CORONA: A WORLDWIDE THREAT
Concerns rise as the Coronavirus continues to spread around the world
Reported by Isabella Gao Photo courtesy of News Medical
At the end of the last decade, the prospect of a coronavirus outbreak was merely a faint uneasiness in the minds of local Wuhan citizens. Now, two months later, this powerful virus has transformed into a globally recognized crisis.
What exactly is novel coronavirus? This strain, known to scientists as COVID-2019, is a respiratory disease that is transmitted via air through coughs or sneezes from an infected person. Once the virus has entered the respiratory system, it starts a brutal attack on the host’s lungs, causing hyper-reactivity to the immune system, pulmonary destruction and respiratory failure.
The COVID-2019 outbreak began last December, in a seafood market in central Wuhan, the densely populated capital of China’s Hubei Province. Although its exact origins are unknown, it is likely to have been transmitted to the first human by an infected animal, as was the case with related SARS and MERS outbreaks of 2002 and 2012, respectively.
The virus was first identified by a Wuhan native doctor named Li Wenliang, who was later infected by a patient with the illness. He passed away on February 7.
All of Wuhan has been barricaded, as have many other cities in China. People are no longer allowed to leave or enter the city, and Chinese citizens are encouraged to stay home as often as possible. Airlines between China and other countries are also currently closed.
As of Feb. 27, this disease has now spread to every continent except for Antarctica, infecting over 83,000 people and killing nearly 3000. There are currently around 60 people in the United States that are infected.
Global markets have taken a hit as stocks have dropped due to the decreased confidence of investors from this disease. In addition, many local Chinese restaurants have also experienced drastic decreases in business.
Although it feels as though the coronavirus is an unconquerable threat, by taking the appropriate measures to combat it, it will subside. Everyone should wash their hands frequently, be cautious around those who are sick, and keep a positive outlook on this outbreak.
‘MY FAVORITE YEAR’ RECAP
The drama program sets their gold standard with the first regional performance of "My Favorite Year"
Reported by Emilie Cooper; Photographed by Imanuel Bolaman
Two months of practice, forty-eight rehearsals and six late nights: that’s how long it took to put "My Favorite Year together." This short amount of preparation is not unusual for the drama program; however, the drama program is the first in the region to bring the show to life.
The story of "My Favorite Year" follows the main character Benjy Stone, played by Jantz Levin (12), and his idol Alan Swann, a narcissistic fraud, played by JD Snow (12). Benjy learns that Alan Swann will be a guest star on the Comedy Cavalcade. Benjy is ecstatic to have the opportunity to meet Mr. Swann, but the perfect image of his idol is shattered when he finally meets him.
As the story unfolds, the complex character behind the mask of Alan Swann is revealed and problems arise. Through complex choreography, "My Favorite Year" unfolds the story of relationships, responsibility and loss.
“My favorite part of this musical was telling this incredible and inspiring story and being able to move audience members in ways I could have never imagined,” Levin said. “Playing a character that had so many motivations and objectives in one single show was super cool!”
On Feb. 8, the drama program closed the door on this production, but in a few months, the doors will reopen for two new shows: "Peter and the Starcatcher" and "Workin’" (a musical).
ROAD WORK AHEAD
Construction on George Washington Way extends into the spring of 2020
Reported and Photographed by Brian Pham
Road construction triggers a primal part of an individual’s brain—the same part that seeks food, shelter, and comments on social media. Everyone sits and grumbles in their cars, wondering what could possibly be taking construction so long.
As nearly everybody in the Tri-Cities has noticed, the construction on George Washington Way feels as if it’s taking forever.
In actuality, it hasn’t been going on forever; it has been going on since June. There has been nearly five whole months of blocked-off roads, delays and traffic backed up all the way to Hanford. And to the surprise and disappointment of many students, the wait is only about halfway over.
“I’m annoyed because other people don’t know how to drive in construction. Then it becomes dangerous for everyone,” Allison Coleman (12) said. “It’s inconvenient. It takes longer to get places, and I have to avoid driving on it now. And the fact that the project has been going on for so long, only makes things more difficult.”
Students, however, are not the only people surprised about the length of the construction project. “The contractor hasn’t been able to advance as quickly as we had hoped,” said Pete Rogalsky, Richland’s Public Works Director. “The intended finishing date for the construction was Nov. 15, but at the pace the construction has been completed, that simply isn’t possible.”
After cold weather begins in the Tri-Cities, construction on the road will come to a halt and will only resume in the spring.
And though the construction is an inconvenience, it is a necessary evil.
“Pavement, particularly on George Washington Way, gets a lot of pounding and a lot of traffic and just wears out. So, every so often, [we] have to redo it and put fresh material down to handle the wear and tear,” Rogalsky said.
Overall, the construction on George Washington Way will positively affect the community and will likely last for 20 years.
“We have to put up with the inconvenience to have facilities that are able to support the way we like to travel. So it’s kind of the price of life,” Rogalsky said.