Tag Archives: Covid19

An international divide: COVID-19 vaccine mandates

Across the world, thousands of individuals have chosen not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine shot. As of October 27–the time I am writing this —3 billion people worldwide have obtained the vaccine. Many countries have sat back and waited, including President Joe Biden, who recently lost patience with anti-vaccine activists. Many people have split opinions on the topic of mandates, especially in the United States. Many Democrats support the use of vaccinations and masks.

Meanwhile, many Republicans ignore the health restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of COVID. A similar type of politics occurs not just in the United States but throughout every country. Citizens of Italy and Canada, among others, have hosted demonstrations to protest specific vaccine mandates subject to public employees. Though their governments have the health of their citizens in the best interest, people do not want to follow the “unconstitutional guidelines.”

Starting in Europe, the Italian government introduced a mandate for all public workers to show a government-issued COVID pass on October 15. According to an article from CNN, people must have a “green pass” as proof of either full vaccination, recent recovery from infection, or a negative test. The punishment for not showing this is a 1,500 euro fine ($1,730) and suspension without pay. In Trieste, a large port in the northeast corner of Italy, 6,000 people participated in a demonstration threatening to block operations. Fabio Bocin, a port worker in Trieste, said, “The green pass is a bad thing, it is discrimination under the law. Nothing more. It’s not a health regulation, it’s just a political move to create division among people.” Police in riot gear blocked off another rally in Rome. However, a certificate has been in effect on long-distance trains and indoor venues since September 1, 2021.

Embed from Getty Images

According to a CBC article, 2,000 people rallied in Calgary, Alberta, to protest vaccine mandates and COVID public health measures. Most of the protestors work for government and health offices, which require employees to receive two doses of the COVID vaccine. COVID-19 patients fill nearly 700 hospital beds in Alberta, and about 2,400 people have died in the province. Just last week, ICU beds were at 130% capacity. One of the saddest parts of this is people have started comparing the Holocaust to vaccine mandates. They say that the genocide committed towards Jews in the 1940s relates to the order forcing public workers to receive the vaccine. Other rallies were scheduled in Edmonton and Lethbridge later in the week.

Many people in Massachusetts, on the other hand, support a mandate in the state. According to a survey from the COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States, 75% of Massachusetts adults want a universal vaccine mandate. Some other results include: 71% support mandates for kids at school, and 78% support a mandate for college students. The Boston Globe reported that numbers are about ten points lower than those in Massachusetts. The political divide, in terms of COVID, around the country is backed by multiple surveys. 10 of the 11 most supportive states of a mandate lean Democratic, while 18 of the least supportive states lean Republican.

Embed from Getty Images

COVID-19 has run rampant in the United States over the past 18 months. With the vaccine’s introduction in December 2020, many people thought we were nearing the end of the road. Though we are still amid the pandemic, vaccine mandates can help convince holdouts to give in. Like the rallies and protests in Italy and Canada, people have submitted lawsuits against state directives. A report from the Wall Street Journal states that most judges have struck down the challenges. Judges in Maine, Oregon, and Massachusetts upheld a vaccination requirement for government employees. Nationally, US President Joe Biden has talked about implementing a vaccination requirement for private companies.

As reported by CNBC, Republican officials and small businesses are gearing up to challenge a mandate that will apply to 130,000 businesses in the United States. Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order that bars anyone from mandating vaccines in Texas, though he is vaccinated. “I will never ask a Texan to do something I’m not willing to do myself,” was something he said in December before receiving his shot. We see many of the same beliefs throughout the Republican Party, with government officials choosing to get the vaccine but opposing vaccine regulations. Nearly every GOP attorney general signed a letter to the President in opposition. However, David Vladeck, a professor from Georgetown University, stated, “States, however, probably don’t have legal standing to challenge the rule.” This stands in line with the previous lawsuits article from the Wall Street Journal. It is tough to argue against a mandate to combat one of the most significant public health crises.

COVID vaccine mandates are necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Through all the protests and lawsuits around the world, people continue to divide the country politically. It may be impossible to convince some right-wing Conservatives to receive a vaccine. However, GOP officials, especially Donald Trump, need to step up and widely support vaccines. Without the majority of the world vaccinated, the pandemic may never end.

Alex Kwas is a freshman member of The Quill

The confusion of post-quarantine education

With the two-week reprieve from school in March of 2020 finally ending months later, educators are forced to confront the future of the US school system. With the future uncertain, who can we turn to? What were the benefits, if any, of online learning? What struggles did it pose? What was best for educators, and what was best for students? How does one teach an art-based class virtually? Ryan Foti is an art teacher at Mount Saint Joseph High School. He has been teaching multiple art classes for twelve years, and by 2020 had formed a sort of “classroom flow.”

“Well, I mean, with us in the arts program, there’s a bit of an introduction, and then there’s a lot of work time, and then there’s a reflection.” In a normal year. But as we are brutally aware, 2020 was not a typical year. When asked if a lack of in-person instruction had a significant effect on productivity, Mr. Foti responded: “I see this year (2021) and the year before (2019) and compare it to that 2020 year, and the difference is exponential.” And that, while in person, “In a matter of one and a half seconds I can survey my entire room, see how they’re doing, and identify who needs help and who can be pushed harder.” The benefit of a working classroom, where a teacher can simply walk up behind a student, glance over their work, and offer off-the-cuff instruction is impossible in an online environment. 

Embed from Getty Images

The sudden switch to the most extended two-week reprieve from school posed new challenges. “Everyone has a different device,” Mr. Foti stated, “some students were working with iPads, some were working with computers, so changing what I was doing was really dependant on access to stuff.” The issue stemmed not from a lack of access to technology, as Mount Saint Joseph provides iPads to all their students, however from the variety of technology. “You were teaching the same thing but three different ways: this is how you do it on a computer, this is how you do it on an iPad, and this is how you do it on a phone. Oh, none of those are working cause everything is out? Ok, well, you can draw on a piece of paper and use that as a way to brainstorm. It was a lot of, like, a lot of pivoting. Pivot was a big word.”

Pivoting is nothing new to teachers. In the last two decades, schools have had to rethink how they teach. As technology becomes more and more integrated into our daily lives, it becomes more and more necessary in educational environments. Advances in science and math can entirely change curriculums. History changes daily, and some courses such as English have the opportunity to cover a different curriculum (to an extent) every year. Mr. Foti believes that “being able to adapt to students, and their needs is what makes you (the teacher) and your students effective.”

A shift in learning resulted in a change in schedule. Students at Mount Saint Joseph transitioned from a schedule that included eight 40 minute periods in a given day to four 45 minute periods in a day with longer teacher office hours, giving students the ability to meet in small groups via zoom. The schedule also had “off days,” where students would not have a class every day. In a regular schedule, students would have the same classes every day. In the distanced learning schedule, students would have half of their classes one day and the other half the next day. “It works well for the arts because having more time is actually a benefit for us,” Mr. Foti commented, “I would take those off days and say it was an expectation that they did some work for my class on those off days… some did and some didn’t.”

The schedule ultimately changed to become a hybrid schedule, where the student body was split into “cohorts.” These cohorts would alternate days that they would meet in person (cohort 1 was in school on Mondays and Wednesdays, cohort 2 was in school on Tuesdays and Thursdays), and the cohort that was not in school physically attended via zoom. Mr. Foti believes that students and faculty alike were “split between two places;” students couldn’t establish their usual “class culture” that came with being fully in person or online. School serves as many students’ social cocoons, allowing them to develop social skills and collaborate with peers in a way they may not be able to if isolated. 

Where are we headed? What do all these changes mean for the future of education? Mr. Foti believes that the year spent teaching virtually served as a sort of “forced boot camp for a lot of teachers to up their game in terms of 21st-century skills;” in that teachers were forced to relearn how to teach utilizing the advancements in technology we have seen in the last twenty years. Teachers now engage students more rather than encourage the regurgitation of information. Moving forward, we may have opportunities to take classes with students from other countries; however, nothing will replace the classroom flow that in-person school accomplishes.

Connor Sciullo is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class

How will the COVID-19 vaccine be distributed?

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

As we progress into the winter months, and people stay indoors longer, this likely means the Coronavirus will be easier to spread. We are in need of a vaccine and fast. Luckily, the government has received doses of the vaccine. Now it’s just a matter of distributing the vaccine to the rest of the nation. The question is, how is the distribution process going to work?

First of all, it’s important to understand how much each state is being affected by the virus, because that could change how they are distributed. Currently, according to the CDC COVID data tracker, states like California, Nevada, Arizona, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee are the states with the most cases in the last seven days. Meanwhile, states like Vermont, Montana, Washington, Minnesota, Wyoming and Oregon have the least amount of cases in the last seven days. 

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

With the knowledge of which states are affected by the virus the most and least, now we can determine how the government is going to distribute the vaccine. It is ultimately up to the state governors to determine how they want to distribute the vaccine. According to the CDC, it is recommended that the vaccine should be distributed in phases. The first phase would include healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents. The second phase includes frontline essential workers and people who are 75 years or older. The final phase includes people who are between 65-74 and people who are 16-64 with underlying medical conditions, along with other essential workers. Following these phases, the vaccines would then be administered to the rest of the population not covered in these tiers.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Despite the CDC’s recommendation on how to distribute the vaccine, not every state will choose to follow the recommendation. For example, Florida is not following the recommendations but is instead using a first come first serve method, while trying to prioritize the elderly and healthcare workers. While some people might agree with this method, others may disagree with this method either because of Florida’s decision to not follow the CDC’s recommendations or because they don’t like the distribution process. According to a CNN article from December 30, 2020, a man named Bruce Scott arrived at the vaccination site at 1:30 a.m. and waited in a line for about 8 or 9 hours to get vaccinated, saying, “Although I’m grateful to get the vaccine, I feel that there’s got to be a better way to distribute this.” He later adds, “For people that really need it, elderly that might be disabled in some way, they can’t endure this process, so there’s got to be a better way to manage this.”

The Trump administration expected to vaccinate about 20 million people by the end of December. However, only about 1 million people were vaccinated in December, that’s about 19 million short of the goal. So far in 2021, as of January 11, approximately 9 million Americans have received at least the first dose of the vaccine, and according to officials, the hope was that 50 million Americans would have been vaccinated by the end of January. It looks pretty unlikely that America will reach that expected goal.

President-elect Joe Biden spoke about his 100 day COVID response plan on December 29th. 

On January 20th, Joe Biden will be inaugurated into office as the 46th President of the United States. As he inherits a system that is behind in distribution, it’s going to be interesting to see how well he sticks to his 100 day challenge to turn the tides on the pandemic. It’s expected that Biden will follow the CDC’s recommendations for vaccine distribution, but the question is: Is he going to distribute them as quickly as he says he will?


Andrew Gonder is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class

Living In quarantine: Reflecting on the era of the mask

Quarantine has been a period of uncertainty and confusion for millions of people across the country, and even across the world. The drastic changes that occured have affected everyone’s day-to-day life and have contributed to a new way of life that will continue to have its effects even after the restrictions are fully lifted.

During this period of being stuck indoors and social distancing, I have tried to make the most out of my situation with anything I can think of from off the top of my head. Being a Boy Scout, our motto is “Be Prepared,” and boy was I prepared to take on any challenges that presented themselves this year during social distancing.

Embed from Getty Images

Just like everyone else, I was not expecting the sudden shutdown that occurred. I was aware that the virus did exist, and that it would make its way to America, but I was surprised with how quickly it spread across the globe, and how soon many businesses and even schools were forced to shut down. I, along with everyone else at Mount St. Joseph, spent the remainder of our school year from March to June at home, completely digital. The transition period was weird, but oddly exciting. It was a new and unfamiliar medium of learning to everyone at school, both teachers and students alike.

I will not say that school was “easier” for me during the time spent at home, but I did enjoy the ability to work from the comforts and safety of my own home rather than the physical environment of the school.

When I wasn’t studying for the AP US History exam or finishing any homework assignments I had for the evening, I often found myself doing what I always enjoy doing in my free time: drawing and sketching. I have been an artist for several years, but I’ve become more accustomed to cartoon drawing and sketching more than ever. Drawing helped me relieve a lot of the stress and uncertainty I felt during the transition period, and made me feel more comfortable to work more at my own pace. Besides regular schoolwork and assignments, I was working further on my National History Day project for the competition. Since I love drawing cartoons, I decided to create a documentary on minority representation in cartoons and comic strips.

Last year, I made it further than I imagined I would, and had climbed all the way to the Maryland State level competition. Even though I didn’t win the Maryland competition, I won an award for Excellence in African American History. I was shocked to win this award, and I’ll always regard it as one of my greatest achievements. However, like they say, “All good things must come to an end,” and before I knew it, the school year was over, and summer break had begun. 

Going into summer felt like a continuation of the free time I had during the day after school hours. The scenery around me changed, but the mood of being at home was a constant feeling throughout my time at home, and still feels that way even during this new digital school year. That’s not to say my summer was filled with doing nothing, quite the opposite actually. During the early days of the summer, I took a summer class, Intro to Digital Art. In this class, I became accustomed to all of the inner workings of Photoshop, and how to manipulate pictures and create my own digital masterpieces.

Even after the class has long since finished, I still used the skills I obtained on a day-to-day basis in my free time, as I am always looking for ways to increase my artistic horizons and expand my own abilities. I even was able to pick up two freelance graphic artists jobs this summer, creating characters for academic curriculum assignments for teachers. Like I had said earlier, doing art is something I enjoy doing, so having the opportunities to continue doing what I love doing was more than enough to keep my attention engaged for the summer.

Besides the summer class, I participated in many other activities. To start, I am a rider on the MSJ Mountain Biking Team. Although there are no races this season due to safety concerns during these uncertain times, I still have attended the weekly practices. In addition to sports, my family and I also took numerous sightseeing day trips, such as going to LaDew Topiary Gardens, a botanical garden, Gettysburg, a historic Civil War battlefield, hiking at Susquehanna State Park, canoeing at Tuckahoe State Park, and visiting the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in DC, just to name a few. Even though I was stuck inside with the restrictions of social distancing for the second half of the school year, and the entirety of my 2020 summer, I still enjoyed everything I did, even the small things like riding around the neighborhood on my bike, or taking my dogs for walks.

I always try to savor the moment, especially when I’m with family, like going on picnics, having a movie night, play board games, or even eating dinner together. I was far from unprepared from making the most out of quarantine, and looking back, I’m happy I accomplished everything I could; while wearing a mask when in public, of course!

Jackson Reichardt is a junior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

Why doesn’t everyone wear a mask?

Embed from Getty Images

These past six months I have spent a lot of time observing the different ways people have responded to COVID-19, and I noticed that there are two kinds of people: those who care about the fact that we are in the midst of a pandemic, and those who simply do not.

Among those who don’t care are people who refuse to wear face masks.  Not only do they neglect to, but some reject the notion entirely.

But why? Wearing a mask seems like such an insignificant thing to have to get used to, right?

Unfortunately, there are many people who don’t see it that way.  These “anti-maskers” have a variety of reasons for not wearing a mask.  The arguments I have gleaned most often are all easily refutable.

  1. “I don’t care if I get it, my own health is up to me.”

While it’s true your health is ultimately up to you, COVID-19 is spreads easily.  If you contract it and continue to go out, you are putting others at risk, not just yourself.

  1. “Wearing a mask won’t even protect me.”

Again, only a small portion of this is true.  Face masks will not prevent the spread by 100%, and may not even protect you completely, but it will protect others from you.  Furthermore, if the people around you are also wearing masks, they are protecting you from themselves. Neat, now you’re all protected.

Embed from Getty Images
  1. “Having to wear a mask impedes my First Amendment rights.”

No it doesn’t.  A mask mandate does not impede your freedom of speech, religion, press, or assembly.  Nothing about a mask mandate is inherently unconstitutional.

  1. “I can’t breathe with the mask on.”

In most cases, and situations, yes you can.  The masks are designed to allow breathing while preventing droplets from spreading.  They do not restrict oxygen. It may be uncomfortable, but it won’t suffocate you.

  1. “The coronavirus isn’t even bad. The media is blowing it out of proportion.”

This argument is dangerous.  While “the media” relies on garnering an audience, the numbers and information are handled by health officials.  It is objectively true that COVID-19 has killed thousands, over 200,000 in America alone. The World Health Organization were the ones that declared COVID-19 a pandemic, not CNN.

There are various conspiracy theories about the masks and COVID-19, but I don’t feel the need to argue against them.

It is sad that while thousands of people die in the country, there will always be some that refuse to do what is right.  I understand why people will be emotionally charged in a time like this, but it is important to recognize the objectives: we are in the midst of a pandemic, and for the greater good of our country, we must do what we can to prevent it.

Moral of the story: wear a mask.

Gabriel Henstrand is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

A Freshman’s Guide to Quarantine

Chapter 1. Life Before Quarantine

To introduce myself, my name is Danny Palmer. I’m writing this based on my experiences with this quarantine to hopefully help those who read persevere until life returns to normal. 

Speaking of normal, for me life was good up to quarantine. I had just begun to really enjoy my freshman year of high school. I enjoyed all of my classes, I was in fun extracurricular activities, and I was finding good friends. 

One of my favorite classes was English. Not only because I had just published the same piece twice, in “The Quill” and MSJ’s amazing English teachers’ book called “Insights.” But also because that was the time of year when freshmen at Mount Saint Joseph would be working on their Solutions Showcase Project. It was fun because everyone’s project was different in a way. Some guys built objects like instruments or made podcasts on sports or another subject they enjoyed. 

I was working on a stuffed animal donation drive for kids who were experiencing some kind of trauma in their lives. My project was going very smoothly up to quarantine. I was working on a poster I planned to hang up around the school. I also was calling Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, The Ronald McDonald House, and Stuffed Animals for Emergencies to see if they would like to be a part of the drive and collect the donations. The next step for me was to start the drive throughout the school with the permission from Miss Coyne to collect the stuffed animals. 

Besides organizing the school drive, almost every day after school I was able to participate in MSJ’s show “Newsies.” In the show I played the character of Les. This was my first show I’d ever been in. Auditioning for this show helped me find my passion and helped me gain this confidence to do more. Being able to go to rehearsals with my friends was the highlight of my day every time. I was even planning on going to the Spring Formal Dance with a girl that I met at rehearsals.

A little more about myself. I love to do art. All of my classes were great and I loved doing all of them, but art is my favorite. I found the art room to be my safe haven in school. It was a great place to go and relax. I was also in the art club that was held almost every Wednesday after school in the art room.

Besides the art room and rehearsals, being in my homeroom was another highlight of my day. I got to see all my friends, most of whom were in the show. Some of my friends and I also loved going to the games especially during the basketball season. 

Then word of the Coronavirus started spreading around the world and we heard rumors that we’d go into quarantine. No one really believed it at first because it just seemed so harmless and felt like a joke. Then the school started to take more precautions and I saw my life and what I loved begin to crumble. Then quarantine finally struck and everything that was normal was gone. 

Chapter 2. BOOM!

First off, what is Covid-19? It is a type of Coronavirus that spreads extremely quickly between hosts by air or physical contact. It originated in China and spread quickly throughout the world affecting major world economies. The virus completely stopped unnecessary travel, caused social distancing and finally caused quarantine. 

When the quarantine came, it was a surprise to most of us. It just seemed to escalate very quickly. Everything changed. We were told the bare minimum of quarantine would be two weeks, but deep down we knew it would be much longer. Then the fact set in that we wouldn’t be able to see our friends and do the activities we love to do. I continued to practice for the show still hoping that it would happen. 

Meeting up with my teachers and friends online, and knowing that they were ok was a huge relief. However, online learning was definitely a change. For me the hardest thing to do was finding the encouragement and motivation that I normally found in the classroom. Also when you’re not with your friends in a work setting being overlooked by the teacher it seems pointless. 

Life became so boring. Not being able to see friends, participate in activities, and being cooped-up in a house with the same people for more than a month is ANNOYING! Everything good that I was planning to do flew out the window. Like going to the Spring Formal Dance, performing in “Newsies” with my friends, or doing a school wide drive, and donating the stuffed animals to kids, and presenting my work to a professional panel of judges.

Speaking of the project, I had to completely scrap the idea and start over. So while I searched for a new idea, I thought, how can I help people in the MSJ community? So I decided that I could write a guide based on my experiences with this “Coronacation” that would help me and others to deal with quarantine.

Chapter 3. Do’s and Don’ts

The following is based on my experiences with quarantine. 

Stay in touch with friends and familyKeep yourself in isolation
ExerciseBe a slob
Try new hobbiesBinge the crap out of Netflix
Clean around the housePray your Mama will do it
Get ahead or catch up on schoolwork Say whatever 
Read a bookTry to reach a high score of 100 on Flappy Bird
Turn off Social Media for a whileTurn on Social Media for a while 
Go to bed and wake up at a normal time Stay up till 4 am on video games and wake up at 2 pm

Keeping in Touch 

Quarantine has started! That doesn’t mean we are completely apart. It’s healthy to stay connected with family and friends. A daily text like “Hey! How are you doing?” or just a quick five minute phone call as a check up on friends and family will not only improve your mental health, but others’ too. Without this you may feel a sense of loneliness. 

There is a chance that we may not see each other until January of 2021. I think that the biggest challenge with this quarantine is uncertainty. We have to remember that at this point no one knows when or how this quarantine will end. No one can see into the future, people can only make predictions, which do not always turn out to be the truth. 

  • Disconnect 

New truths are being refreshed on the news all the time. No matter if it’s the C.D.C., Fox News, C.N.N., W.H.O., etc. Whether or not it is about the death count around the world, the total of people who contracted the virus, or if the curve will flatten over the summer before school starts up again in the fall. Constantly checking the news can cause stress and anxiety. 

Though it is good to stay informed, too much news can be bad for your mental health. Just by turning off the Internet or other social platforms like Snapchat or Instagram and spending more time with family you will do yourself a lot of good. Even Archbishop William Lori had a few words to say about this particular problem related to the pandemic, “If we’re stuck at home watching all this, we’re going to get fatigued and become discouraged.” 

Even though school hours are shortened and pushed back, that doesn’t mean we should stay up till midnight watching Netflix or playing video games. I’m sure most, if not all of us, have already done this. Going to bed at a normal time every day, possibly at 10:30 p.m., can help you to do more the following day. 

Read a book. Try picking up new hobbies. Like an instrument, making art, sewing, woodworking, etc. Maybe if you are fortunate enough to have a large front or backyard, practice the sport you’re a part of.

  • Getting Ahead

We might be stuck at home for a lot longer, possibly till the end of 2020. Make use of it! Besides getting into new hobbies, we have to remember that school is still a thing. Most of our teachers have already posted more assignments than we can count. It’s important not to fall behind. Even if you did, now is still a good time to catch up. 

It’s also important to stay on top of your tasks because we are a part of a bigger plan. You see, the county needs proof that online learning is working. If you do not want school to go further into the summer it’s important to get your work done. 

  • Clean around the House

Also since we are home more it’s best to do our mothers a favor and clean around the house. Most of us are the ones who have to go to the store for the necessities because our parents or guardians might have pre-existing conditions. This makes it extremely important to always be washing our hands. I find it best whenever you pass your kitchen or bathroom sink just to wash your hands then. Scrubbing down all flat surfaces such as tabletops, counters, shelves, etc is very helpful. Just by doing light house cleaning once or twice a week you will make a lot of improvement.

  • Exercise 

Being home for over a month can be challenging. Especially since we are not outside more often doing sports or other activities it’s important to continue the amount of exercise we used to receive or at least get as close to it as possible. Just being outside for an hour can help. 

Before this whole quarantine started I went to the YMCA about three times a week. I know that most of the guys at MSJ were going to the gym, YMCA, or other places to exercise. Sure the equipment at the gym was great and really did make a difference, but even though we are at home that doesn’t mean we should stop. I recall my friends telling me that they sort of or completely stopped working out regularly because of quarantine. 

I think that quarantine is actually the best time to get in shape and work out. We are at home 24/7 now. Make use of it! I’ve started to challenge myself to different workouts recently. Since we aren’t outside as much as we usually are, I like to find a small space in the living room or basement and jump rope. In between my kitchen and living room we have a pull up bar in the doorway. On YouTube I saw this challenge that was being held in Los Angeles: if you were able to hang on to a bar for 100 seconds you won a hundred dollars. At first I thought it’s not that difficult and I tried it and I only did sixty seconds. I think it was the second day when I actually managed to complete the challenge and now I’m extending how long I can hang on the bar. 

It’s also important not to forget the basics that you can do without any equipment. Just your basic pushups, sit-ups, crunches, wall sits, etc. For instance, I want to train myself to be able to stay in the plank position for an hour. It seems ambitious, but it would be amazing if I could pull it off!

 Chapter 4. The upside of Quarantine 

Even though quarantine took away our normal lives, at the same time it gave us the meaning of family as well. For me, being able to see my sister every day can be annoying ,true, but she is now back from college. That is both a curse and a gift. We have been able to do so much more! We make movies at home on iMovie almost every day , which I will NOT be posting on the Internet! 

As a family we watch family movies almost every night after dinner. Also after dinner we all have been slowly losing it. All of us miss our social lives. Now we start to break out dancing to our favorite songs. Even our dog joins in the fun by barking at us thinking that we are fighting. Then ten minutes later we have all stopped trying to catch our breath and out of nowhere and out of the silence he throws up very subtly. It’s gross but it means that he had a good time too. 

Don’t be afraid to get silly. By this time we have already passed the fifty day marker. Enjoy your family, spend more time together. Try at the end of each day to remember the three things you are grateful for that happened that day. It’s a good practice to do with your family. 

Have meals with them more often. Pray together. My Mama found a prayer that is said for the protection during the time of a pandemic. It is a novena prayer, which is a nine day prayer, but you can pray it every day until the pandemic ends. We have prayed it every night before dinner alongside with the prayer before meals. Both Archbishop Lori and I  recommend everyone to pray this prayer because in these trying times a little bit of prayer is what we may need right about now. 

Chapter 5. Wrapping it up

I hope that these suggestions will help during this “Coronacation.” Just remember to stay safe, and care for each other. 

Go MSJ! Saint Joseph pray for us!

Danny Palmer is a freshman student in Mr. Lambdin’s English class.