By Ashley DeLeon

Deputy Editor

  I connect with people through the art of storytelling. I create stories during the silent moments of conversations when words don’t need to be said, and in the sweet moments of happiness that we can’t let go. Though the pandemic has written a bleak narrative of grief and tragedy for many of us, there is always an opportunity to add color to the story. A digital media class I took this past spring taught me just that. 

     On the first day of class, I walked in with an open mind and an open heart. We often don’t recognize the power of openness to opportunity in our lives, but it has a tremendous impact in the way we view ourselves and the world around us. I became open to the stories that can be told through images, even though I hadn’t been familiar with this mode of storytelling before. Time progressed, and I developed a strong appetite for learning more about digital media and artistry. To satisfy this hunger, I committed to learning two lessons independently for each lesson taught in class. Two grew into three, four, five, then six. However, it was not enough to satiate my curiosity. 

     I was inspired by my professor to pursue digital artistry more seriously after the semester ended, so I ventured to explore what my potential could be if I dedicated every ounce of effort and passion into my work. When we are devoted, passionate, and optimistic, we can surprise ourselves in what we’re capable of. 

     In the midst of worldwide turmoil, it could be difficult to stay motivated. However, motivation is what pushes us forward. Many of us were presented with two options– venture in finding a pastime or new craft, or search endlessly for control over the uncontrollable. My exploration started during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, but that didn’t stop me in the least bit.

Illustration by Ashley DeLeon

     Over time, the happiness and fulfillment that digital media brought into my life had bloomed. While honing my craft into the wee hours of the night, I learned about my love for color. Color can powerfully convey any emotion and intermediary imaginable, and by exploring different hues, contrasts, and tonal values, I learned how to manipulate a viewer’s emotional response to an art piece based on a variety of color palettes and combinations. Even though the state of the world would point to a grim color palette, there were hopeful prospects worth highlighting through bright, vibrant colors. Within the crevices of grief and tragedy, there is hope. 

     When illustrating, I characterize myself into the artwork. I jump from corner to corner and slide within curves and into corners, being careful not to bump into sharp edges or fall off of the artboard. I can tap into different emotional minds with the swipe of a digital paintbrush, bringing memories back to life in the ways I best remember them. Though the nature of the pandemic made me shelter at home, in my artwork, I could be anywhere at any time doing anything I wanted. When we discover a mindspace where we can lose ourselves for hours and days, sheltering in place doesn’t seem so bad.

     Discovering my potential as a digital artist wasn’t always easy. Minor intricacies spawned dilemmas that couldn’t be solved by a YouTube video. Hours were spent solving the most minute issues that seemingly made no difference. I found myself wasting time by taking the long haul, without even knowing there were simpler and more effective ways to achieve my artistic goals. When hours and days were spent on an nonviable piece, it hurt the most. Frustration is part of any journey in life, but on the other end is serenity. 

     It’s easy to imagine ourselves in a position where we can supersede the expectations we set for ourselves, but nothing is more worthwhile than turning this into a reality. All this time, I had the tools in front of me. All it took was openness, optimism, and inspiration to open my eyes and see. I am in a place of fulfillment and happiness, always searching for ways to continue expanding the creative possibilities of my mind. 

     With a notebook beside me and newfound passion in my heart, ideas beam through my mind and flow through my hands with ease. For the first time in my life, I know what it really means to be an artist. Now, I can share stories and cherish memories using more than just words.

Illustration by Ashley DeLeon

By Laura Hardin

Staff Writer

I always look forward to the holidays to catch up with family. Whenever we get together my sister, Ava, always has center stage due to her line of work. We hear of the day to day stories of a rehabilitation specialist working for Community Connections in Washington D.C. Some of the most memorable include a story of a client eating a lightbulb and a former addict mending the relationship with her estranged children. 

I am proud to call her my sister because I know how much she helps and cares for the people she works with. With social isolation practiced all over the world, I thought about those who do not have the privilege of having a roof over their heads. Remembering that the people my sister works with are high risk, I asked how her job is different due to the pandemic and how some of her homeless clients were coping. 

L: What did your job look like before the pandemic? 

A: I have 10 cases I work with regularly. They are high risk populations that have a mental health diagnosis –for example a lot of my clients have schizophrenia. The people I work with are involved in high risk behaviors like substance abuse, homelessness or poverty. 

I support them by keeping their lives on track. I provide my clients with medication management, setting up job interviews, getting to doctor appointments, making sure they have enough food, keep in touch with their families, really anything you think of I probably help with that too. 

L: How does your job look different during this time? 

A: It has been very difficult and crazy. It is difficult because I am not allowed to see them. I usually take clients to their appointments and now we aren’t allowed to do home visits unless absolutely necessary. However, that is a big part of my job, making sure that their house is safe and well maintained. Now the only thing we can do is assist over the phone and deliver food. 

Ava Hardin, sister to Laura Hardin, wears a mask on her way to work as an essential worker.

L: Why is your role so important to your cases? 

A: My role is even more important now; people who are the most vulnerable to the disease have nothing to do and boredom can lead to bad things. Because we are not able to check up on them, a lot more people are apt to use illegal drugs, and they do not feel like they need their medication, so they do not take it. 

L: Why would someone you work with be having a hard time during this pandemic? 

A: They don’t have the support systems that everyday people have. Unless I see them, they are usually by themselves. 

L: What does this time look like for someone who is homeless? 

A: There are two types of homelessness, shelter and street homelessness. The people on the street cannot get off these streets. A few of them do not even understand what is going on because they are not educated on the topic. Now they just sit in the streets and are vectors for the disease. 

For shelters, they are normally open from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. but now they are keeping them open all day. Out of this rises a problem because you cannot be a new person in a shelter right now. Meaning people are not leaving to allow newcomers to have a shelter for the night. These folks are just so vulnerable. 

L: What can the average person do even though we are stuck at home? 

A: Donate, donate, DONATE! Donate food to your local food banks, donate to organizations and donate old clothes from cleaning out closets. Also, stay home! Some people do not have the privilege to stay off the streets, so we need to stay home to keep them safe. 

If you would like to donate, click this link here: https://www.communityconnectionsdc.org/about-us/help

By Leanne Hamilton

Executive Editor reporting from Pittsfield, Mass.

Emma Merritt, 23, walks into her daily shift at the emergency department at the Berkshire Medical Complex in Pittsfield, Mass. Monitors beep as patients fill every room, while still more people wait to be seen. More and more patients around Merritt’s age, older and even younger, are finding themselves in the hospital. They struggle to breathe without the assistance of a ventilator. Even though attempts to keep COVID positive patients in air tight rooms have been made, the growing numbers of positive patients have left nurses like Merritt no choice but to use regular rooms to house these sick patients. 

“In recent weeks, it’s been incredibly stressful. Supplies are low and there are new travelers [travel nurses for travel assignments that were hired as extra staff during the COVID crisis] in the hospital that aren’t used to the way we do things here. This new disease and these new faces make us feel like strangers in our own department,” said Merritt, a registered nurse.

 While we all stay at home safe from potential exposure to COVID19, our nurses and doctors risk exposure everyday walking through those hospital doors. They work around the clock on the frontlines of this pandemic to care for not only those of us that have contracted COVID19, but the everyday patients that need to be in the hospital for other illnesses. 

“Working in the hospital during this pandemic has been nerve wracking and scary. We all leave our families everyday knowing there is a chance regardless of how much PPE [personal protective equipment] we have on, that we could contract the virus and ultimately bring it home to our families” said Caroline Whitman, a Unit Assistant in the ED at Berkshire Medical Complex, as well as my cousin. “Thankfully now my hospital has begun providing us with hospital scrubs so my coworkers and I can change out of them and into our normal clothes before leaving work. Besides making sure all my things from work were cleaned, I have been disinfecting at least four4 times a week around my house.” 

“We still have regular people come in, such as overdoses, trauma, and psych consultations, on top of a virus that we really know nothing about,” Merritt said through a phone interview.  When these nurses come in for a shift, they risk exposing themselves to COVID positive patients, but they also risk the chance of exposing other patients to the virus. 

To minimize the risk, the staff take extra precautions. “We are required to always have a mask and goggles on at all times. Going into a patient’s room suspected of COVID19, we need to use n95 masks. Wash your hands, not to touch anything, wear different gloves, just always be conscious of your surroundings,” said Merritt. Because there are too few masks, they need to reuse them rather than change masks between patients. “We get one at the beginning of a shift and need to have that one for the entire shift.” Not only do these nurses and doctors have to worry about exposing themselves and other patients, but their families they go home to at the end of a long shift. 

“Another thing that keeps me going even when I’m tired or scared is remembering that my patients I help treat are also scared”

Caroline Whitman, ED Unit Assistant at Berkshire Medical Complex

When she treats patients, COVID positive or otherwise, Whitman said she follows every possible safety protocol to keep patients safe. “To be quite honest I don’t necessarily think about it. At this point in the pandemic we treat everyone as if they have the virus,” said Whitman. “We don’t allow ourselves to possibly expose another patient; washing hands and changing scrubs when needed, making sure possible COVID rooms are deep cleaned and UV ray treated.”

Being on the frontlines doesn’t allow much time to worry about oneself when taking care of others. Each nurse and doctor knows they can contract the virus, but try to keep fear at bay.

“I definitely have my concerns and worry being on the frontlines. But I always try to remind myself that not only can I catch it at work, but I could also catch it out in the community,” said Whitman. “Another thing that keeps me going even when I’m tired or scared is remembering that my patients I help treat are also scared, especially now that most hospitals aren’t allowing visitors. They need us even more. I try my best to be a backup family member to my patients and treat them like I would my own.” 

Emma Merritt says the fear of the virus didn’t really hit her until more and more patients came into the ED. “I’m seeing people my age come in with it and I think ‘Oh my god’. I live with my parents so I could expose them to it. Thankfully we are able to take care of our scrubs at work and not have to worry about bringing them home.” 

As for the actual count of COVID positive patients, there isn’t an exact number. “We never know if a person is truly COVID positive until about 5-7 days after we have tested them. The doctors and nurses at our hospital and within the Emergency Department are pretty good at determining if someone is going to test positive,” Whitman said. “I have been in direct contact with about 10, and those are the ones that I have been screened for. I’m sure there are more to come.”

Currently there is no known vaccine or cure for COVID19, however, many are working hard to develop a vaccine, or at least a solid treatment to combat the virus. Jenna Hamilton, also my cousin and a staff member in the manufacturing department at Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing in Lee, Mass., is doing just that. “We have the most physical contact with the product and are responsible for filling vials, syringes, and cartridges (depending on what the client wants). We receive product from the client and formulate it into a liquid form using pre-sterilized utensils and materials” said Hamilton. This product can come in powdered form, but cannot be explained further as Hamilton is under contract and cannot breach specific information. 

When COVID19 made its debut in the U.S., those at Berkshire Sterile were eager to join the fight against the virus. “Work has certainly been very busy ever since COVID-19 has affected the world. “When clients came forward with plans to aid people who are affected (or could be) with Coronavirus, the president of our company decided to start doing the COVID-19 fills on the weekends (when we are normally closed). Staff from several different departments have been working longer or extra hours because of it, but are happy to help and are excited to be a part of these developments.”

While departments are working on developments, it’s important to keep in mind that there is no miracle cure, Hamilton said. “Some people envision that we have a miracle COVID-19 vaccine (only in a perfect world). I always try to explain to people that it’s important to know what Coronavirus targets in the body,” Hamilton explained, noting that the lungs are particularly vulnerable to this virus. “Pharmaceutical companies are developing products to help strengthen those parts of the body to combat this virus. These products are mainly to boost the immune system and/or support lung health.

“I’m very lucky to work in a clean room during this time, it’s probably one of the safest places to be!” Hamilton said, explaining that the environment for developing these products requires sterile environments that are cleaned daily. “There are several barriers before getting into the clean room and they are constantly being cleaned across shifts,”  Hamilton said. “Staff have full gowning too, of course. We have been using social distancing and not letting rooms get too crowded. A lot more people who are able to work from home are doing so. We also keep Lysol and hand sanitizer on deck!”

While we grow tired of the same four walls, our nurses and doctors work around the clock on the frontlines to help us see a day outside of quarantine. Manufacturers such as Jenna Hamilton may be more behind the scenes, but they are tirelessly working on breakthrough treatments, so that COVID19 can no longer be such a threat. 

They have a few words of advice for those that don’t think this virus is something to take seriously. “It’s frustrating because the reason that we are short on masks and having to have all these extra travelers is because these young people won’t stay away from each other,” said Merritt. “It can be up to two weeks from when you get exposed and when you start showing symptoms. We could expose 20-50 people and not even know! Just because you feel healthy doesn’t mean there isn’t something inside you.” 

Caroline Whitman pleads for people to just stay home. She understands it’s no fun being stuck inside, but the more we limit the chance of the virus spreading, the sooner we can end quarantine and she can see fewer patients in the hospital. 

“STAY HOME! Regardless of if you are asymptomatic you could be a carrier of the virus. Those around you who may have compromised immune systems will not be okay,” said Whitman. “My coworkers and I go to work every day to help fight this virus so that you and your family are safe. Stay home for us!”

By Sarah Knickerbocker

Staff Writer

Social distancing and self-quarantining in a global pandemic can be a lonely and anxious time for students. Without  the ability to have face-to-face counseling during this time, students are instead getting teletherapy via phone or video. Teletherapy is nothing to be scared or worried about, said personal counselor Sarah Klionsky. “I ask students each time we talk how they like this tele-counseling and most really like it,” Klionsky said. “It is counseling without having to leave your room!” 

Teletherapy allows students to have more choice in how long they meet with counselors and whether they prefer phone or video calls depending on their comfort level. “I am just so glad that I’ve been able to keep one part of my SMC routine going while being home,” said Alexandra Knight ‘22.

“We can be with students to support them through this time of physical distancing, whether they are on campus or off campus with their families,” Klionsky said. “We get to meet students’ pets and support animals. We can meet for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes or for a 45-minute session. We can do meditation and relaxation exercises over phone or video.” But there are limitations to the format, Klionsky said. “We can’t get you tea or water, give you access to our office, have the box of fidget toys, or offer tissues.” The tele-health platform is called Doxy-me and it is easy to use HIPAA compliant telehealth.

“Students need to have something in this time to smile about, laugh about, and to find the joy in even while being quarantined in your own house,” said psychology professor, Melissa McDuffie, who wants to remind students about the importance of structure, routine, and having a sense of humor. She expressed the importance of reaching out to Bergeron and using their resources if you’re struggling during this difficult time. There are several helpful links and information on mindfulness, yoga, relaxation, scholarly articles, and more on Bergeron’s resources web page.

“We will be here for you, regardless of what is happening with COVID-19 and we will work with each of you individually to help you continue services with us, connect with us now, or to help you to connect to local providers,” Klionsky said.

Bergeron Wellness Center offers several virtual classes including Radical Relaxation, Yoga for all Levels, and Mental Skills Training: Managing Stress, said Director of Counseling Kathy Butts. The details for these classes are on Bergeron’s Instagram page and it is super easy to join by clicking the Zoom link on the page’s bio.

“Bergeron Counseling has created an Instagram account to stay connected with our students, colleagues, and friends,” said counseling intern Tessa Boltz. “We offer tips, tools, and inspiration for meditation and stress management, as well as spread the word about SMC sponsored events like weekly yoga and mental skills training. We at @bergeroncounseling already have 123 followers, join us!”

Feeling challenged by anxiety or loneliness or other aspects of your mental health? Set-up an appointment by calling Bergeron Wellness at the office at 802-654-2234, even if it’s your first-time contacting Bergeron. The Center has also posted resources on their website and Instagram page @bergeroncounseling.

  By Ben Soulard

Contributing Writer

On Wednesday, April 15, The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) announced that it would be terminating its Developmental Academy, its main tool for scouting and growing youth talent across the country for more than a decade. The USSF cited the financial consequences of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as the reason for dissolving the academy; it could have cost upwards of $12 million to fund the program during 2021. 

The termination of the academy may not entirely be a bad thing for the future of US Soccer. The idea behind the program made sense–replicate the template that the top leagues in Europe use for their youth competitions. However, the idea did not generate the results that may have been expected. Executives felt that the level of competition was not as high as it should have been and that more international games needed to be played in order to test the talent against stronger teams. The quality of competition may not have been at its peak because teams affiliated with the MLS –– America’s premier soccer league –– were being favored to be placed in the top tier of the academy’s system. Even after winning against MLS teams and proving to be formidable opponents, non-MLS clubs were placed in the lower tiers of the system. This prompted many non-MLS teams to leave the DA and join other youth leagues.

The DA had a rule that players in the academy could not play for their high school teams. Eric Wynalda, a former US national team player, said that the academy games felt “manufactured” and that they lacked the emotion that high school games had. In any sport, no matter how many scenarios you practice, no matter how many times, you can’t recreate the pressure and atmosphere of a real game. If the academy matches felt more like scrimmages and exhibitions than high-stakes games it is no surprise that the USSF was not seeing the results it wanted from the DA. 

Regardless of the flaws of the academy, this can be a crucial turning point for the USSF if handled correctly. Nobody has the answers for how to optimize the youth development system of US soccer but a huge nationwide league like the DA is evidently not the solution. No matter what route the USSF decides to take in terms of its youth system, what matters is that it invests in its young players.

The Women’s National team has enjoyed great success recently, winning the last two World Cups. Even after manager Jill Ellis stepped down, the team does not look to be slowing down anytime soon and will aim to win its third consecutive title in 2023. The Women’s team has experienced a golden generation, but young stars like Rose Lavelle, Mallory Pugh, and Tierna Davidson seem ready to continue the rich legacy that their predecessors will leave behind. 

The real concern is the Men’s National team who failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, an embarrassing blow for US soccer. However, the team is brimming with young talent, with the likes of Christian Pulisic, Weston McKinnie, Tyler Adams, Sergino Dest, and Josh Sargent showing promise. The Men’s team has started building a squad that is focused on youth, similar to what other national teams such as England have been doing. But if the United States believes that a young team can secure their spot in the 2022 World Cup, then they have to put effort into the development of young players. 

With the strength of other teams around the world, nobody should expect the team to challenge for the World Cup title just yet. The foundations for a good team are there, but it still needs a few more pieces to compete against the very best. If the Federation can create a functioning developmental network, the team could foster an identity, something that it seems to never really have had. The United States does not have a signature style of play, at least not a consistent one. Creating a rich American soccer culture and a viable youth system now could mean unprecedented success in the future.

Ben Soulard ‘23 is a sociology major from Essex, Mass. who enjoys watching and playing soccer. 

By Kit Geary

Staff Writer

March 7, 2020, one of the most hated days in NCAA history, marks the day that spring sport athletes all over the country were informed that an entire season was being ripped away from them. College seniors were left to mourn the loss of their beloved college careers and coaches were left questioning how to go about doing their jobs. After processing the fact that I, a member of the women’s lacrosse team, am being deprived of my favorite aspect of St. Mike’s, I wondered how my first year coach, along with other spring sport coaches, are going to do their jobs. How were they going to prepare athletes for upcoming seasons? How are they keeping their teams connected and in touch? How are they going to recruit? 

Since leaving the St. Michael’s campus on March 13 my lacrosse coach has hosted weekly zoom meetings and kept us all conversing through Groupme. We were given workouts to do and films to watch. Were other teams doing the same?

To answer my question I set out to talk with the other spring sports. “‘The entire staff interacts with the athletes throughout the week,” said softball coach Nicolas Goodreau, who wants to ensure that his athletes are doing well physically and mentally. “We have weekly Zooms with our mindset coach, our strength and conditioning coach, and myself,” Goodreau said. During this time Goodreau finds himself “upping the social media campaign” through posting workout videos designed by the strength and conditioning coach for athletes, families, and fans to follow.

Men’s lacrosse coach, Alexander Smith, also Zooms throughout the week to keep in touch with his team. Smith has a Canvas page set up to provide some structure to his coaching. There his athletes review film and post wall ball challenges. “We make an effort to communicate through our Canvas page and have our athletes meet as a whole team, as well as smaller groups, to keep in touch with each other during this time.”

A major responsibility of coaches is to recruit student athletes. Saint Michael’s heavily relies on the coaches of the college’s 21 sports teams to help fill their classes. How are coaches supposed to fill the class of 2025 if they are unable to go out, watch games and tournaments, and recruit from high schools?

My women’s lacrosse coach Quinn Rose said she finds herself referencing old game footage during this time. “Whether there will be summer recruiting tournaments is up in the air, all I have right now to pull from is game footage,” says Rose. 

The St. Michael’s Women’s Lacrosse team gather for a team photo on the field.

Coach Smith said he finds himself running into the same issues. “Not only can I not recruit on a larger national scale as I would like to, but even recruiting athletes locally is now a challenge I didn’t think I would have to face,” Smith said. Both Smith and Goodreau are hopeful they will be able to host fall prospect days in order to view some of the class of 2025’s talent. 

While these coaches have a future of college athletes to look forward to, senior student athletes only have past seasons to reflect upon. “Having your senior season cancelled hits hard. Iit’s something you look forward to your whole college career,” said Julia Sevigny ‘20, an outfielder for the softball team. Sevigny is devastated by the loss of her season but cannot wait to see the places her team goes in the upcoming years.

“This season was something I dreamed of when I was young and what I looked forward to all of my four years, and it vanished,” said Katrina Pietz ‘20, midfielder for the lacrosse team. 

For both athletes it’s the time cut short with their teammates that hurt the most the most. “My teammates and coaches are people I have formed incredible relationships with, but I know that will live on forever, no matter where we end up,” Pietz said. 

By Laura Hardin

Contributing Writer

I flew back home to Naples, Fla. on March 14 and upon opening my front door, I was greeted by one of my two dogs. It did not take long to notice Sully, my six year old Maltese, had acquired a new friend –a stuffed crab. Sully apparently found his new best friend in my family’s move somewhere along the way from Boston, Mass. to Naples, Fla.

As the days turn into weeks, I have observed just how attached Sully is to this random object. His behavior is such a surprise because as a puppy, he was never attached to toys. My family would buy him a new toy occasionally but within a week, they would disappear. He would take them outside and hide them somewhere in the seven acres of woods behind my old home, and eventually forget about them. You knew it was finally springtime when toys would slowly pop up from beneath the melting New England snow. 

No one particularly knows how Sully’s stuffed crab came into our lives or why he became so attached. Moving across the country is a big change for such a small dog.  Like COVID-19, the red crab showed up at our doorstep and now it is everywhere Sully goes.

Watching Sully hang with his new best friend has given me the chance to reflect on who our support systems might be during this uncertain time filled with big changes. Just as Sully counted on Mr. Crab for comfort during the move, we all began to lean on each other for support. With all of this “forced” free time there’s a greater chance of loneliness and that can be debilitating. 

Laura’s Maltese dog, Sully, carrying around his toy ‘Mr. Crabs’ like a security blanket. Photo Courtesy from Laura Hardin.

My best friend from high school, Tzippa Marchette, 22, told me about her experience quarantining in Boston.

“The loneliness and staying inside all day is exacerbating my sadness. I can keep myself occupied if I go out, be with friends, go to work or drive places that I really like. Now that all those things have been taken away, it’s been really difficult. It’s getting to the point where I can’t even get out of bed.”

Hearing Tzippa made me realize that now that we aren’t distracted by our everyday lives, there are so many things we take for granted –like the relationships and friendships we have. There are people I used to see in my everyday life that I don’t anymore, and it feels like there’s a large part of me missing. But then I remember my “Mr. Crabs.” These are the people that support me in times of uncertainty. My friends Charlie and Izzy never forget to see how I am really doing, my cousin Jennie’s quirky antics during our video calls remind me how good it will feel to laugh together in person once again and my mother and sister support me through my anxiety.

 In this unnerving, upsetting and anxiety-provoking time it is okay to feel any sort of emotion. Watching Sully carry around Mr. Crab, reminds me to tell the people I lean on that I’m thinking of them.

By Minqi Kong

Staff writer

When Haina Chen needs to take the subway to go to school, people often put their hands over their mouths and noses when they see her or choose to leave after she sits in a nearby seat. Chen a Chinese international student who studies in Spain, said she had seen discrimination increase in recent months since the first cases of COVID-19 appeared in Wuhan, China.  That was before Spain’s cases spiked and the country went into a lockdown. “A serious incident occurred when I was walking down the street with my roommate (also Chinese), and two people who did not sound like native speakers shouted ‘coronavirus’ directly at me and my roommate.” Haina Chen also said that she once took the subway alone. The man on Haina Chen’s right covered his nose and mouth when he saw her. Haina Chen did not respond to him, and then the man and the person sitting on the left of Haina Chen began to talk about her in a language that Haina Chen could not understand. Haina Chen said that she could clearly hear ‘coronavirus’ several times, and their laughter was very obvious. Later, as they were about to get off the bus, they got up and sang “coronavirus” to a melody. 

So far, the total number of COVID-19 cases in China are about 82,000 according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Map. As the outbreak was contained in China, outbreaks began in other countries, such as Italy, South Korea, the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom. In Spain, the cases are now above 135,000. Many Chinese students studying abroad suffer discrimination. In the United States, the president read from a press briefing where the word “COVID-19” was crossed out and the words “Chinese virus”  had been written in. 

“This is due to cultural differences, some people’s ignorance and misreporting of information in the media,” said Yuxin Yang. “I think you have to fight back if you are discriminated against.” Yuxin Yang, who studies in Syracuse University, said she has not experienced  discrimination but she read a lot from media which said that Chinese international students experienced discrimination in the U.S and other Western countries. 

Yifan Yu, who studies in University of Minnesota Twin Cities, said when she took a taxi, the driver wouldn’t let her in until she took off the mask she was wearing.

    “When I saw the act of covering my nose and mouth I started to feel a little bit shocked, and I was thinking discrimination in this age is not okay,” said Haina Chen.  “However, after seeing more, I got used to it. I would be very sad and angry, and even if I didn’t want to go out and see the crowd, I didn’t think to fight back. After all, I was in a foreign country and I was not familiar with people. I’m afraid of what I will get if I fight back.” 

    “When Westerners see an Asian face, they think that this person is Chinese and has the virus, so they want to flee far away,” said Haina Chen. But Westerners have long discriminated against Chinese people, particularly as China is developing and becoming stronger because the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, Haina Chen said, adding that Westerners seized the opportunity to discriminate against the Chinese. 

International students need to learn to protect themselves, try not to go out alone and to pay attention to the environment, Yifan Yu said. For example, in a place like a school, the likelihood that someone will attack you for wearing a mask is very low, because everyone is highly educated, Yifan Yu said. Don’t argue with others until you have to.

Many Chinese international students want to return to China once the semester finishes. The Chinese government is requiring them to submit a daily health report for the 14 days before their flight to make sure that when they arrive they can be taken care of if they are ill. 

By Matt Heller

Contributing Writer

On the afternoon of March 11, I found myself walking around the small town of Blönduos in north Iceland. I was the only person outside at the time, but some Icelandic horses were braving the elements in their fields. The plan for the day was to drive from the capital city of Reykjavík to Akureyri, where my group would spend the next week. Instead, a blizzard left us stranded in the seaside town when the roads closed.

A mere four days later I was back home. No more snow, fierce winds, and vast, treeless landscapes; a drastic change of scenery.

Since my study abroad program didn’t start until the middle of February, I only spent a month in Iceland and Finland. While that time was full of learning and adventure, it left many unfilled days in the Arctic North. I was only a few days away from my homestay period, where I would have spent three weeks in a small Westfjord village. I would have spent the rest of the semester working on an independent study project at a location of my choice. Instead, the continuation of classes is held online, and the project will have to be adapted.

Would I have been safer in a remote village than I am in Connecticut, which has more confirmed coronavirus cases than the entire county of Iceland? Possibly. However, I am glad to be safe at home with my family during these uncertain times. Online classes are difficult for a climate change program based on experiential learning, but it is the best that can be done given the current circumstances. I see it as a time to gather and synthesize information and before applying them to the real world when the time comes.

I am sure I speak for other study abroad returnees when I say I wish to return to my location of study sometime in the future. There is a sense of unfinishedness that arises when thinking of the experience cut short. A return will come when circumstances are appropriate, but this time now allows for proper reflection and appreciation for the experiences had and memories made.

By Hannah McKelvey

Executive Editor

Don’t have time to read the thousands of news articles coming out each day? Just don’t want to read the news? Every other day, we’ll summarize a batch of the most important daily news for you. 

News RoundUp: May 2, 2020 

Today marks the first day of finals for St. Mikes. Today will also be the last news roundup that I will be doing. Thank you for following along with me during our unexpected transition to a strictly online publication. I hope that this has brought you loads of helpful information and that you are all staying healthy and sane. 

Now back to the news

A while back, the SMC mailroom made the call to stop accepting all mail for residents who were no longer living on campus. If you had things sent to your SMC mailbox during the quarantine time, the mailroom either forwarded it to the address on hand or sent it back to the original mailer because it was not forwardable. 

SMC will be holding a virtual graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 on May 10, at 10 a.m. It will be about 40 minutes long and have speakers from the undergrad class as well as the graduate class. The link will be added to the SMC website the morning of.

With May 1 behind us, stay at home orders are beginning to be lifted across America. To see what states are lifting the ban and what states aren’t, check out the link below. 


The Good News: Pakistan has recently hired thousands of newly unemployed residents in hopes to replant trees around the nation. Read more using the link: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/pakistan-hires-laborers-for-planting-10-billion-tree/

News RoundUp: April 30,  2020

On Monday the Pentagon released three videos that were shot by the U.S. Navy capturing footage of U.F.O.s. To see the videos, click the link: https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/27/politics/pentagon-ufo-videos/index.html

As of May 1, the day most students have to decide on what college they will attend in the fall, colleges around the country are worried. According to the American Council of Education, which represents more than 1,700 institutions and amongst other organizations, colleges around the country are estimating that a total of $8 billion are being refunded to students across the country. 

St. Mike’s has extended their commitment day to June 1st. This gives students the opportunity to figure out financial logistics and also gives the school the chance to bring in more students for the class of 2024. 

The Good News: One scuba diving company is making a big impact by helping out with two causes. The scuba company is making and selling face masks out of recycled plastic they found in the ocean. Read the full article here: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/scuba-group-making-face-masks-from-recycled-ocean-plastic/https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/scuba-group-making-face-masks-from-recycled-ocean-plastic/

News RoundUp: April 27, 2020

Headache, sore throat, a new loss of taste or smell, muscle pain, chills, and repeated shaking with chills are all new symptoms the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have added to the COVID-19 list. 

See what states will begin lessening restriction in the near future and which states are sticking to the stay at home orders: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/states-reopen-map-coronavirus.html

Globally, 2,995,456 people have tested positive to COVID-19 and the death toll has surpassed 200,000, the exact number coming in at 207,583. 

The Good News: Need some bright colorful street art to brighten your day? Check out the link to see how artists around the world are reacting to COVID-19. 


News RoundUp: April 23, 2020

As of last week, an additional 4.4 million people filed for unemployment, bringing the total to 26 million people filing for unemployment within the last five weeks. 

New York City has started random testing for antibodies within people. Around 3,000 people have been tested and around 14 percent have come back positive. This means that if you were to take that number and project it onto a statewide scale, about 2.4 million people statewide have already been infected with COVID-19, making the 250,000 cases currently on record under-reported. 

Additional money for the small business relief package passed in the House this morning. They have come to an agreement of $484 billion extra being added to the package. 

The Good News: In honor of the 50 year anniversary of Earth Day yesterday, please enjoy these stunning images of our earth. Use the link to view the photos: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/volcano-lightning-storm-won-perfect-moment-photography-contest/

News RoundUp: April 21, 2020 

In a tweet last night President Trump said that he plans to “temporarily suspend immigration into the United States” to create less competition for the job market as the economy begins to open up. If done this would mean that people from other countries who are coming for job opportunities would miss out on the opportunities or people would not be able to come live or visit with family. 

Additional federal money for the small business funds, which ran out last week, will most likely not pass Congress until Thursday. Discussion about how much will be added has slowed down the process but lawmakers and Trumps Administration are saying around  $500 billion will be added to the fund. 

The Good News: While the US census is currently not the first thing on everyone’s mind it is important to fill out, and it’s required by the law to do so. I know for me personally, I was having a tough time figuring out what state I should fill it out in now that I am no longer living at college in Vermont. According to the census, if you would have regularly lived on campus as of April 1, you can fill it out in the state that you go to school in. For more information use the link: https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/2020/04/16/heres-how-college-students-can-complete-u-s-census-vermont/5148949002/

News RoundUp: April 19, 2020

 For people who are venturing out to stores occasionally and practicing social distancing, it is not to change clothes once they return home. An aerosol scientist from Virginia Tech Linsey Marr told the New York Times, “A droplet that is small enough to float in air for a while also is unlikely to deposit on clothing because of aerodynamics.” 

In the United States, there have been 722,761 confirmed cases of COVID-19. While 64,840 people have recovered from the virus, 33,903 people have died. 

Governors around the country are feeling the pressure to reopen the country in order to get the economy back up and running. Many governors want better access to more testing to know the extent of who is infected versus who is not. Trump administration officials say that the testing that is in place now is adequate. 

The Good News: St. Mike’s Study Abroad photo contest winners are announced tomorrow! Use this link to see beautiful photos from around the world: https://www.smcvt.edu/academics/study-abroad/global-eyes-photography/

News RoundUp: April 17, 2020 

Graduation for the SMC class of 2020 has been officially postponed until June 2021. Students will receive their diplomas in May of this year, but the ceremony will take place next summer. More updates to come. 

Flareups of COVID-19 could last until 2022, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. More information here: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/04/14/science.abb5793

On Thursday the $349 billion relief program that was made to help the small businesses stay afloat during these hard times had run out of money. However, this does not mean that there is no more money for those businesses that have not received relief money yet. Congress and the Trump administration have been talking about adding hundreds of billions to the relief package to help but have not come to a decision yet. 

The Good News: Switzerland has been projecting different countries’ flags onto the famous mountain, the Matterhorn, in solidarity because of the pandemic. To view pictures click on the link: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/swiss-village-projects-flags-onto-matterhorn/

News RoundUp: April 15, 2020 

Vermont Governor Phil Scott last week extended the stay home order and only allowed essential travel within the state of Vermont until May 15. This means that some students’ move out dates have shifted. Students whose last names start with A – H’s move out dates have been moved to May 29 through June 1. Starting May 15, people who have I or J as the first letter of their last name can begin to move out. For people who had asked permission to move out earlier between the dates of May 8-10 and earlier than that have been dismissed and the school can no longer honor them. 

In recent election news, former President Obama and Senator Elizabeth Warren have endorsed Joe Biden as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. 

NYC Mayor de Blasio announced today that New York City will be spending upwards of $170 million to feed residents affected by COVID-19 over the next four months. In a news briefing, Mayor de Blasio said, “I pledge to you and I’m very confident making this pledge: We will not allow any New Yorker to go hungry.” 

President Trump today cut funding to the World Health Organization while a review is conducted on how the WHO handled, managed, and covered the spread of coronavirus. 
The Good News: If you focus on the upsetting things happening all around us here’s a bunch of good things that can ease your mind, such as Dolly Parton reading you a story, cute animal videos, and the Getty Museum holding a recreation of famous artwork contest. https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/03/us/the-good-stuff-040420/index.html

News RoundUp: April 13, 2020

As of this morning, there have been 1,870,076 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally. The U.S. has reported 547,627 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 21,662 deaths because of the virus. 

Texas, Lousiana, Mississippi, Georgia experienced more than 34 tornadoes Monday morning. The severe weather killed 11 people in Mississippi, six in Georgia, and one in Arkansas. More tornadoes and severe weather are projected to span from Florida all the way up to parts of New York through Monday. 

Between May 4-13, the United States Supreme Court will be hearing cases via telephone conference. 

A pork processing facility in South Dakota., one of the largest in the nation,  has closed indefinitely because workers have fallen ill with COVID-19. The plant produces five percent of America’s pork. The FDA says “Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.  Unlike foodborne gastrointestinal (GI) viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A that often make people ill through contaminated food, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus that causes respiratory illness. Foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission.”

Q: Can I get the coronavirus from food, food packaging, or food containers and preparation area?

A: Currently there is no evidence of food, food containers, or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19.  Like other viruses, it is possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects. For that reason, it is critical to follow the 4 key steps of food safety—clean, separate, cook, and chill.

If you are concerned about contamination of food or food packaging, wash your hands after handling food packaging, after removing food from the packaging, before you prepare food for eating and before you eat. Consumers can follow CDC guidelines on frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; and frequent cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces.

The Good News: As air pollution plummets because of India’s lockdown, the Himalayas are being seen in places that haven’t seen them in years. To read more about it, click on the link: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/himalayan-mountaintops-visible-for-first-time-in-30-years/

News RoundUp: April 11, 2020

The United States passed Italy in its number of deaths affiliated to COVID-19. The death toll has surpassed 20,000 in the U.s. as of yesterday. 

Farmers around the country are destroying thousands of pounds of food because of restaurants closing and slowing down nationwide. Restaurant opportunities for take out for those who are choosing to partake does not make up for the sales and food products that were planted weeks in advance. The consequences: food rotting and farmers destroying crops. 

With Easter this Sunday, churches around the country plan to hold in-person services for Easter. According to the New York Times, pastors in Mississippi and Michigan plan to hold in-person services and expect over 2,000 people to attend on Sunday. 

The Good News: Need some good news with a broadway surprise in your life? Watch this episode of “Some Good News” with John Krasinski.

 Click on the link to watch the video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oilZ1hNZPRM

News RoundUp: April 9, 2020 

Nearly 6.6 million people filed for unemployment last week, bringing the total number of people who have filed for unemployment since the of COVID-19 quarantine began to more than 16 million.  

Between April 1 to April 5  only 69 percent of renters within America paid their rent, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council. Last year, between those dates, 82 percent of people paid rent. 

The Good News: Feeling anxious about this pandemic? Listen to this podcast on a few ways to make things a little less anxious. Click the link  to listen: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/dr-brene-brown-on-ffts/

News RoundUp: April 8, 2020 

Bernie Sanders dropped out of the 2020 presidential election today, leaving Joe Biden the presumptive nominee to challenge President Trump. 

As of today, two SMC employees have tested positive for COVID-19. 

The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine sent a public report to the White House stating that we should not get our hopes of COVID-19 diminishing during the summer, reports the New York Times. Through research reports, the panelist a panelist wrote this? Might just say the Academy concluded that there is no clear sign of it diminishing in the summer, as they initially hoped. 

The Good News: Two pandas from the Hong Kong Zoo, who have never been interested in one another, finally mate after 13 years. 

Click on the link to read the full article: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/giant-pandas-mate-amidst-covid-zoo-closures/

News RoundUp: April 7, 2020

 As of today, there are 1,365,004 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 184 countries/ regions, with 76,507 deaths globally, according to Johns Hopkins. 

Boris Johnson, Britain’s prime minister, has been moved into the ICU because of COVID-19.  

Today is the first day in which China reports there have been no deaths in the country because of COVID-19. 

The Good News: Every time at 7 p.m., people around NYC lean out of their windows, go on their balconies, and head down to the sidewalks to cheer and show gratitude towards the medical officials that are working hard to help COVID-19 patients. 
Click on the link to view: https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-coronavirus-apartment-applause-20200401-krgylnadfferrgqqp5tlm6vnay-story.html

News RoundUp: April 6, 2020 

More than 10 thousand people have died from COVID-19 in the United States, but the New York Times reports that medical officials or coroners from around the country suspect that the deaths from the coronavirus are under-reported because of failed protocols and an inadequate number of tests to accurately test everyone. Coroners are saying that they do not have the test to determine if COVID-19  rather than influenza or pneumonia caused deaths. Medical professionals are now looking back at records from January through early March to see if any patient with coronavirus symptoms might have been misdiagnosed.

“We have to get back to work,” President Trump said in a briefing on Saturday. “We have to open our country again. We don’t want to be doing this for months and months and months. We’re going to open our country again. This country wasn’t meant for this.” Despite all this, economists are now saying that we will not have a normal functioning economy until people feel as if they can go about their business without catching the virus. 

The Good News: As we slow down our lives, scientists and researchers who monitor the planet’s seismic activity, which detects earthquakes and volcanic activity, have realized that with our slower paced lives they can now detect a 5.5 magnitude earthquake that is on the other side of the earth. During our everyday lives, they would not be able to detect these because of how many vibrations are caused by cars, trains and other human activity.

News RoundUp: April 5, 2020 

According to CNN, yesterday marked the most reported deaths in one day because of COVID-19. What this means is that the United States could be nearing the peak. “The next two weeks ar extraordinarily important,” said Deborah Brix, the White House coronavirus response coordinator. “This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe, and that means everybody doing the six feet distancing, washing your hands.” 

As the Democratic convention was postponed by a month, former Vice President Joe Biden offered up the idea of holding a virtual convention during an interview with ABC. “We may have to do a virtual convention. I think we should be thinking about that right now. The idea of holding the convention is going to be necessary. But we may not be able to put ten, twenty, thirty thousand people in one place.” 

The Good News: No need to fear anymore when leaving the house if you do not have an n95 mask or a medical facemask, make your own from home. The New York Times identified the best household items to make makeshift face masks. 

Click the photo below to bring you to the article: 

News RoundUp: April 4, 2020 

New York City continues to be the epicenter of the United States. With more than 113, 700 COVID- 19 cases and deaths surpassing 3,500, the govern Andrew Cuomo predicts the peak for New York is just shy of a week. According to the New York Times, the Chinese government is planning on donating 1,000 ventilators to NYC.  

With Italy being under lockdown for weeks at this point, they are starting to see a decline in the number of positive COVID-19 cases. What’s the next step? Well, the government hopes to slowly allow people out of lockdowns and start getting them back to work. But how does a country do this without setting bringing the numbers back up? According to the New York Times, scientists are going to begin testing people to see if they have the correct antibodies from coronavirus which would make them immune, at least that’s the theory. Scientists aren’t one hundred percent if the antibodies are a true way to show if you are immune but are hopeful. 

A COVID-19 vaccine made by the University of Pittsburg Medical Center is ready for clinical trial as soon as the Food and Drug Administration gives permission. As of March 15, another vaccine entered clinical trials and a dozen more are being developed. While vaccines usually take a year in human clinical trials, because of the situations things may be able to get sped up. 

1.1 million people have confirmed cases of the coronavirus and at least 62,000 people have died from the virus globally. 

The Good News: Reading the news can be stressful. Heck, living during a pandemic can be stressful, so here is a list of the 75 best movies on Netflix. Sit back, relax, take some time to forget about the pandemic around you, and indulge in one of these awesome movies. 


News RoundUp: April 3, 2020

Wednesday night a scientific panelist at the White House told the press that they now believe through new research that the coronavirus can be spread through talking and breathing also, not just through sneezing and coughing. The CDC is now recommending that all people should wear nonmedical masks when they venture outside of their homes. “I’m not going to wear a surgical mask, because clinicians need those,” Harvey Fineberg, former dean of the Harvard School of Public Health told CNN. “But I have a nice western-style bandana I might wear. Or I have a balaclava. I have some pretty nice options.”

The FBI has put out a warning on “Zoom bombing.” Schools, in particular, are supposed to watch out because they are most targeted. “Zoom bombing” is when people pop into random zoom calls and share pornographic videos and images in place of people’s video icons, and racial slurs and offensive language in place of people’s names. 

The U.S. Navy hospital boat in New York City Habor that has 1,000 beds dedicated to COVID-19 patients only has 22 patients as of Friday afternoon. 

Two months before COVID-19 was believed to start infecting people, President Trump pulled a $200 million dollar program at the Agency for International Development that was in charge of researching potential pandemic diseases. According to the Los Angeles Times, when the program was up and running it helped identify 1,200 different viruses that have the potential to become pandemics. The main duties of this program were to identify these diseases, train scientists around the world to respond to these diseases if they ever became a pandemic.  

The Good News: Youtube and the internet are notorious for making jokes and parodies about super serious current events. As you can imagine, just because we’re in a pandemic doesn’t mean people are going to stop now. 

Check out the videos below to watch popular songs transformed into COVID-19 themed songs. 

News RoundUp: April 2, 2020

More than 6.6 million people filed for unemployment claims last week. With last week’s claims coming in around 3 million, that means these past two weeks have set unprecedented records. To put things into perspective, during the recession of ‘08 the number of people who filed for unemployment claims in one given week all stayed well under a million people. 

Some reminders and information about COVID-19


  • People usually start to show symptoms five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms can also appear after two days all the way up to 14 days.  
  • The most common symptoms people are showing when they have Covid-19  are fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, and fatigue. 

What should you do?: 

  • Stay home and keep your distance from the people with whom you live. 
  • If you have symptoms that make it hard to breathe, persistent pain or pressure in your chest, confusion, or bluish lips or face, seek medical help. 

How does the virus spread? 

  • The virus spreads through droplets in the air or on surfaces from people coughing or sneezing. 
  • Clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces regularly.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with disinfecting soap every time you enter your home and regularly throughout the day.  
  • Never touch your face with unwashed hands. 

The Good News: Enjoy watching one of our executive editors, Leanne Hamilton ‘20, dancing her way through quarantine. 

Check out the video below to watch some stylish dance moves from a safe distance. 

News RoundUp: April 1, 2020

Before we begin today’s News RoundUp, The Defender has an important and urgent announcement. We as a publication have come to the hard decision that we will no longer produce news for the remainder of the semester. It is just too hard with everything going on to report in a pandemic and with everyone being stuck inside there’s simply no news to report. We hope you understand. Please stay sane. 

APRIL FOOLS!!!! Starting tomorrow The Defender will be putting out two-three articles each day from our third issue. The articles will run from April 2 to April 10. We have articles spanning all topics, so if you want coronavirus coverage, come our way, if you are tired of hearing about coronavirus, come our way. 

Now back to the News: 

New numbers came out according to the leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony S. Fauci and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator During a briefing yesterday, they said that the number of deaths expected in the United States from the coronavirus will be 100,000- 240,000 people. The two experts pledged they will try to do everything they can to make that number lower. 

The stock market continues to plummet each day. S&P fell almost four percent in early trading this morning and the stock market had its worst month since 2008. 

“‘Covid-19 is the greatest test that we have faced together since the formation of the United Nations,” said the secretary general of the United Nations, António Guterres on Wednesday. The world has now entered a global recession according to the International Monetary Fund and it will be unlikely to resolve until 2021. During this time, 25 million jobs could be entirely lost in the United States, meaning $1.3 trillion would be lost on labor income. 

The Good News: For some uplifting news John Krasinski put together entries from the internet of good and uplifting news that has been happening in all the chaos. 

Click on the link to check out “Some Good News with John Krasinski” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5pgG1M_h_U

News RoundUp: March 31, 2020

With hospital beds popping up in Central Park, two other temporary hospitals made an appearance yesterday.  A U.S. Navy ship arrived in the New York City Harbor with 1,000 extra hospital beds onboard. In Manhattan, the Javits Center was also converted into a makeshift hospital, opening up even more beds throughout the city. All of this is a part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to have a makeshift hospital in every borough. 

According to Johns Hopkins University, coronavirus cases worldwide have surpassed 788,522. 

Thousands of retired doctors and nurses are returning to the medical field to help in the Covid-19 battle. According to the Wall Street Journal, medical schools around the country are allowing their students to graduate a couple of months early in order to fill the demand of doctors and nurse’s needs within hospitals around the country.  

A new model, according to the White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, says that by mid-April, when coronavirus is supposed to reach peak cases for the U.S. up to 2,000 people here in the U.S. could be dying every single day. That number relates to the prediction of around 82,000 people dying from the coronavirus by August. This was the same model that President Trump based his extension of social distancing and quarantine policies on, according to CNN. 

According to Politico, seed sales have been seeing record high sales. As the coronavirus becomes worse, people are becoming warier of food security and the hygiene of where their food is coming from.  

The Good News: Need a couple of minutes to forget all the things going wrong in the world? Watch this live feed of jellyfish floating around their enclosure at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. 

News RoundUp: March 30, 2020

Last week, on the Fox News Channel President Trump said, “I would love to have the country opened back up and just raring to go by Easter.” But in his press conference Sunday,  he postponed nonessential travel and social distancing for at least another month until April 30. If needed, the postponement could go until the beginning of June. 

The Summer Olympics have been officially postponed from this summer until July 2021. The new dates are planned for July 23-August 8, 2021. 

With around 60,000 cases of coronavirus alone in New York City, gov. Andrew Cuomo has taken drastic precautions, including the creation of makeshift hospitals in Central Park, and plans to create temporary hospitals in all NYC boroughs. According to CNN, NYC is now enforcing social distancing by fining people $250-$500 if they break the policies. 

In a recent video interview on CNN Business, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which does significant philanthropic work to empower the poorest and combat infectious diseases, said he predicts that the peak of coronavirus infections will be late April. 

The Good News: Haven’t left your house in a week? Check out these hilarious coronavirus tweets to lighten your mood. Click on the link below: 


News RoundUp: March 29, 2020 

According to the New York Times, New York postponed its presidential primary election to June 23. In total this now makes 14 states that have moved the date for their primary election. Alaska, Hawaii, and Wyoming have all chosen to do their primaries entirely by mail. The new dates span April all the way through July. What this could mean for the general election is unknown. 

Yesterday evening, tornadoes popped up around Iowa and Arkansas. The worst one hit at  5 p.m. Saturday in Jonesboro, AR injuring 22 people. There were no life-threatening injuries reported.  

As the death toll from coronavirus reaches 2,000 in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday put out a travel advisory warning in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey urging people to not participate in nonessential domestic travel. 

The Good News: Being stuck inside can really make a person crave adventure and the outdoors. How does one quench this desire? For nocturnal adventures, click on the link below for a live stream of the aurora borealis from the comforts of your own home. 


News RoundUp: March 28, 2020

Covid updates:

There are now 600,000 cases of coronavirus infection around the world. The United States currently has the most reported cases with more than 104,000. 

Friday afternoon President Trump signed the $2 billion Stimulus Package to help relieve economic collapse triggered by the pandemic. 

President Trump is discussing an “enforceable” quarantine on the state of New York, and parts of Connecticut and New Jersey. The Washington Post said President Trump might make a decision later today. 

Severe storms are predicted to hit portions of the midwest sometime Saturday. The severe storms include a high chance of hail and tornados. The further you go south the less likely the severe storms, but the southeast is experiencing record-breaking warmth with highs in the 90s. 

The Good News: Click on the link to watch a Spanish man sharing a drink with neighbors in a unique way amidst quarantine. https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/watch-spanish-man-share-drink-with-neighbors-two-floors-below/

News RoundUp: March 27, 2020

Yesterday Saint Michael’s College canceled l in-person classes for the remainder of the semester. They have also decided to postpone graduation, to a later, as yet undetermined date. As for moving-out your belongings from campus, the schedule went up this morning. Starting May 8 people with the last name starting with A and B have from until 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. The schedule follows two letters in alphabetical order for each day expect M, R, and S. T through Z last names will be the final day of pick up on May 24. If you are an international student or live more than 8 hours away, contact Melissa Holzman at mholzman@smcvt.edu to plan a day when you can move out. 

While the stock market was up the past three days, this morning the S&P 500, Dow, and NASDAQ all fell more than 3 percent. 

While initial thoughts were that the Stimulus Package would get through the House with flying colors, it has taken a sudden halt. One Congressional representative, Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky), is threatening to vote no on the Stimulus package. The votes planned on being done virtually to stay under quarantine and lockdown guidelines. However, if Massie or anyone else votes no on this legislation, that would result in at least 216 members flying to D.C. to cast a revote in person. 

A $1 billion deal was pulled off the table by the Trump Administration sometime yesterday that could supply America with 80,000 additional ventilators. The deal proposed that General Motors use their car parts, while a company called Ventec uses their technology to make the Ventilators. The bill was pulled off of the table because General Motors was asking for large sums of money upfront. The New York Times says that government officials are still talking about the $1 Billion deal but other deals are being discussed as well. 

The GOOD News: In spite of a Pandemic, the African Black Rhino has made a significant spike in the population by several hundred through the help of conservation efforts, such as moving individual animals to new areas, protecting them with stricter law enforcement, and guaranteeing to breed.  While the coronavirus may have more harmful impacts than good, with the virus raging through the world, it is thought to put a decline in big game hunting said The Guardian. With this decline, it might give the Black Rhino and other endangered species a chance for at least a few months.

News RoundUp : March 26, 2020

A record breaking number of more than 3.2 million people in America filed for unemployment last week. 

According to the New York Times, people could be receiving their Stimulus package within three weeks. 

An economics professor from the University of Louisiana conducted a recent study that showed that Louisiana may be experiencing the fastest growing rate of new cases of coronavirus in the world. 

As India enters its second day of lockdown, people are still heading to the streets looking for work. The BCC reports that people know the risks of the Coronavirus and the fact not many people would be hiring these days, but they are more fearful of watching their families go hungry. 

The Good News: Hotels in New York City and the UK are opening up free rooms for hospital workers putting in 18-hour shifts helping to combat COVID-19. The hope is to give those workers a place to sleep that is closer to work than their home. 

Click on the link below to view how COVID- 19 has affected popular areas around the country: 


News RoundUp: March 25, 2020: 

Congress has finally come to an agreement on a $2 Trillion Stimulus package that will send money to the Americas during these pandemic times. The package has many stages to it but on an individual level,  the first phase is taxpayers who make less than $75,000 will receive $1,200 with an additional $500 per kid. The second phase on the individual level will be taxpayers who make more than $99,000. The other money within the package goes to bailing out small businesses, helping businesses keep employees on the payroll, lending money to businesses, extending unemployment packages, and money that goes to hospitals and medical facilities. The legislation is likely to be passed over from Congress to the White House to make final changes late Wednesday. 

New York City and the surrounding suburbs now account for 5 percent of the global cases of Coronavirus. 

President Trump said yesterday he hopes to have the “U.S. opened up” by Easter, April 12, 2020. What this means for the country and the world is unknown. According to the New York Times, many public health officials say that if this happens, people will return to normal interactions around the peak of the virus.  President Trump, on the other hand, says that the outcome of social isolation and a crippled economy will have worse outcomes than the virus. 

As of 5 p.m. March 25, Vermont will have a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” ordinance, ordered by Gov. Phil Scott.  All nonessential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations, etc. will be closed until April 15. 

Today was the first day of India’s Lockdown, becoming the world’s largest lockdown with 1.3 billion people. The lockdown will last 21 days, but health officials in India said they believe it will last longer. 
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News RoundUp: March 24, 2020 

What is a “shelter in place”? Shelter in place or “stay home” is a less strict way to urge people to stop leaving their homes unless it is for essentials, such as groceries, pharmacies, etc. 

What is a lockdown? A lockdown is much stricter than a shelter in place. Lockdowns usually come with a curfew and consequences following if you are caught without a valid reason. 

The following states have either declared a lockdown and/ or shelter in place for certain areas within the state or the whole state itself: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin

The 2020 Summer Olympics taking place in Tokyo, Japan has been postponed until the summer of 2021 by the International Olympics Committee and the Prime Minister of Japan. 

Italy remains at the epicenter on COVID-19 with 6,077 deaths and 63,928 active cases. New York City now has 26,000 cases.

According to banking investment firm Goldman Sachs 2.25 million people are predicted to file for unemployment claims as coronavirus cases worsen around the country. 

The deadline to file federal taxes, usually on April 15, has been postponed until July 15. 

The Good News: According to Johns Hopkins research more than 100,000 people have fully recovered from the COVID-19 infection. 

Click on the link to view 20 hilarious TikToks about COVID-19