubation period. People would get seizures and their mouths would start to foam as they die in the movie, but there hasn’t been any reports of seizures due to COVID-19.

Contagion and COVID-19 are extremely similar, but thankfully it’s not exactly the same. The film had it much worse, but the things leading up to the chaos were eerily close. 

How to keep up with your mental health in quarantine

I think we all know how difficult the quarantine has gotten, and we need to focus on keeping ourselves in the best state of mind.

Try to stay optimistic and keep looking forward. Dwelling on mistakes clouds the mind. It’s important to stay in the present, and look towards the future instead of the past.

It’s important to stay relaxed during this time. Avoid stress as much as possible as this can be as damaging to the mind as it is to the body. Most people know stress can cause anxiety which, if severe, can lead to depression.

But, what are some physical symptoms of stress? Mayo Clinic Staff has reported that stress can take a toll on the body just the same as the mind. It can cause eating disorders, muscle pain, body aches, continuous exhaustion, problems sleeping, and stomach pains.

It’s important to loosen up during the day; working can make you tense. While doing homework, or working on something that requires much focus and time, it’s always a good idea to take a break and assess how you’re feeling. Do something to relax yourself, whether it’s watching tv or getting a snack. Take time to get away from the task at hand and ease your mind from the work.

It’s just as important to keep your body fit as it is your mind. Try to devote some time in your weekly schedule to a bit of exercise. According to healthybrains.org it can be great for sleep problems and it’s known to b e a way to give you a boost in your mood.

Not only does exercise help the mind, but it does wonders for your health. Being active lowers your risk for getting heart disease as well as other heart problems. Maintaining your body weight healthily is also a good way to stay fit. 

Though we may need to stay at our homes, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some fresh air. Going into a backyard, on a balcony or porch, or even cracking open a window to feel the breeze are all fresh air options that are quarantine approved. It’s not always fun to stay cramped in a house for so long, a sweet gust of air can bring up your mood, especially during this beautiful spring season.

Any way you may be getting a taste of the outdoors, remember to stay cautious and keep a safe distance.