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| Opinion |
| Opinion |
| Opinion |
| Opinion |
| Opinion |
The Pandemic Pendulum
By Phoebe Aseoche Grace
Published April 12, 2021
Everyone is affected by COVID. Whether it is the loss of a friend or family member, limitations in their everyday lives, financial discrepancies, unemployment, or personal affairs, it is clear that the pandemic has changed the way society thinks. Overall there are about 30 million cases (29,899,817) and 543,871 reported deaths all across the country. Worldwide, there are 125 million cases and 2.75 million deaths.
Although this data is continuously updating. The United States is still leading as the country with the most COVID Cases as well as the most casualties.
Timeline of COVID-19 Pandemic and its Origin:
December 2019 → COVID-19 originated in China and was recognized as a disease
January 11, 2020, → First death due to COVID in China (mysterious death)
January 20, 2020, → First case in Washington, U.S. Came from Wuhan, China
January 23, 2020, → Wuhan was closed off by Chinese authorities.
January 30, 2020, → Declared a global health emergency from China (World Health Organization - WHO)
Find more on this website.
The concentrated range of people that have been impacted the most is “people who have pre-existing health conditions, elderly people, people with weak immune systems, infants, and more” according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Although vaccines have been administered (announced in early December 2020), Michigan has reported a 4th wave which has prolonged the pandemic. People are ready to get back to the real world.
Throughout each state, not only have cases declined for several weeks but also our money through fraud scamming people into false registration websites and social media costing Americans more than 380 million dollars. According to the FBI and FTC here are tips on how to recognize the signals of a scam website while registering. ”As of March 31, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had logged more than 421,000 consumer complaints related to COVID-19 and stimulus payments, 70 percent of them involving fraud or identity theft. These scams have cost consumers $388.8 million, with a median loss of $333.” (AARP, 2020).
Many criminals have been using social media as well as the desperation of people to make money by promoting cures or stimuli. Because of the conflicts and struggles that the pandemic has put on everyone's lives putting a stop to everything, people want the pandemic to be over. Their targets pertain to older audiences who wouldn’t know that vaccines are provided for and free. Signs of scams include Impersonating banks offering money for bills, credit card debt, or student loans. Small businesses being targeted and impersonating big companies with the reassurance of economic issues. Stock Scams (making investors lose money and increasing the price which is draining the money of Americans and companies) and Fake Facebook accounts.
Officials are predicting that the government will ensure a stimulus for the scams that have occurred through the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act. This would bring a new round of relief payments, enhanced unemployment benefits, and small business loans. Many families have already been relieved with President Biden and Congress having sent economic relief packages that started in March of $1,400 to millions of Americans who are unemployed. More benefits of $300 until September (new school year and employment) were included as well. Things are looking up for the future of the pandemic and more families are relieved of partial challenges.
Steer Clear of Scams (tips):
Here are tips to steer clear of scams when registering for the vaccine. Make sure to look out for these specific signs when registering!
Requests that you pay out of pocket to receive a shot or get on a vaccine waiting list.
Ads that pop up for vaccines in websites, social media posts, emails, or phone calls.
Marketers offering to sell or ship doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Not asking for verification after information input.
Website name and any companies attached to it.
Below are verified and safe registration websites that show you availability:
Turbo Vax on Twitter
POV From Outside of NYC:
It’s important to not only be updated with COVID updates in our own amazing New York City but also in other parts of the world. In early April, I had the pleasure of interviewing Adrianne Rehm, the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Leviathan + ENVOY – award-winning innovation companies that combine world-class expertise in strategy, design, and technology to create a more connected future for partners. Rehm is a current resident of Chicago and is eager to share her take on the pandemic in Chicago.
Mrs. Rehm and I were first introduced at a roundtable for professionals offered by The Opportunity Network, a college-readiness program that shapes students in networking and professional environments. Due to the pandemic, Rehm has been working virtually and has not traveled in over a year. The pandemic has definitely altered her daily routine, as she reflects, “I guess I took for granted the things I did such as getting coffee with a friend or going to dinner with someone.” The little activities–or even catching up with a friend– are things that we all have been longing for.
“It’s in times like these that brands and businesses begin to emerge as leaders…. more value to customers and offer insight and relief to businesses, families, and front line responders most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.” Businesses are stepping up in order to help those who are less fortunate and aiding in maintaining both economy and lives. Forbes Photo by Sawyer Bengtson
Rehm’s family has been fortunate enough to have received their vaccines. In her hometown of Michigan, there has been a huge surge of cases, however, there is a vaccine rollout plan that makes Rehm hopeful for “ a light at the end of the tunnel” and an end to the disease.
When asked about the regulations that Chicago has put in place during pandemic pandemonium, Rehm states “it was more effective at the beginning of the pandemic and you're very cautious about going out. Because it was a very scary thing and I think that if you live in a city you become more aware of your actions and proximity to people.” Social distancing has always been a struggle globally when going outside or being in public places for needs, however, she says that Chicago had placed lockdowns at the beginning of the pandemic.
Similar to the overall feeling of COVID in NYC, Many people just want the pandemic to be over and done with. There are similar anxieties about the lack of clarity of the vaccinated versus unvaccinated and a fear of a rushed return to normal. Mrs. Rhem stated that she wouldn’t be surprised if there was another surge or 4th wave of a pandemic due to the carelessness of people forgetting to wear masks and keeping safety measures in place.
Rhem brought up another aspect of the pandemic pandemonium, which is vaccine fraud. Rhem verbalized concern regarding the authenticity of vaccines in Chicago, as well as the intentionally difficult registration process to become vaccinated.
It is interesting how getting a vaccine is dire, however people may not be able to access an actual appointment. . Similar events have been occurring outside of New York City, and although many people are optimistic about the pandemic’s end drawing near, we need to remember that we should still take precautions because the vaccine prevents or minimizes symptoms but isn’t a cure...COVID is still fatal, and we should therefore remain cautious and focused on our well-being along with that of others.
The pandemic is often referred to as “frozen time” when we are stuck with what seems to be nothing to do. Many families and friends have missed traveling either for vacation and adventure or just visiting family; however due to COVID restrictions, in the first few months of COVID, airports started to open up and precautions were put in place. Many safety precautions were enforced such as the social distancing in seating capacity, masks being required the whole flight, and providing/sharing resources.
Others may feel the need to travel because the pandemic has given them a realization that life is short and appreciation of others is more important than ever. Our lives have started to normalize through the opening of stores and indoor seating, schools allowing blended learning, and many more ever since the vaccine was distributed. Is this a sign of the pandemic finally being defeated? Although the vaccine is out in the world, are people still following COVID precautions such as wearing masks, social distancing, and sanitizing?
During spring break this school year 2021, Global History teacher Michael Stuart was vaccinated, which allowed him to visit his family in Florida. Stuart states that “it was nice knowing that I was able to provide [my family] with some sense of protection. I think the biggest thing that remains unchanged throughout the pandemic is being able to see my friends in New York on a regular basis because the case numbers here are still high.” The US is still considered one of the top countries with the most cases. Many still believe there will be a 4th wave of the pandemic with the recent updates in Colorado and other parts of the U.S., so it is better to have precautions for us and the people around us.
According to Stuart, New York has still maintained its safety measures compared to Florida. He describes how he found it “strange because in some stores people weren't wearing masks and walking around as if everything were normal.” There has been a need for returning back to normal and wanting to not live in a world of fear or uncertainty. There have also been instances in New York City of people not wearing their masks if they have already gotten their vaccine or the forgetfulness of it which can be dangerous however we still advise on wearing masks at all times. It is safe to take off your mask when eating or drinking however just as a precaution to constantly sanitize and social distance.
Coincidentally to Mrs. Rehm, Michael’s Hometown happens to be Michigan and he has been keeping updated ever since his first vaccine dose. “I have been big on keeping track of COVID cases both in NYC and around the country, but recently the number of cases in Michigan has been spiking, and that's where I'm originally from so it's odd to think of two of the places that I've lived as being centers of COVID cases in the country.” However, Michael believes that if restrictions and limitations due to the present spike lasted, there wouldn't be a surge of cases as we initially thought.
Overall there are about 30 million cases (29,899,817) and 543,871 reported deaths all across the country with the US leading in fatalities.
Throughout each state in the United States, not only have cases declined for several weeks but also our money through fraud scamming people into false registration websites and social media costing Americans more than 380 million dollars.
According to the FBI and FTC here are tips on how to recognize the signals of a scam website while registering. Recent reports of cases slowly increasing; Could there be a 4th wave of the pandemic, experts say most unlikely.
First-hand experience of someone outside of NYC and how the pandemic has been treating them. Are regulations still being enforced after vaccines are being distributed?
CDC. “COVID Data Tracker.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Mar. 2020,
“COVID Data Tracker.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Mar. 2020, covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-
“Coronavirus Update (Live): 139,232,899 Cases and 2,990,512 Deaths from COVID-19 Virus Pandemic -
Worldometer.” World Meters, 15 Apr. 2021, www.worldometers.info/coronavirus.
Iacurci, Greg. “Covid-Related Fraud Has Cost Americans $382 Million.” CNBC, 24 Mar. 2021,
Markowitz, By John Waggoner And Andy. “Beware of Robocalls, Texts and Emails Promising COVID-19
Cures or Stimulus Payments.” AARP, 14 Apr. 2021, www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2020/coronavirus.html?CMP=KNC-DSO-Adobe-Google-FRD-Seasonal-Health-COVID-NonBrand-Exact-CoronavirusScams&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI7trvvZDr7wIV1N7ICh2sSAJtEAAYASAAEgJY1fD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds.
Times, The New York. “Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count.” The New York Times, 15 Apr.
Wilkins, Pete. “Chicago Businesses Continue To Step Up In The Face Of Coronavirus.” Forbes, Forbes
Magazine, 3 Apr. 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/peterandrewwilkins/2020/04/03/chicago-businesses-continue-to-step-up-in-the-face-of-coronavirus/?sh=6058ff5d6353.