Coronavirus: The New Normal

Things are getting crazy in today’s world! Almost all students from the University of Maine at Presque Isle have left campus and have gone home. Most schools nationwide are shutting down. Classes are now to be taken online. They are either over video chat each week or just making sure students do a certain amount of work.  All this is in an effort to stop the spread of this deadly virus. This virus is medically known as COVID-19, commonly known as the Coronavirus. It has taken the lives of many and has caused us to shelter in place. This virus is taking the lives of older citizens, but people of all ages are getting this virus. The number of deaths that have occurred around the world is what has us taking precautions.

At first when we heard about the virus, we didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t taken as seriously as it should have been. Being a student from UMPI, I was definitely worried about traveling across the country to get home. This virus doesn’t need a host. Not to mention Washington State is the epicenter of the Coronavirus. But in times like these, you definitely want to be with your family. Nothing was going to keep me from being home.

Life is definitely different from before. Multiple professional athletes have tested positive for the Coronavirus. Among the NBA players who have tested positive for the virus are Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and Marcus Smart. There are plenty of other professional athletes from different sports who have come down with the virus. Therefore there are no more professional sporting events for the time being, to try and prevent the spread throughout teams–as well as the fans–because they are equally as important to the sports world.

Photo of what many sports arenas across the country look like right now.

Now leaving the world of sports, as mentioned before, we have been ordered to shelter in place. People can only leave for the essentials. Businesses are shutting down to minimize the number of people out of their homes.

This doesn’t just affect popular people and big businesses. This also affects smaller businesses and less well-known people. One of these is Scott Corley, a truck driver at Columbia Distributing. “I’m still working, but the company I work for has lost half of their business. This is thanks to restaurants and bars closing down,” Corley said. He  continued on about his personal life and said, “I don’t go out anymore on weekends. I used to go to movies with the family but now can’t thanks to this virus.” Corley shared a story about delivering to a QFC (local store). He said they ask you questions before you can go into the store and Corley was the only one in the store who wasn’t wearing a mask.

A few businesses that are still working through these times are Burger King, Dominoes, McDonald’s and Dairy Queen. These fast food restaurants are only open for carryout or drive thru. Some stores have remained open so that people can make food at their homes and do their best to stay home.

Life for me personally is different because I am very outdoorsy and like to hang out with my friends. Since we’re trying to stop the spread of the virus we can’t hang out with our friends at this time. We need to keep six feet of distance between ourselves and the next person.

This ain’t even the biggest problem! The biggest problem is that there is no cure for this virus in sight. So things could potentially get worse. Doctors are taking every step they can to try to come to a solution. They just don’t know what to do, which is a problem, because this gives the virus more time to spread. All in all, we are hoping doctors can find a cure to this outbreak so that we can return to life as usual.

 

The Story of the Nixon Administration

“All the President’s Men” is a movie that stars both Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. Both of these actors are very successful and have both won the Lifetime Achievement award. In this particular movie, they both played reporters for the Washington Post investigating Watergate. The Watergate break-in was a political scandal in the United States involving the administration of President Richard Nixon. It unfolded from 1972 to 1974 and led to Nixon’s resignation. The scandal stemmed from the Nixon administration’s subsequent attempts to cover up its involvement in the June 17, 1972, failed break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C. What the Post did was important to the freedoms of the First Amendment because the Post discovered the truth of the Watergate scandal.

If Bernstein, Woodward and their editor, Ben Bradlee, didn’t pursue this story, the American public wouldn’t see the presidency and the nation’s political institutions the same. A long-term effect of the Watergate scandal caused widespread distrust by the American public. They stopped trusting political institutions. If the facts of the scandal were never reported by the Washington Post, politicians would be able to get away with their lies with no consequences. So, politicians are more accountable because journalists are watching them.

One thing you can take away from what Bernstein, Woodward and the Post did is to follow your dreams no matter how hard it can be. These journalists risked their reputations and even their lives to bring the public the truth.

If you could only watch one movie, it should definitely be, “All The President’s Men.” If you take this advice to watch this movie, you’ll learn about how tough the job of being a reporter really is. You’ll also learn about the risks that come along with getting a story out there.

Scene from All the President’s Men.

Priests’ Misconduct

“Spotlight” is a movie about an investigative journalist group who work for the Boston Globe. They got a story about a priest named John Geoghan who was molesting children in his parish. Michael Rezendes, Matt Carroll and Sacha Pfeiffer were all reporters sent out to interview victims of this abuse. These reporters were determined. They wanted to provide proof that this priest was sexually abusing children of the Roman Catholic Church.

The biggest takeaway from this movie is that sexually abusing people of the Church is not only personally violating them, but it’s also wrong spiritually. The people who attend these churches come to listen to the priests because they’re supposed to be the good guys. Whenever you need advice or anything at all, it’s common that people turn to their priests. So to learn that priests are violating those people’s trust by using them just so that they can abuse them is wrong. Also, John Geoghan wasn’t the only priest who was doing this to his followers. Spotlight discovered that priests were molesting people throughout many Catholic Churches in Massachusetts, the U.S. and beyond.

Cast of Spotlight.

The reporters at one point in the movie went to a law firm to talk to some lawyers about this scandal. The takeaway in that is that the lawyers knew about what was going on with the priests and they helped to cover it up anyway. Just imagine if it were you who was being molested. How would it make you feel when you find out that people who could have done something about your struggle and your pain chose to do nothing and instead watch you suffer? The average person would not have known about what was happening in the Roman Catholic Church, but the people who suffered obviously knew. These reporters gained the admiration they deserved for uncovering this horrific scandal.

If you choose one movie to watch, make it “Spotlight.”  It doesn’t even feel like a movie, it feels more like a documentary. It takes you through ups and downs throughout the movie, but it’s logical and it’s all true to life.  Most important, truth and justice prevail.

UMPI Baseball: What to expect

 

Good luck, men!

It’s about that time! Baseball season is right around the corner for your UMPI Owls, looking to turn things around after a rough couple of seasons. With a new season brings a lot of change. The Owls brought in 11 new faces to the club this season, 10 of whom are freshmen. The other is a sophomore.

This is Roger Stinson’s third season as UMPI baseball head coach. Since he’s taken over the reins of the team, he has been trying to rebuild the team. This season he feels fairly confident that he has done that. He thinks that the youth of the team this year is their strength. “If the youth goes, we go,” Coach Stinson said. Coach was also fairly surprised at how fast the team came together, considering the mix of all the new faces and the upperclassmen. After seeing the team together for the first time, his thoughts were “Look out, here we come.” These thoughts that Stinson has are definitely flowing throughout the team. Although an area of concern is still pitching right now, Coach Stinson has everyone taking a crack at pitching to see what he’s got for pitching options this season.

Upperclassman Jordan Hanscom also talked about the team and the upcoming season. He, like Coach, was also really excited for the upcoming season. He said that they have a “really good core with young guys gelled well. The energy was definitely different and definitely looking forward to the season.” Hanscom is a junior and his aspirations are to get 20 hits this year and hit his first collegiate home run. But as a team he wants to be in the playoffs this year. With all the change, Hanscom kept saying, Why not us? There are six teams in the NAC and four make the playoffs. Hanscom thinks they should be able to get a one or two seed in the NAC playoffs. Hanscom believes the biggest thing is they need to stay together as a group, and to win and lose together. For this season to be a success for Hanscom, “We’ve got to be in every game and can’t lose by more than 3 runs at the end of games.

We also caught up with senior Roberto De La Pena. He believes team chemistry is definitely a strong asset this year for the team because “we got guys that love baseball. If you don’t love it, you won’t put 100 percent in.” De La Pena wants to pitch better than he has over the past few seasons. He also wants to win more games this season and he wants the team to play the right way. He defined playing the right way as “giving it your all and always hustling.” For this season to be a success, De La Pena believes that the members of the team need to take care of business. De La Pena also believes that the team members need to take extra swings and ground balls outside of the team practices.

Coach and his players have a renewed focus this season with eyes toward a playoff berth, as well as working as a team rather than individuals. Brotherhood is everything with a team. The closer you are off the field, the better the team seems to play on it. Everyone on the team is super excited to get the season going because this team really seems to want it, compared to teams from the last couple of seasons.

One thing’s for sure: you can definitely expect an exciting season from your UMPI Owls. So buckle up and get ready for this season, because it’s going to be a ride you won’t soon forget.