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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Economy or Health? What resilience looks like in a global pandemic.

Source: www.1011now.com

By Frank Wright

“As humans, we like to think we’re in charge of our own corner in the universe. But every now and then a microscopic entity reminds us that we are not.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

The reality shock our planet is going through is something that we have not encountered in the last century. Because there is no masterplan to tackle this situation, every nation has been compelled to make their own decisions. Weeks into the global pandemic, the death toll keeps rising and economies continue to decline. The vast majority see this as a “this or that” choice in which one path (health or economy) must be taken. The simple fact that there is a preconception that leaders must decide on either, is worrisome. The problem in hand appears to be that people believe there has to be a choice in between the two, which yields a lack of a common mentality supporting social responsibility and trust towards governmental measures.

The fact of the matter is that both of the sides complement one another and, naturally, there must always be a balance within the two. It is crucial that measures should be taken with both ends holding equal importance.

With nearly every nation battling this growing virus, some have implemented the best resilient economic measures, while moving fast to contain the virus.

Singapore maintains a solid infrastructure, minimum corruption, and very strong political stability. The country moved fast in action towards the pandemic, they hold social cooperation and trust on authorities. Many businesses there have adopted work-from-home policies and the whole country has implemented technology in their daily lives. They have maintained a mentality that if everyone does what they are directed to do and work together, they don’t need to worry about social unrest, death on the streets, or any big economic deterioration. Also, the nation’s government released an app that called Trace Together. With all of this balance, Singapore will surely be one of the most resilient countries to face the virus.

Denmark has high political stability and a strong supply chain tracking. It also moved rapidly as it implemented social distancing measures. The government declared a shutdown on schools and non-essential businesses on March 11. Three days later, they closed borders to foreigners. Because their culture is trusting to authorities, everyone has maintained efficient social distancing. Like Singapore, they have maintained a mentality that believes “most people feel a moral duty to make sacrifices for the sake of public health”. With this said, the government is trying to “Freeze” the economy as they implemented economic relief by paying 75% of workers whose salaries are affected directly and 90% of hourly waged workers.

The United States’ economy has been hit with mandatory shutdowns across more than half of the states, affecting small businesses that rely on foot traffic which has triggered historic levels of unemployment. The US was quick to pass stimulus measures that stabilize the economy while also focusing on social distancing and other health measures. The US is on average younger than the rest of the world, and therefore should prove to be resilient throughout this pandemic.

All of the nations across the world should implement measures that maintain high health standards, while paying close attention to the economy by stimulating it as the storm passes. Together, each country must act as one and keep a mentality of social responsibility in order to tackle the growing virus known as COVID – 19.

President Trump’s Response to the Coronavirus Outbreak is Endangering People’s Lives


By Liam Sullivan

The worldwide crisis revolving around the coronavirus has been raging for the first four months of the new decade. It was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11th, genuinely surprising many Americans who assumed the coronavirus would never affect them. While the virus was spreading through Asia and Europe at an alarming pace, Americans were not preparing themselves for the inevitability of coronavirus’s spread throughout the United States. The main reason for this was the many people, and specifically President Trump, publicly downplaying the effect the virus could have on the United States. In statements during press conferences, interviews, and on his Twitter account, President Trump has downplayed the national impact that coronavirus might have since the very beginning.

When coronavirus first arrived in the United States, there were around 10-15 confirmed cases. During a press conference held by the White House on February 26th, Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the CDC, stated they were expecting to see many more cases in the United States, and it was very important to prepare the country for that inevitability. Dr. Tony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made similar cautionary statements. President Trump took this press conference as an opportunity to say the following: “when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” This statement directly contradicted those given by Drs. Schuchat and Fauci. Anyone who watched only highlights of that press conference or did not hear the two doctors give their statements could take the President’s word at face value and decide that the coronavirus is nothing to worry about.

Trump’s prediction of the 15 confirmed cases going down to zero had not come true. Instead the United States quickly became the country with the most active cases of coronavirus by a very large margin. The damage of President Trump’s previous statements had already been done. The nation was embarrassingly underprepared, with the economy taking a huge hit in response to the widespread social distancing rules.

President Trump continued making dangerous public statements including those about a month later on March 24th. By this time, much of the country was shut down with only essential employees working. President Trump decided that this economic disaster was more serious than the coronavirus pandemic, tweeting “we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.” During his Town Hall on Fox News, President Trump proposed that the economy would be able to open around Easter time, a date less than three weeks later, in direct opposition to suggestions of health officials.

President Trump does not realize the consequences of publicly downplaying the severity of this crisis. Many people in this country are highly influenced by the President’s statements. With Easter coming and going, it would not be surprising to hear of people having Easter gatherings, ignoring the potential harm caused by not properly socially distancing. The coronavirus is particularly dangerous due to a long incubation period, causing people to unknowingly spread the virus to others who may be more susceptible. We must do everything in our power to limit the spread.

If President Trump wants to get the economy up and running again, he must ensure people know how serious this virus is and stop spreading misinformation. His haste to return to “normal” will cause it to last far longer. Without following proper social distancing now, our economy and people will suffer far longer than necessary.

Why Pass/Fail Is The Right Move For Bryant Students

Source: AJC.com

By Noah Tellez

Within the past four weeks, the world as we know it has been completely flipped outside down. Work has ceased, schools are closed, even playgrounds and beaches are closed to the public. Having said this, we must move swiftly to adapt to this unique situation as any other species would. Part of this adaptation process involves taking risks on unorthodox methods of doing things to fit extremely unorthodox times. For example, restaurants who have never permitted anything but dine-In and take-out now must open for curbside pickup and delivery to stay afloat. Our most fundamental systems are not immune to change either, including the secondary education system. Many colleges around the country have changed from traditional letter grades to a pass/fail system, helping students by allowing them to choose between their letter grade or a “pass/fail” that would not affect their cumulative GPA. We at Bryant University should also adopt this policy, as it is only right for us to adapt with our surroundings and put our students in the best situation to succeed.

As a student at Bryant, I can say that returning home to finish this semester has certainly been a nuisance. Obviously, it is the right thing to do, but I miss being on campus with my fellow Bulldogs. In addition to the obvious hassle of having to move out of my room early, getting my schoolwork in order was even more difficult. Online assignments are difficult to keep track of and with every professor doing things slightly different there is no baseline model to aid students. I have been figuring out where each professor puts assignments, schedules, handouts, etc. on Blackboard, because it is impossible to get work done until it is organized and accounted for. However, I have found that with five different classes, professors, peers, etc. it is still extremely hard to keep track of every assignment with the expectation of completion on time. In fact, a few of my assignments have gone unnoticed by me merely

because I did not even know they existed online and didn’t hear them mentioned in class, and I feel as though I am certainly not the only one with that issue. This sentiment is shared by my peer Kyle Beaton, a freshman at Bryant who is also in favor of the pass/fail system. “This is a completely different style of learning that some students have not experienced before which can be really hard for them,” Kyle stated. These issues have caused me stress because my grades may be affected by these inconveniences, and a pass/fail system is the only way to ensure that doesn’t happen in a fair way.

Covid-19 is the first widespread global pandemic since H1N1 in 2009, but it is surely the most memorable of the last few decades. The amount of fear seen within the global population is the most alarming because no one knows if a vaccine will be developed, and if so when that will be. In addition, there are numerous people that still must report to work, including hospital workers, restaurant employees, and much more. These people are at high risk of contracting the novel virus, and this gives students and faculty at home a lot to worry about. Having said this, it is imperative that the school make an effort to take some pressure off of their students in such trying times, because we truly do have an abundance of things to worry about as human beings and school may not be the top priority at the moment.

Although this system is seemingly the same as giving students a “get out of jail free” card in Monopoly, there is no alternative way to rightfully consider the numerous variables present in students’ new learning environments. For example, a test could be submitted late merely because of a Wi-Fi shortage at a home and depending on the professor this could result in a zero. This student would have to stomach a likely failing grade unless he could choose pass or fail, making this the only logical approach. In addition, this option would still allow students to decide for themselves, and after all it is our education to take charge of.

In an ideal world, we would never be in this situation to begin with. However, we now must make the best of it and move forward, and a pass/fail system is the best way to move forward for the sake of our students and staff. Although we are all at this university out of lust to better ourselves through education, it is important to realize that there are times were education takes a back seat, and temporary changes are necessary to ensure long-term success.

Dana White Declares “Fight Island” Promise Will Be Fulfilled

Source: Broadcasting & cable

By Michael Vescera

The Coronavirus pandemic has put a halt on all recent sporting events due to social distancing regulations. The NBA, NHL, and MLB seasons, along with others, have been suspended indefinitely. This has been a major setback to both organizations who have many employees and dedicated fans who are used to the entertainment of their favorite sporting events. Dana White, the current President of the UFC, has declared he will arrange a “Fight Island” where he will organize UFC events and continue to have fights on a remote island with no spectators. Not only would UFC be the only sporting event airing on television which would result in a large increase in profits due to the desire to see sports by the consumers, but it will help him to keep his previous promise that employees of the UFC will continue to be paid during the pandemic. During recent weeks some sporting organizations are experiencing layoffs, while White has declared he will not be putting any employees out of a job.

Dana White was forced to postpone one of UFC’s most popular events, UFC 249, due to the Coronavirus. Amid this chaos, White has ensured that Fight Island would still be available to host fights. He has also said that he will be able to transport the fighters over to the island earlier than their expected fight dates so they can get acclimated and begin training there. It is expected that Fight Island will become operational is within the next month, with no exact date provided by White. Dana White’s quote, “we will be the first sport back”, signifies his knowledge of the current situation and how it is affecting the market for sports. If he is successful in providing viewers with a sporting event while there are no other sports being aired, he will essentially have taken control over the entire market. Given that pay-per-view is the only available viewing platform, it would typically negatively impact expected revenue. However, since UFC would be the only sporting event being aired, more viewers who would not typically watch UFC fights will purchase the events.

Other Sports such as Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League have also been working diligently to resume their sport’s seasons. However, it is more challenging for these sports to resume because there are more people participating in the games at once than with two fighters in the octagon. This makes it more difficult because of the continued social distancing rules. Finding remote places to conduct the games has also been a challenge because of travel restrictions. With the MLB and NHL having 29 and 31 teams respectively, there cannot be just one stadium or arena where the games are conducted and teams must travel to other cities, which is not able to occur at this time. The NHL has said they hope to resume their season and conduct playoffs by mid-July and the MLB has claimed by the end of May they hope to be able to begin their season. With these drastic delays, the return of UFC would be very beneficial to both viewers and the sport during this difficult time.

Did the world need to be put on hold?

Source: Rheumatoidarthritis.net

By Brooke Williams

In an attempt to write about anything but the coronavirus, I searched google for a good amount of time, search after search, nine times out of ten, often ten out of ten, every single article was dealing with COVID-19. Recognizing we are in the midst of a pandemic and everyone is looking for information and answers. But, once I stopped trying to avoid these articles, I began to notice a pattern, if the article wasn’t about the government’s dealings with the pandemic, it was about the “failing” economy, “a soon to be depression”, negative impacts on mental health, weight gain and everything in between. The commonality between them all is negativity, understandably it is hard to look at a Pandemic and think of any positive but as the quote goes “every cloud has a silver lining” – John Milton

Every morning I wake up and turn over to begin scrolling through my phone and social media, and every morning I am humbled to see the human race looking after one another. Whether it is applauding nurses and doctors at their shift change, singing happy birthday from a distance to a neighbor, buying groceries for an elder, or just spreading positivity, it is the simple acts of kindness, the bare and genuine authenticity of the human race. The media, specifically with new channels I have noticed have a way of embellishing on all the bad news and instilling fear that is so evident in the lives of the audience. No one knows what the future looks like and no one knows when this will end, but the fear we all have in common has created a thread of support for one another.

Did the world need this? I asked myself as I drove by families of five on a walk, and thought to myself the last time they had the opportunity to do so, or the last time those three brothers in their twenties had played a game of Wiffle ball in their front yard. 37 minutes, just over a half of an hour, is the average amount of time American families spend together in a day of 24 hours (American Families). Living in a world fueled by money and dominated by competition we often find ourselves continuously pushing away the things that mean the most for the things that in the end mean nothing. Time is something we never can make back but we all take for granted, this pandemic has allowed and more so forced families to spend quality, in-depth time with each other. No one hopes to be in this situation, but by looking at all the things it has put on hold, has allowed everyone to take a step back and remember what matters most. Life will eventually move on, return to the old normal and this will become a part of our history, but for now, we can all try and find the silver lining the unexplainable and extraordinary bond the human race is experiencing, we are as close as ever while being at a complete distance.

Patrice Bergeron: The Silent Veteran

Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Image

By Alex Uva

With Tom Brady doing the unimaginable and taking his historic career to Tampa Bay, he has now passed the torch to Patrice Bergeron as the longest-tenured athlete in the city of Boston. Brady, who had previously spent 20 years in New England, has signed with the Buccaneers for the 2020 NFL season. So now, it is Patrice Bergeron’s city. Patrice Bergeron has been a very underrated part of the greatness Boston sports has seen over the last decade. His 16 years as a member of the Boston Bruins now makes him the veteran sports star of the city.

Patrice Bergeron was drafted 45th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Bruins. The 18-year-old from Quebec was not supposed to make the Bruins roster out of camp but his determination proved many people wrong. Bergeron made the roster in the 2003-04 season and tallied 39 points in 71 games for a stellar rookie season. After his rookie season, he continued to improve as he led the Bruins in points with 73 in the 2005-06 season. Bergeron was emerging as one of the NHL’s best young players until a possible career changing injury in the 2007-08 season caused a setback in his career. Bergeron was hit from behind against the Philadelphia Flyers in 2008 and was diagnosed with a grade-three concussion. During his long road to recovery, there were many doubts about his immediate future in the NHL, with people questioning if he would return as the rising star he was before his injury. Bergeron returned the next season and has not looked back, emerging as a top player in the NHL and continuing that to this day.

Not only is Bergeron one the most complete players in the NHL, he is also a winner. His leadership and work ethic has helped him win at every level. Not only was he an integral part in the Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup championship, but he has also won Olympic gold twice, and a World Championship gold medal. Not many people realize how difficult of an accomplishment this is to achieve as Bergeron is one of only 29 players, all time, to do so. Bergeron is also a 4-time Selke Trophy winner as the best defensive forward in the NHL. Although he may not have the resume of Tom Brady, Bergeron is a winner, in his own right, and is the perfect replacement as the longest-tenured athlete in Boston.

Patrice Bergeron, now 34, is showing no signs of slowing down. Before the season was put on pause due to COVID-19, he was one goal shy of his career high of 32 with 12 games to go. Bergeron has two years remaining on his cap friendly eight-year, 55-million-dollar contract with the Bruins and is sure to be extended when his deal is over. With the current Bruins captain Zdeno Chara on the backend of his career at age 43, Bergeron is waiting in the wings of being appointed the next captain of the Bruins.

As one of the most underrated players in the NHL, only Boston fans truly see on a daily basis of how special Bergeron is. Although he is well respected throughout the city by the fans and media, he has been in the shadows of the other Boston stars in the past decade. With greats such as Tom Brady, David Ortiz, and Paul Pierce running the city for many years, Bergeron has not received the true recognition he deserves. Now, it is Bergeron’s city. He is the most ideal

person to represent Boston sports, both on and off the ice. He is so well respected through the way in which he carries himself as a natural born leader, and a polished man that is very active in the community. Bergeron arranges Patrice’s Pals, at the TD Garden, where he brings in patients from local hospitals to experience VIP access to Bruins games. He is a true role model for all of the young players and fans in the New England area. There could not be a better replacement as the face of Boston sports than Patrice Bergeron. Hopefully Boston sports fans start to appreciate the future Hall of Famer more, as they have for the many great sports leaders before him.

Fashion Designer Christian Siriano Sparks a Movement During Coronavirus Pandemic

Source: The Daily Beast

By Jillian Walinski

The entire world is experiencing a global pandemic that seems to continue to grow. Some people have been lackadaisical about the current situation, while others have been taking major precautions. These major precautions, though, have led to a shortage in supplies for medical professionals who are risking their own lives to care for the health of others during this time. However, many communities seem to be staying strong in their efforts to protect those around them that may be at higher risk. We are noticing more and more individuals stepping up to the plate to assist those in need.

While amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the fashion industry has shifted from one end of the spectrum to another. Creating trendy clothing and accessories has been put on the back burner in order to produce masks and gowns for medical professionals. One designer in particular decided to take on the endeavor of making masks, in response to New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo. Fashion designer Christian Siriano replied to a tweet from Gov. Cuomo offering help from him

and his team to help fight against the spread of the coronavirus. Siriano and his team of about 10 seamstresses were able to generate 1,000 masks in three days after acquiring materials and creating prototypes. Since then, they have been able to produce several thousand masks per week.

Producing medical face masks isn’t an easy feat, even for professional seamstresses. After creating prototypes for these masks, Siriano enlisted professionals on the safety protocol measures that him and his team would have to undergo in order to produce masks that could be approved under FDA or CDC regulations. Upon entering work each day, every staff member’s temperature is taken. Each seamstress is also required to wear a mask and keep their distance from one another while working. At the end of the work day, the entire studio is cleaned and sterilized, ensuring a safe work space to create medical supplies.

It appears that Christian Siriano is not the only fashion brand bringing something to the table in this time of need. Siriano’s response to Gov. Cuomo has ignited a trend in the fashion industry. The project that Siriano and his team have taken on has inspired other brands and designers to follow in his footsteps, like Brandon Maxwell, Armani, and Prada. The studios and production plants of these large names have become sites for creating medical masks, gowns, and overalls. The tweets from Gov. Cuomo have even struck a cord in artist, Rihanna, who has donated personal protective equipment to hospitals in New York City.

Nobody ever knows what will happen in this crazy world, but having so many people come together to help one another really offers a glimmer of hope for the current circumstances. Self-quarantine is still going strong for many, and it doesn’t appear that the COVID-19 pandemic will calm down any time soon. However, with people like Christian Siriano and his team, we can all try to get through this together and have hope for the future.

Covid-19 Infects NCAA Sports


By Christopher Wrenn

On March 12th when the NCAA officially announced the cancellation of all spring sports, the coronavirus got serious for many Americans. It became clear that the impact of the virus would be much longer lasting than many had originally predicted. As we move deeper into the Spring, the lasting impact of the virus is yet to be seen.

The first round of cancellations bringing an end to winter sports, most notably the NCAA basketball tournament, was just the tip of the iceberg, but damaging to many NCAA institutions and athletes. From an athlete side, many players, seniors especially, had played their last ever games and due to how deep into the season it was, many of those players likely played their last game. However, the impact of this cancellation goes beyond just student athletes. Schools are being devastated. Millions of dollars are being lost, and many schools had used tournament success to fund their athletics budget. Another looming fear is that the virus will linger for another twelve months and force the NCAA to cancel the fall season. This impact would be catastrophic for athletics, especially the power 5 conferences who generate millions a year off fall football. The cancellation of fall athletics could completely change the landscape of college athletics.

Although the impact of coronavirus on colleges is not completely clear, the potential impact is horrifying. The cost associated with refunding students for room and board alone for the semester they spent learning remotely will cost schools millions. Additionally, school

enrollment numbers are likely to take a hit and face difficulties recovering as the economic impact from the virus look to be major. Schools are currently bleeding money from many different areas, and 30% of schools are already operating off deficits (Jensen). With schools losing money like this, athletics are often going to be an easy place to find a way to cut costs. The athletics expansion of facilities across the country that has been going on in recent years is almost guaranteed to be halted, as many colleges will likely take fiscally conservative approaches to navigating these uncertain times. What is certain though is that college athletics in 2021 will look a lot different than in 2019 and years prior.

Budget cuts across colleges in general will shape the lives of many Americans. For starters, jobs will be loss with Temple already laying off 5% of their staff in general, and University of Bridgeport beginning to lay off athletic staff. Perspective students are also being impacted with the inability to do on campus visits. Lower income students will also suffer as with athletic aid being cut; they may struggle to afford to pay for college in general. This along with the impending recession may contribute to increased enrollment at the community college level. Another impact on the individual level is that for the athletes whose teams get cut, which is a possibility for many non-revenue sports, their athletic careers will come to a sudden end. Fortunately, the NCAA has granted every spring student athlete an additional season of eligibility, but this does not help every athlete. This will become an issue for roster spots, along with athletic aid. As for seniors, many will seize the opportunity and return for one more year of eligibility. However, many seniors will not be able to take this opportunity and be forced to move on as they will be graduating and entering a work force that is now more uncertain than ever. Uncertainty will be a common theme in these upcoming months as the NCAA, along with the world, struggle to deal with Covid-19.

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