Posts tagged with "The New York Post"

Los Angeles Halloween Town

Story X Illustration by Kaelen Felix 

Not the year we hoped for – COVID-19 virus; stay-at-home mandate order to working remotely. Some did not have the option to work from home, and as a result, millions have lost their jobs. Many months have flown by since everyone had to shelter in place by the policy that was enacted. Fast forward from March to October, and while we are nine months into this, it feels as if there is no end in sight. Summer is behind us, and with Fall here, Halloween is so different from any year we have experienced to date. Everything in 2020 has been turned upside down, and the world is at a stand-still.

The Walt Disney Company announced the layoffs of 28,000 total with 10,000 affecting the Disneyland resorts, parks, hotels, and stores in Anaheim, CA. The coronavirus and the pandemic have hit L.A. hard, and these layoffs are effective this coming Sunday. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has provided guidance on gatherings suggesting no more than ten people per group.

The virus continues to wreak havoc with our favorite holiday, Halloween! Why does this continue to happen? The CDC suggests that younger age group are not obeying the CDC suggestions to prevent further spreading. Halloween should be a free-spirited holiday for children and adults to play dress-up and to trick-or-treat. By restricting live entertainment and gatherings this Halloween, those feeling down or depressed may be further affected. So, how does this impact Halloween and what are the measures taken to make this year a success? And also, help with our health and well-being? The spirit of Halloween is all about expressing oneself through a costume, and of course who doesn’t want a bunch of candy by night’s end? Many places across the United States are working on solutions to abide to the social-distancing instructions.

In the Midwest where cases continually rise though some have found a different outlet to make Halloween extra creative. Minnesota, a friendly neighborhood family from the Woodbury area used a plastic piping to slide candy down safely to with physical contact. That way the children are not in close contact with the family members, and it is a safer method for the children. According to the 5 ABC Eye Witness News, the Humphries in the Woodbury family explain their thought process on this as, “Halloween is about being outside, dressing up and doing something different.” The Humphries also mentioned, “It’s important children still have those opportunities.”

In Chicago, many are taking the social-distancing measures very seriously, because they want to see children come out and enjoy a safe Halloween. A source from Block Club Chicago says, “One Chicago neighborhood will hold a contest on the best decorated house on Kenmore Avenue.” While that’s one example of how social distance will be handled, because people can ride around in their cars and vote accordingly. Meanwhile, another part of this adds, “The city is hosting a series of event giveaways for an entire week leading up to the holiday, which they’ve dubbed “Halloweek.”  Such a fun way to put on a show in the city suburb of Chicago. Another area in Albuquerque, New Mexico have routed together a bus with ten zombies on what they call an “Art” bus to keep social-distancing measures in order and to scare passengers as they board the bus. From a local news KRQE, “The city of Albuquerque announced this Friday that two art buses would feature 10 “zombies” in the seats usually taped off social distancing purposes.” Another creative method taken into action to keep the Halloween tradition and spirit alive.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health suggests that people comply with the personal protection measures, such as wearing a cloth-faced masks, keeping the six feet social distancing measures and most importantly, continually to wash hands often and use hand sanitizer if need be. Some of the best options to celebrate Halloween include doing virtual costume contests, car parades or trick-or-treating in a safe manner. Set up a table outside with candy in separate plastic bags and provide hand sanitizer as well. Forbes suggests if you have children there are some options for children’s interest in Halloween movies. Some of these examples include, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, Coco, Monster House, Beetle Juice and Corpse Bride and more.

While we are still in this pandemic; we should applaud our essential front line responders for their diligent efforts. They work tirelessly to save many lives and they should be honored as our true heroes. Let us do our part to ensure we all have a fun and a safe Halloween this year even though this was not the year we wanted, at least we are close to 2021.

Happy Halloween everyone!

360 Magazine, Allison Christensen

WHO x Rare Asymptomatic COVID-19 Spread

By Jason Tayer x Emmet McGeown

The Coronavirus remains very present and contagious around the country and world. However, as expert organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), find new ground-breaking data, knowledge about the nature of the virus and how it spreads advances.

According to CNBC, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove admits that the previously widely believed notion of the virus spreading between and from asymptomatic carriers has lost traction. Instead, Maria claims that it’s “very rare” for virus transmission to take place among asymptomatic patients based on contact tracing and secondary transmission analysis data. Maria’s news briefing at the UN agency’s Geneva headquarters can be found HERE. The New York Post also adds that narrowing in and focusing on all isolating and quarantining all of the symptomatic cases could result in much fewer transmission rates.

However, as of Tuesday, following widespread skepticism from global healthcare officials, the head of WHO’s diseases and zoonosis unit, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, has walked back statements that she made during a Monday press conference. After an influx of criticism, she clarified that it’s “misunderstanding to state that asymptomatic transmission globally is very rare,” instead claiming that she was referring to a “small subset of studies.” Van Kerkhove acknowledges that much is unknown and that there exist models, which estimate that around 40% of transmissions are due to asymptomatic individuals.

With this recent news and many cities beginning to enter new phases of reopening, it may seem feasible to allow asymptomatic people to reopen and participate in various public businesses and services. AMNY expands on the example of NYC, where they are now in phase 1 of reopening. Even with this phase of reopening underway, the Department of Health has found that there have not been significant spikes in COVID-19-like cases in emergency rooms.

Regardless of the scrambling by the WHO to refine its oratory or the Department of Health observing no significant spikes in cases, there is no doubt that isolation and social distancing are slowing the spread of the virus. Indeed, it is possible that “asymptomatic” individuals can, in fact, be pre-symptomatic or simply be experiencing a very “mild disease.” This muddies the waters to such an extent that taking precautions seems to be the only logical corollary of the medical community’s ongoing attempt at total comprehension of the virus. Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University professor and longtime adviser to the CDC says, “I thought they [WHO] were getting very prissy and trying to slice the salami very fine.” He, like many other medical experts, believes that whether asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic, or mildly symptomatic, people should be wearing masks, washing their hands, staying away from large crowds and social distancing when possible.

Such perspectives echo the findings of a study, published in the scientific journal Nature, which suggest that the emergency lockdown procedures of six countries, ranging from Iran to the US, have prevented more than 500 million coronavirus infections across all six nations.

This leaves one wondering whether or not the accelerated re-openings of hotspots like Las Vegas casinos where, last year, guests outnumbered residents 20 to 1 are wise. Yet, with the risk of a mental health crisis and a hemorrhaging global economy, many are supportive of dismantling protective measures. However, we must dispel the false dichotomy that we must choose between complete lockdown and a restless revival or normal life. One only ought to look at Turkey where the government ordered only the young and elderly to remain at home while everyone else, except consumer-facing businesses, never ceased working. According to The Economist, “the vulnerable escaped the worst of the pandemic while those infected, mostly working-age adults, generally recovered.”

Irrespective of which approach the states decide to embark upon, the fact still remains that over 7 million people have been affected and the virus continues to spread.