Category Archives: News

The Health of Small Businesses: Frodo Joe’s Follow Up

Frodo Joe’s, a cafe located in San Lorenzo, CA, though COVID-19 pandemic is still amongst the community, the small business is trying to preservice through the hardships. 

In March, Frodo Joes had to close its doors to indoor dining, just as many businesses had to across the country. In late June, the business opened up outdoor dining in their parking lot. A new experience for the cafe. 

Frodo Joe’s is a family-owned business with two locations, one in San Lorenzo and the other in Fremont. The business is most known for their delicious savory and dessert crepes. Togo orders continue, but now patrons can sit down for coffee and a fresh crepe.

The San Lorenzo location is managed by Emily, daughter of the owners, along with her staff behind her, young college students from the community. 

Emily expresses that the brightest side of the whole situation is the support from the community especially online, “A lot of my customers are posting to go and support Frodo Joe’s,” People have been posting to San Lorenzo’s Facebook to help keep business booming. 

New obstacles have popped up as the cafe tries to manage social distance guidelines outside. The landlord of the building granted the cafe four parking spaces for tables and chairs, all six feet apart from each other. “We can’t do parties more than six,” Emily expresses that she can move tables together, but has to stick to guidelines. 

Frodo Joe’s has always been a rather small space, and a seat at a table has always been a tricky task. However, Emily set new rules, “The customers have to pay for their food before they can get a table.” She understands that customers were used to saving their seats, “This way there won’t be any conflicts between customers.”

For the most part, people have been understanding as Emily puts it. Their business depends on being able to keep up with health and safety regulations, “We try to work as efficiently as possible. Inspectors do come to make sure tables are six feet apart, we sanitize all the tables and chairs.” 

Business overall is better, but there are setbacks that are unavoidable. Due to the wildfires that began early September, outside seating hasn’t been easy. On Sep. 9 the Bay Area skies were dark orange with a thick layer of smoke. The days following the air quality index (AQI) spiked over 200 categorized as very unhealthy. 

As of Sep. 21, the AQI is at 42 in San Lorenzo, categorized as Good. Emily says that slowly but surely business is building back up as the weather has improved. She expressed that the cafe is in a better position than before, “It’s better than nothing. At least right now I do have my supportive customers in the area.” 

Frodo Joe’s is located at 17665 Hesperian Blvd, San Lorenzo. The cafe opens at 6 am-5 pm Monday to Saturday and 8 am to 2 pm on Sunday. Emily and her staff are more than happy to see kind faces come by, with face masks while going inside. 

street mural of Ruth Bader Ginsburd face

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on September 18, 2020. Ginsburg was a trailblazer in her profession, as only the second-ever woman to serve on the US Supreme Court. She was an advocate of gender equality, a pop culture icon, and a role model for all women.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at the age of 87 due to complications related to pancreatic cancer.

Ginsburg served as a justice on the Supreme Court for 27 years after being appointed by President Bill Clinton. Before her time as a justice, she earned her Bachelor’s degree at Cornell. She then attended Harvard before transferring to Columbia Law School, where she graduated top of her class. Ginsburg experienced sexism throughout her education and her career as Law was not a profession women normally chose at the time. Her experiences pushed her to fight for gender equality so she and all women would be treated fairly in her position. After graduating from Law school she struggled to find a job. Eventually, she became the second-ever female Law professor at Rutgers University. Despite landing the job at Rutgers her fight against sexism continued as she had to fight for her pay to be equal to the men employed at Rutgers. After eventually joining Columbia as a Law Professor, she co-founded the Women’s Rights Project of ACLU. This is where she took on litigation of gender equality cases and fought the problem one law at a time, slowly changing the landscape of our legal system to recognize women’s equality in the workplace.

Before making her mark in law, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Neither of Ruth’s parents went to college but instead worked hard and pushed their children to better their lives through education. Her mother, Celia Bader, lost a battle to cancer and passed away while Ruth was still in high school. Ruth’s mother was a great influence on her and instilled the hard-working attitude Ruth carried on throughout her whole life.

While attending Cornell University Ruth met and married her husband Martin D. Ginsburg. After graduating from Cornell the couple’s first child Jane was born. Eventually, Martin took a job as a tax lawyer in New York. This led to Ruth transferring from Harvard to Columbia where she became the first woman to become a member of both schools Law Reviews. She then went on to have a law professor at Rutgers University followed by Columbia. During her tenure at Columbia, she took 6 cases before the supreme court winning 5 of them. After her impressive success against the supreme court in the 70s, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the US Court of Appeals in 1980 where she would work for the Supreme Court. This led to her eventual nomination, by President Bill Clinton, to join the Supreme Court in 1993.

In Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing, she leaves behind two children, four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Her daughter Jane Carol Ginsburg is 65 years old with two children and pursuing a career as a lawyer. Her son James Steven Ginsburg is 55 years old with two children and a grandchild. James is currently a record label executive. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg makes history one last time as she is the first woman ever to lie in state at the US Capitol. Mourners held a candlelight vigil on Saturday, September 18th outside of the Supreme Court. A private ceremony at the Capitol was held for Ginsburg on September 25th. Thousands lined up outside the Supreme Court to pay their respects as Ruth Bader Ginsburg lies in repose Wednesday, September 23rd, with many still mourning outside the building over the weekend.

Trump vs. TikTok

The Trump administration attempted to place a ban on the video-sharing app TikTok on sunday September 20th. This would have been the last day US citizens could download the Chinese owned app, but the ban is being temporarily blocked by a Federal Judge.

Federal Judge Carl Nichols wrote that although there is evidence of China being a threat to national security, “it was less clear that TikTok itself posed a risk.”

TikTok has over 100 million users in the US currently. In an executive order written by president Trump, he states, “This data collection (done by TikTok) threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information—potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.”

Secretary of state Mike Pompeo warns to only download TikTok, “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

President Trump announced his plan to ban the app on July 31st, just one month after teens using TikTok registered for thousands of free tickets to the President’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma to limit the number of attendees. This left thousands of seats empty after the administration promised to fill all seats.

President Trump has also insisted that instead of using a Chinese owned app people should use the new app Triller. Triller is almost completely similar to TikTok and has risen in popularity since the banning of TikTok.

The President and his son, Donald Trump Jr, are both verified and actively posting on Triller.

Trump Jr recently posted a 7 minute video on Triller attacking Tiktok and urging people to use Triller instead. He stated,“There’s an option that you can go to that’s an American company, that’s not saving your data, that’s not going to eventually weaponize it against your children.”

TikTok has admitted that their app, “automatically collects certain information from you when you use the Platform, including internet or other network activity information such as your IP address, geolocation-related data … unique device identifiers, browsing and search history.” However this is also true for every other social media app, including American owned app Facebook.

ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, has denied any sale of personal data to a third party and argued they do not store user data in China at all.

However, a conflicting report by encryption and cybersecurity company Protonmail warns, “the social media giant not only collects troves of personal data on you but also cooperates with the CCP, extending China’s surveillance and censorship reach beyond its borders.”

After failures to sell the App to an American based company TikTok’s answer to the ban is a lawsuit against the Trump administration. Their official statement regarding why the lawsuit was filed specifically, “By banning TikTok with no notice or opportunity to be heard (whether before or after the fact), the executive order violates the due process protections of the Fifth Amendment.”

TikTok was originally given a 45 day period after the September 20th ban to fix any cybersecurity issues and potentially be allowed back into business with Americans.

 However, since Judge Nichols put a halt to the ban, a new plan to have a US hearing decide the fate of TikTok was put into place.

The hearing is scheduled to take place the day after the Presidential election, and will officially decide whether TikTok will be allowed to remain in App stores.

person sitting at computer watching video focused on mental health

Mental Health during a Pandemic

A poll done in late April, by the Kaiser family foundation has reported that 56% of Americans have had at least one negative mental health effect related to the coronavirus outbreak and quarantine.

The number of people accumulating negative health effects is staggering. A report from Well Being Trust, a foundation that provides resources in prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental health and substance misuse issues, has stated that COVID-19 could lead to 75,000 additional deaths from alcohol, drug misuse, and suicide.

According to Sabrina Tinoco, a student living in Oakland and currently out of work because of the pandemic, her life in the pandemic has been difficult because “I’m used to being around my family and being away from them and not having those people to confide in has been difficult.”

As for different ways Tinoco has been coping with the pandemic, “I’ve been reading a lot more and walking my dog a lot.” Her response to the use of alcohol as a coping device, “honestly yes, I would say I definitely find myself drinking a glass of wine or two now more than I ever did before. Just because I am home and there’s only so much tv I can watch, I’m bored, so why not have a nightcap at 4 p.m.”

As for her outlook on the future of the pandemic, “I don’t feel like we’ll ever get back to normal, but I feel like we’ll have fewer restrictions. Even if it’s not required, I’ll always bring a mask with me in the future just to be cautious.”

Danny Chavez, a San Francisco State alum who now lives in Oakland, explained how his life has changed since the pandemic stated, “my world has pretty much shrunk. I’m home all the time, and I go out very rarely, maybe once every other week.”

Describing the effect the pandemic has had on Chavez’ mental health, “it does get to be too much but you just have to think, I’m going to be working from home for all of next year and this is my reality that I have to make it work. So, there are difficult times, but you just have to break through those. There are times where you get a bit of cabin fever, and you drink just because you’re bored, but I don’t think it’s gotten out of control.”

One connection that has been made between the interviewees in their handling of the pandemic is the use of alcohol to help get through the more challenging days. According to a report in June done by market research firm Nielsen, this seems to be a growing theme across the country as alcohol sales increased by 27% since the start of the pandemic.

World Health Officials have warned that consuming large amounts of alcohol is an “unhelpful coping strategy” during the pandemic and recommends finding alternative methods.

David Irving, Mental Health Coordinator at Chabot, stated, “There are things to be mindful of, and there are things that you could add to feel better. Be mindful of certain vices people use to help themselves feel better, like drinking or taking drugs. Just have some awareness of how much and how often you’re doing that.”

Irving continued, “Make sure you’re adding to your life things that make you feel good. Going on walks, getting out of your house, going on drives. All those things can help you get a little feeling of control.”

If you need help finding alternative methods, Chabot college is doing its best to help students struggling during COVID-19 and have plenty of resources available for those who need it.

Alongside its regular scheduled counseling appointments, the school is offering online drop-in meetings with counselors. Chabot will also soon be announcing walk-in hours for students to check in with a therapist by logging onto Cranium Cafe. Available days for sessions will be Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

To reach out for help today the CARES Mental Health Center is offering services online. To contact them simply email [email protected] or call at 510-723-7623 and leave a voice message. Voice messages are checked daily Monday through Thursday.

Boycott Mulan Hit Trending

The live-action remake of Mulan premiered on Disney+ On Sep. 4. While Disney attempted to make a more accurate telling of the story, fans were disappointed with every aspect that went into the making of this film.  

Parts of the movie were filmed in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, (XUAR) China, a southern region in the country where over 1mil Uyghur Muslims are currently being detained in concentration camps. Disney had even thanked the Turpan Public Safety Bureau that’s involved with the camps, in the Mulan end credits. 

#BoycottMulan has been all over the media, people are refusing to support the movie, and Disney as a whole. 

A letter has been sent to the CEO of Disney, Bob Chapek, by 19 bipartisan members of Congress to question Disney involvement with this region as reported by Axious news on Sep 12. 

Key aspects of the letter are highlighted in this article including: “that Disney explains its cooperation with XUAR authorities, including what contractual agreements were made, Disney executives’ awareness of the political complexities of the region, what local labor was used and what Disney policies exist on prohibiting relationships with human rights abusers.”

Disney has yet to make any public statement. 

Liu Yfiel 33 is a Chinese born-American actress who stars as the new Mulan. Liu has been under fire as she has been very public of her support for the Hong Kong police that has been on the scene as protests that began Aug. 2019.

Liu stated in her online post, “I support Hong Kong’s police, you can beat me up now. What a shame for Hong Kong.”

BBC News explained the extraction bill that started the protest, “the proposed changes would have allowed for the Hong Kong government to consider requests from any country for the extradition of criminal suspects, even countries with which it doesn’t have an extradition treaty and including mainland China, Taiwan, and Macau.” 

Liu’s statement left many upset and initially caused one of the first reasons why people wanted to boycott the 2020 Mulan. 

Everyone who worked to create the movie was white. Fans quickly realized that there weren’t any Chinese people telling a Chinese story. 

Disney has proven to be able to tell authentic stories focused on cultures. Pixar Studios (owned by Disney) received massive praise for its creation of the film Coco. The movie centered around Mexican culture and family values. While the film was directed by a white male, Lee Unkrich, he knew he couldn’t tell this story authentically without true representation. 

Unkrich thus brought along co-director Adrian Molina, a man of Mexican descent. The creators of Coco spent countless hours in Mexico, working with artists and musicians, to learn every aspect they could to achieve one of Pixar’s most celebrated films. 

 Mulan costs $29.99 to stream on Disney+. Although the film remains unlocked as long as you are a subscriber to the app, it will be available for free on Dec. 4. Many fans were upset with the pricing considering that they already have to pay to be a member and didn’t believe the film was worth the money. 

Paola Hernandez, a student at UC Berkeley and Disney superfan, was initially excited for the film when the first trailer was released. She was emotional and, “felt a little teary-eyed,” as Hernandez put it. The original Mulan is in Hernandez’s top five favorite Disney movies. 

Songs featured in the original include “Reflection” and “I’ll make a man out of you” which has over 124 mil views on Youtube. These are seen as Disney songs classics. 

The 2020 Mulan had no singing but did quote the lyrics throughout the movie. This left Hernandez unimpressed, “It felt cheesy. Why even use the line if they’re not gonna sing it?” Hernandez felt that all the aspects she enjoyed as a child were taken out of the movie. 

Hernandez does not recommend, and would rather stick to re-watching the original. 

A Battle for USPS

With the pandemic still upon us, mail-in voting is probably the safest method for voting this election. Still, President Trump is making it all the more difficult for the United States Postal Service to get the job done. 

On Jul. 19, Chris Wallace sat with President Trump on Fox News. “I think mail-in is going to rig the election,” Trump responded when Wallace asked if the President is a good loser.

Wallace questioned Trump, “Are you suggesting that you might not accept the results for the election?”

“I have to see,” Trump stated. 

Besides the spread of mail-in fraud by President Trump, he’s been attempting to block donation founds to the UPSP. 

New postmaster general, a top republican campaign donor, Louis Dejoy imposed cost-cutting measures that have pushed mail back by weeks. Dejoy donated over 1.5 million dollars to both of the Trump campaigns. 

On Sep. 4, the Texas Tribune reported on the hypocrisy of Texas republicans trying to stop the expansions of mail-in voting while at the same time encouraging his voters to use it. 

Early mail-in voting is ideal for making sure votes are received on time, especially with the mail’s larger expectancy due to the pandemic.

In the state of Texas, early mail-in voting is only permitted if you meet any of the following:

  • 65 years or older;
  • disabled;
  • out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance; or
  • confined in jail, but otherwise eligible.

The article reports that Nathan Hecht, the chief of the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court stated citizens don’t need to prove their disability to request early mail-in voting, “all they have to do is say, ‘I want (a mail-in ballot) because in my view I need one.’”

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called the expansion of the mail-in voting as “A scam by the Democrats,” that would ultimately lead “To the end of America.” Texas Grand Old Party (GOP) spokesperson, Luke Twombly, confirmed to the Texas Tribune that they had sent out ballot applications. But didn’t answer the question of how they could determine that mail-in voting is fraudulent. 

The Texas Tribune wrapped up by stating that, “The Texas Democratic Party is still fighting in court to expand eligibility for mail-in voting for voters younger than 65, though it’s becoming increasingly unclear if that litigation will be resolved in time for the general election.”

The President’s attempts to stop the USPS has caused a large outpour of frustration from both Democrats and Republicans. On Aug. 13 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) tweeted to President Trump stating, “Let’s make a deal, Mr. President: You release your college transcript, I’ll release mine, and we’ll see who was the better student. Loser has to fund the Post Office.” 

This was tweeted out after a conference with President Trump was released with him staging, “AOC was a poor student … this is not even a smart person, other than she’s got a good line of stuff. I mean, she goes out and she yaps.” 

Republican Party chairman in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Rohn Bishop stated, “What the president is doing when he keeps saying that this mail-in balloting thing is fraudulent.” Bishops claim this only hurts themselves.

Golden Gate Bridge side by side comparison of wildfire smoke

Wildfires in the Bay Area

In the third week of August, the state of California experienced a massive lightning storm, which in turn led to an outbreak of more than 500 wildfires and more than 2 million acres burned. 

On Aug. 18, Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency for the whole state of California. According to Newsom, the storm caused a surge of close to 12,000 strikes over 72 hours, creating about 560 wildfires. 

The SCU and LNU Lightning Complex fires are two of the larger fires that started because of the storm. As of Sept. 14, both fires have been at least 95% contained, burning over 765,000 acres combined, as reported by Cal Fire. Since the start of fires across the state, more than 2 million acres have already been burned. 

The SCU and LNU Lightning Complex fires are some of the largest wildfires in California state history. The SCU fire currently affects six counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Merced, Stanislaus, San Joaquin, and Santa Clara. While the LNU fire affects another five: Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo, and Solano. 

The SCU Lightning Complex fire started as multiple fires on Aug. 16, eventually merging into one large fire that’s been broken into two branches; Branch I and Branch II – making it the third-largest fire in state history. The same unusual lightning storm that sparked the SCU fire sparked the LNU fire just a day before, making it the fourth-largest fire. 

Cal Fire reports that at least five people have died in the LNU Complex fire, with three of the civilians from Napa and the other two from Solano county. Another five people have been injured in the fire, four of them are civilians. Fortunately, there aren’t any fatalities reported from the SCU blaze. However, another four civilians were injured, along with two firefighters.

Considering the number of acres burned, the property damage done by the SCU fires is lower than that of its smaller counterpart, the LNU Complex fire. As of Sept. 14, the SCU fire has destroyed 136 structures and damaged 26 structures, according to Cal Fire. However, the damage following the LNU fires is much bigger, with almost 1,500 buildings destroyed, and another 232 damaged. 

Andrew Rego, 21, a student in the fire program at Chabot, gives some insight into wildfires and the causes behind them. 

When asked why wildfires are so hard to contain, Rego explained that  “flammable debris, such as dry grass, and heavy winds will expand fires much easier and faster. Compared to a wetter climate, with little to no wind and minimal flammable objects, wildfires become much easier to contain.”

Rego claimed that there are many factors to take into consideration when a wildfire breaks out. One must look at wind patterns, how far the fire spreads out, and evacuation plans must be made for citizens and animals in preparation for the worst. 

On top of fires blazing across the state, COVID-19 has made it difficult for firefighters in training. According to Jeffrey Barton, the Fire Program Coordinator at South Bay Regional Public Safety Training, “with COVID and the numerous amounts of fires, training is not ranked higher than safety and preservation of life.”

South Bay Regional Public Safety Training, or The Academy, leads the way in providing high quality, cost-effective public safety training to approximately 2700 full-time equivalent students (FTEs) each year, including professionals from more than 70 city and county agencies, according to their website. 

“Prior to the fires, fire training was already restricted due to the state’s COVID response. Unless it is prescheduled virtual training, most face-to-face training was canceled,” Barton said in response to whether the fires affected training. Barton also added that the effect that COVID had on training was the most challenging thing they faced this year. 

Even without the addition of COVID, “training during wildfire season is impossible to coordinate” Many Cal-Fire agencies are already deployed and were unavailable for email or contact, according to Barton. 

By the start of Labor Day weekend, northern California had issued another air alert, for a recording-breaking third week in a row. This alert comes after another intense heatwave that hit California the weekend before. Higher temperatures could start new wildfires and increase harmful levels of smog and air quality. 

 Since the start of the fires, air quality has plummeted. As reported by USA Today, California’s air quality is worse than India’s; a country that contains more than 1 billion people. Major cities, if not all, are affected by the harmful air, already increasing the high risk of pulmonary disease due to COVID-19. 

As stated by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index, on Aug. 31, one-third of the state was considered to have unhealthy air for all of the general public. These areas included in their assessment were the San Francisco Bay Area, Fresno, and Sacramento. Exposure to harmful air can lead to serious health complications. 

According to the CDC, symptoms caused by breathing in unhealthy air and wildfire smoke could be coughing, asthma attacks, wheezing, and trouble breathing. By limiting outdoor exercise and wearing an N95 mask, you can reduce smoke exposure and breathing in harmful air. 

Abortion in Quarantine

The coronavirus has everyone concerned with their health. Facemasks and gloves are a must during this time — but some lawmakers are using coronavirus to push a different healthcare agenda.

In February 2020, Florida state legislators passed a bill requiring minors to ask for parental consent when seeking an abortion. As COVID-19 slowly began to spread, Republican Governor Greg Abbott of Texas ordered an immediate halt to all non-necessary surgeries — including abortions where the mother’s life is not at risk. 

In an interview with Vice News, one 17-year-old “Jane Doe” explained the process of getting an abortion in Florida. Fortunately, she was able to get a judicial bypass: the approval from a judge to receive the abortion, so long as the request was filed in the same county as the minor lives. After reaching out to Jane’s Due Process, a facility that helps women navigate the abortion system, she explained how the legal system treated her.

“[The judge] asked why I didn’t want to go through with the pregnancy, and if I knew the abortion could risk my fertility. That kind of scared me, but the person I was talking to at Jane’s Due Process already prepared me for that and told me that wasn’t true.”

According to Dr. Jen Gunter of the New York Times, abortion is not linked to a risk of infertility, as shown in data collected by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

As of March 1, only 29 states require that sex-education be given, 27 of which include HIV and AIDS education. As for Florida, sex-ed options are left up to the various school districts, many of which follow abstinence-only teaching.

Other restrictions in Florida include:

  • In-person, state-mandated counseling is necessary in order to influence the decision of the person seeking an abortion. 
  • An ultrasound is required before the abortion occurs; these two can happen on the same day. 
  • Only a licensed physician can perform the abortion, regardless of the qualifications of other healthcare professionals. 

In regards to the Texas abortion ban, neighboring states have seen an increase in their abortion rates as a result. NPR reports that “clinics in Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada saw 129 patients from Texas between March 23 and April 14, compared with 16 Texas patients during the entire month of February.”

But as Dr. Kristina Tocce explains in her NPR interview, these restrictions ultimately endanger women in more ways than one, as travel is not currently safe. The fight against abortion risks the safety of countless people.
There are more than one health concerns to consider during this pandemic. Fortunately, there are still facilities and officials fighting for women’s right to choose. Many Planned Parenthood locations are still open with reduced hours. See for more information and how help is still available.

Social Distance for All

Despite proof that social distance guidelines have been effective with slowing the growth rate of the COVID-19 virus, Americans are protesting for stay at home orders to end.

On April 30, protesters gathered around the state capitol in Michigan after the news that Governor Gretchen Whitmer plans to extend the stay at home order. Protestors also gathered around the Governor’s home right outside her driveway.

Protestors spoke and shared their concerns with their small business and the Governor’s lack of prioritizing them.

FOX News spoke with Charlie Hurt, opinion editor for the Washington Post and FOX News contributor. “The problem comes when you have politicians who appear to be acting in their political best interest.”

Hurt questions Gov. Whitmer’s true intention to extend the stay at home order and believes it’s a tactic for convincing Joe Biden to select her as his Vice President.

A study done at the University of Kentucky (UK) had been released by the Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise suggests that social distancing and stay at home orders are working.

The report was done by professors of Gatton College of Business and Economics at the UK, as well as fellow professors working in the department of economics. 

The report, Did Social-Distancing Measures in Kentucky Help to Flatten the COVID-19 Curve?, takes confirmed cases of COVID-19 in counties of Kentucky, comparing them to neighboring counties, such as counties in Tennessee. 

The report describes the matters of how a region would have been affected by the virus with no official government restriction in place, with only strictly voluntary self-distancing, or if the region was put under restrictions. 

Aaron Yelowitz, one of the Kentucky professors who worked on the report spoke with LEX18 News on May 1. “The social distancing measures, the stay at home orders, the closing of dining at restaurants, dramatically bent the curve and saved lives,” Yelowitz stated in regards to the spread of COVID-19.

The report states that instead of 4,000 confirmed cases of the virus by April 26, it would have been up to 45,000 with an additional 2,000 deaths. 

Yelowitz told LEX18 News that there’s something to learn from neighboring states as Kentucky will begin to reopen business on May 11, “I think it’s too early.” 

On the widely known app TikTok, users are using this outlet to express their frustrations with people not wanting to comply with social distance guidelines. 

Samantha Lee Hager began her video by briefly explaining the Michigan protests, “but that’s not even the part that pisses me off,” the woman goes into listing peaceful protests against social injustice that were all shut down by police and or faced charges. 

Hager ends her video with her frustrations with the fact that Michigan protesters were being aggressive, ignoring social distance guidelines, forcing themselves into the capitol building while carrying firearms. 

“None of them are arrested and if that isn’t discrimination I don’t know what is,” Hager said. 

@lakewoodpapi shared his belief in the selfishness of the people wanting states to reopen, “it was to force everyone else to go back to work, so they (conservatives) could enjoy life again.” The young man also adds that the majority of the people who would be at risk of the reopenings would be people of color. 

The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) have detailed tips on how to social distance:

  • Follow guidance from authorities where you live.
  • If you need to shop for food or medicine at the grocery store or pharmacy, stay at least 6 feet away from others
  • Use mail-order for medications, if possible.
  • Consider a grocery delivery service.
  • Avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis, if possible.

More information on the CDC website:

Link for the full UK report: 

Graduation Ceremony Will Be Virtual

Chabot College’s 58th Annual Commencement Ceremony will be conducted online this year due to the shelter-in-place order preventing large public gatherings. Previous commencements have been livestreamed before, but this will be the first to be online-only.

The Commencement will be hosted on a website that will become available to view on Saturday, May 23, at 9 a.m. The ceremony will include videos of speakers and a slideshow of the graduates.

Graduating students must have submitted their information and a photo of themselves in the cap and gown by Wednesday, May 13, at 8:59 p.m. to be included in the slideshow. Students who did not order a cap and gown were allowed to send an appropriate alternative photo.

Graduates could log in to the website by using their Zonemail accounts. The Commencement website is being operated by the media company Envision Pro AV.

The petition-to-graduate due date was extended to April 17 from the original date of April 1. The due date to order a cap and gown provided for free this year was April 20.

“We just wanted to do our best to celebrate the amazing success of our graduates despite the shelter in place,” said Dr. Matthew Kritscher, Vice President of Student Services.

All students were invited to participate if they have met or will meet graduation requirements for a Certificate or Degree at the end of Fall 2019, Spring 2020, or Summer 2020 semesters.

Still, some remain disappointed about the substitution.

“I feel like it’s not really a celebration. I feel like it should have been postponed…,” said Navin Bansal, a graduating Chabot student.

Speakers for the day will include Chancellor Ronald Gerhard, College President Susan Sperling, and “Senate Leadership,” according to the website. The keynote speaker, Danny Munoz, is a graduating student who is part of Alpha Gamma Sigma, Indigenous Peoples Club, and RISE, as well as a tutor.

“When I was asked [to be the speaker], I felt that I should do it because where I come from, stuff like this doesn’t happen every day,” said Munoz. “I feel like I can shine a light on an underrepresented and misunderstood population. I’m formerly incarcerated, and I want everyone to know that we can overcome the stigma.”

For more information, see the official Commencement information page at the Chabot website: