Fenton High School | November 30, 2020 | Volume 40, Issue 2 | fentoninprint.com
Blood Money Rising insulin prices too high for Americans to afford.
Print Editor-in-Chief Andrea Elsholz, page 7
Disclaimer: The vial of insulin pictured was expired at the time the photograph was taken and no longer able to be administered.
Fenton High School 3200 W. Shiawassee Ave., Fenton, MI 48430 Phone: (810) 591-2968 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.fentoninprint.com
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VIRTUALLY PASSING OR FAILING
Tiger Virtual Academy uses the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory scale for the first quarter ASSISTANT PRINT EDITOR MOLLY KILLIAN
Pictures considered offensive will not be run without written consent from the persons pictured and, if necessary, his/her legal guardian. All photography not labeled with a photo illustration has not been digitally altered to change.
The InPrint reserves the right to edit any advertisement that is considered to be in poor taste for high school publication, or one that suggests a violation of federal, state or local laws. Through a voting process, the editorial board makes the final decision whether an advertisement should be published.
Print Editor in Chief: Online Editor in Chief: Print Assistant Editors: Online Editors:
Andrea Elsholz Bree Soule Cameron Carlson, Molly Killian Emmy Johnson, Meghan Maier
Cameron Carlson, Andrea Elsholz, Molly Killian, Angelina Vitarelli
Columnist: Social Media Director:
Halee Alexander, Benjamin Burke, April Carr, Madysen Krug, Riann Masi, Adeline Ostrander, Angelina Vitarelli, Hannah Weaver
Guest Writer: Photographers:
In August, students were asked to decide if they wanted to go to in person school, or do the first semester fully online. If a student decided to go fully online through Tiger Virtual Academy (TVA), they would be less likely to contract COVID-19, but they would not get a traditional education. Roughly two months after the start of the TVA program, the Fenton Area Public Schools system made the decision to grade the students on a Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory scale for the first marking period. One such reason for the change is that the time frame students follow for the TVA platform, OdysseyWare (OW), is different from the one face-to-face students follow. “OdysseyWare courses are
designed for a whole semester, approximately 18 weeks,” TVA Coordinator Mark Suchowski said. “Unlike a traditional face-to-face curriculum at FHS, OW lessons are not divided into discrete marking periods. At the end of the second marking period, students will earn a letter grade for the entire semester of their work. This letter grade will follow that same grading scale face-to-face students follow and will appear on the student’s First Semester Report Card and the student’s transcript.” Many kids need the separation between home and school environments to stay on task. Purdue University says that there are things that students can do to help them stay motivated, like making a schedule and designating
a specific area for schoolwork, but no matter what a student does, they will never truly have the separation of school and home. “I think that one of the hardest parts about TVA is staying motivated,” junior Morgan Farmer said. “I do all of my work in my room, and since that is also the place where I relax when I am done with school, it is hard to be productive when I’m working there. Also, having all of my family members at home makes it hard to stay focused. When they make a lot of noise, it distracts me, so that makes it hard to stay motivated.” To learn more about how students can separate home life from school life while learning virtually, go to Northwestern University’s website.
WORLD OF WONDER GUIDELINES
How Pre-Kindergarten students are handling COVID-19 procedures
Paige Bakker, Abbey Banks, Riley Erfourth, WRITER MADYSEN KRUG Marissa Frazier, Lauren Gadola, Julia Gnath, For many, wearing masks and Kiersten Lapa, Grace MacCaughan, Kyla Marx, social distancing is routine. But Kaitlyn Mossett, Logan Reeves, Madison Slezinski, Sebastian Reynolds, Adrienne Staib, for kids in preschools or daycares, Allison Tisch, Trinity Yost
FRONT COVER LAURYN ELSHOLZ
The log-in screen for Odysseyware, the platform used by Tiger Virtual Academy (TVA) students, depicts a tranquil scene. Aside from Odysseyware, TVA students use Michigan Virtual for Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
they might not fully understand why these actions are necessary. “Social distancing in early childhood classrooms relies primarily on keeping our children in cohorts by classroom,” World of Wonder Principal Linda Mora said. “Children of this age learn primarily through play and interactions with each other. We are not restricting children from playing with children in their own classroom, but we are keeping children from mixing or coming within six feet of those outside their own classrooms.” Specials— the term for classes that deal with subjects outside of the core curriculum— are
structured in three to four week sessions, where special teachers work with one class at a time to limit exposure. “Teachers are being intentional about traveling in the hall and visiting the restrooms one class at a time,” Mora said. “Our Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) changed arrival and dismissal times to support social distancing. Students are picked up from cars where their temperatures are checked. At the end of the day, they are delivered to cars with parents identifying their vehicles with signs in car windows with the child’s name and teacher. Young Fives and Tuition preschool students parents approach the building for pick-up and drop-off but wait in line on painted tiger
paws that are spaced six feet apart for their child. Everything is about protocols and routines set up to support safety guidelines.” Neuroscience research shows that early years before age five are foundational for setting up optimal lifelong development. Transitions are daily dilemmas for young kids, even as it presents the opportunity for lifelong skills to grow. Comfort comes in knowing what to expect. Nowhere is this more apparent than with children under age five. “The children adapted extremely well to wearing masks,” Mora said. “Even our special education preschoolers and [our youngest students]— 3 year olds. I have been am very thankful for our World of Wonder staff in helping me charter these challenging times.”
November 30, 2020
Service Never Sleeps School organizations continue to serve their community amid the pandemic ASSISTANT PRINT EDITOR CAMERON CARLSON
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November 30, 2020
where to start.” Headly— who serves on the executive boards for Environmental Club, Kiwanis Education for the Youth (KEY) Club, and the National Honor Society (NHS)— advises students to reach out to those around them. “I recommend talking to event and club sponsors that may know of places that are in need of volunteers,” Headly said. “It is also good to talk to upperclassmen who have lots of volunteering experience and can contribute some ideas.” Henley— who also serves on the Economics Club, Environmental Club, KEY Club and NHS executive boards— stresses the importance of service and how big a difference it can really make. “While there are fewer people available to volunteer and help the community, there has been a great increase in demand from our community,” Henley said. “It may be hard to step up during these times, but it is extremely inspiring to see those who are already busy with work take on more tasks when others cannot. Not only do I want to be this force of inspiration for other people who may be wary of service, but there is [an] obvious direct impact when I volunteer. That is why I continue to volunteer during these times: so that I can help do the work that others may not be able to do anymore.” Though community service is a big help to individuals who may be struggling, it is also comforting for many, knowing that people are still willing to help. “Volunteering always makes me feel so much love for our community,” Fijolek said. “I love to be a part of the kindness that envelopes those who give their time to serve. Nothing can replace seeing all of the cans collected go to someone that needs them, or the feeling of getting a smile out of someone that once had a frown. It never matters who I’m working an event with or which program is running it because everyone that’s there wants to have a positive impact. Even on my worst day, I know I can make someone else’s day their best.”
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Despite the high demand for community service brought by the economic effects of the pandemic, multiple restrictions have made it difficult to volunteer. However, students know the importance of making a difference in their community and are finding ways to continue service. “For me, service is about community,” senior Joe Henley said. “While it may sound rather cliche, I truly believe that it is crucial to give back to those around you in any way you can. While the COVID-19 virus has affected me, I know that there are people out in my community who have been impacted even more. While I may not singlehandedly leave a legacy of prosperity on our community, with my contributions as an active member of multiple clubs, I hope to be a part of the hand that helps the community through tough times.” The students’ impact on the community shows in the faces of those around them. “As a volunteer, I like to think it makes people feel like they have support from their community,” senior Holly Fijolek said. “Especially right now, we forget how much people can accomplish by working together. Volunteering helps us all experience that collaboration again, and I think it can completely change a person’s perspective on life. Whether it’s dropping off cans for a food drive or a virtual trick-or-treat, we are all finding new, unique ways to do our part in keeping that collaboration alive. During times like these, it’s hard to connect and have events that bring people together again. I think it’s reminding us all that our society ran on— and continues to run on— kindness towards others.” Though rewarding, it can be hard to find ways to help out amidst the different restrictions. “I find it most difficult to make a difference due to the limited volunteer options,” senior Bri Headley said. “Popular events like soup kitchens, Lockwood Retirement Home and the Share Room are no longer available during the pandemic. It is especially difficult for new members of clubs, as they have not been exposed to many opportunities and may not know
Transcending Words How the power of music affects people during hard times ASSISTANT PRINT EDITOR CAMERON CARLSON
Whether in the midst of the isolation and disconnection brought by a pandemic, or after the exhaustion that accompanies a long day, generations of people have turned to music to reconnect with one another and to heal. Music, with its vast number of genres and styles, has continued to captivate listeners everywhere, especially during difficult times. “I would say I was initially drawn to [‘80s music] because of the memories,” history teacher Patricia Grey said. “I was born in 1979, but I have three older sisters. They used to dress me up and dance with me to their favorite records, and we had so much fun. I remember my first purple boombox and how excited I was to get my first tapes; George Michael was first. I also just truly enjoy the sound of it. It’s music that represents a different era, and it makes me happy.” For each generation, new music genres surface around the globe, each one presenting something to learn and something to enjoy. “I think we can learn a ton from music of different time periods and cultures,” junior Addie Wright said. “Without music from early cultures, we wouldn’t have the music we have today. Everyone gets inspiration from somewhere. It’s nearly impossible to create something and not get any kind of inspiration from someone or something else.” Music is fundamental to the human species, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Regardless of whether it is in tune, in step or in time, all humans interact with music. “Music is, and always has been, my main way to express myself and get people to understand what I’m feeling or going through,” Wright said. “When I’m happy, there’s songs I can sing that let others know that I’m in a good mood. When I’m sad, there are songs I sing in order to dive deeper into that feeling and understand where it came from. Right now, even more so than before the pandemic, music is very important to me.” Expression and performance are not only for musicians to find joy in, but for spectators as well. “My sophomore year, our jazz band performed during a few lunch periods,” senior Bordy Stack said. “This performance was intended to be a practice run of the holiday concert, but the music drew the attention of many students. A few weeks ago, an administrator overheard [junior] Audrey Maclean’s piano music through the open band room door and they wanted to share their experience with the student body. It was established that on the occasional Monday morning, a small ensemble would be in the square to provide students that
subtle, yet uplifting, interjection. The beauty of these Monday performances is that they encompass all styles of musical art we are pursuing. They provide unique venues for musicians that otherwise have few opportunities to perform, given the current state of things; and when the music department benefits, so does
the morale and environment of the school.” Music has the ability to alter a person’s perception of the world around them, oftentimes by emphasizing particular emotions and experiences. “The Ambassadors have been able to continue rehearsing and making music together, even through these weird times,” Wright said. “I personally haven’t had the opportunity to perform for anyone but them— and sometimes my coworkers, if they’re lucky— however, I’m not really upset about that, because I’m just happy to be making music in the first place. Not making music at all would kill me, and right now I don’t really care if anyone else hears me when I do. It’s really just about doing it for myself because without making music, I wouldn’t be fulfilled.” Humanity and music go hand and hand, causing them to evolve together. “‘Use it, or lose it,’” Stack said. “Music isn’t something you learn and then regurgitate once for a test— it is a complex art that develops over time with consistent practice and passion. In regards to individual musicians, opportunities to learn and perform music are essential to the development of our skill set. This year has posed a major setback to that ability, with restrictions that make band classes almost obsolete, but thankfully our music department has found a way to continue on, as every experience matters.” As described in an excerpt from Elena Mannes’s “The Power of Music,” sound can actually penetrate the human body. Each experience physically touches both the performers and the listening individuals. “Music is important for both the musician and the audience,” senior Aaron Toth said. “There are only 12 notes that repeat, but there are infinite things that can be done with them. Music can make people feel a certain way and I believe that’s why we have it. Notice how music accompanies almost everything. In a movie, there’s background music; while shopping, there’s music that makes you want to buy things. Music is everywhere because it’s so powerful.”
November 30, 2020
Creating a Good Social Media Presence How to Create a Positive Image on Social Media
WRITER APRIL CARR
Fenton InPrint @InPrintFenton 20m
Promote successes and build a brand Numerous people use social media to share information about their life and successes. Some may use it for sports, art, music or for fun. Most people have some form of social media, so it is important to consider the content of posts. Many colleges, bosses and coaches could use social media to conduct background checks, therefore, it is important to stay appropriate and also have fun. 1
Fenton InPrint @InPrintFenton 32m
Use consistent and recent photos According to the Outbound Engine, it is important to use consistent and recent photos to avoid misleading followers, such as potential coaches or employers. Many things can change over the course of a month, so when a new milestone is reached, make sure to post it. 2
Fenton InPrint @InPrintFenton 40m Be Positive While social media can be a very good thing, there is often a lot of negative feed and interactions. So it is significant to be the person to uplift and post positives. However, it is important to bring awareness to what one is passionate about. Some ways that people may post positives is by using uplifting quotes, complimenting others and so much more. 4
Fenton InPrint @InPrintFenton 51m Use Hashtags Hashtags are a great way to grow followers and find people with common interests. Hashtags help gain followers because they stream posts from related hashtags into usersâ€™ recommended feeds and can even be tied to an event that some may be looking to bring awareness to. 0
November 30, 2020
Diabetes is an increasing worldwide disease
WRITER ANGELINA VITARELLI
On Dec. 20, 2006, the United Nations (UN) passed a resolution to make Nov. 14 World Diabetes Day and the month of November was declared National Diabetes Awareness month to help bring attention to the complications that diabetics face. Roughly one in 10 (34.2 million) Americans live with diabetes, according to the 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This number has increased exponentially over time. In 1958, 0.93 percent of people (1.58 million) were diagnosed with diabetes. In 2015, 7.40 percent of people (23.35 million) were diagnosed. There are two main types of diabetes mellitus: type one and type two. Type two is the more common of the types, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of people with diabetes, reported by Healthline. Type two diabetes causes the body to either under produce insulin or to produce insulin that does not work properly, resulting in an inability to bring down the blood sugar. Those diagnosed with diabetes rely on factory-made insulin to survive, which in turn causes the cost to add up over time. Type one is less common and shows up more frequently in children and teens. Type one diabetes prevents the body from making insulin. According
to the CDC and TeensHealth, a theory for the cause of this disease is an autoimmune reaction that causes the body to attack the pancreas, which in turn prevents the pancreas from producing insulin. Those with type one have to inject insulin into their bodies every day to survive. “I’ve had type one diabetes since I was nine, so it’ll be my eighth year this January,” senior Haydon Johnson said. “I have a Dexcom and an insulin pump, so I don’t have to check my blood unless it’s over 400. I just pull blood sugars from the Dexcom, because it is constantly reading and sending my blood sugars to my phone. The Dexcom is a little transmitter I put in my arm or stomach that reads my blood sugar. Then it’ll transmit it to my phone or pump.” A Dexcom is a monitoring system for reading blood sugar (glucose) levels in the body, making the management process much easier for the patient, and the loved ones around them. “Every time I eat I just put in the amount of carbs and my blood sugar and my pump do the rest for me,” Johnson said. “But it’s a lot different when you don‘t have a Dexcom or an insulin pump. Then, you have to do it all manually through constant finger pricks and insulin shots every time you eat.” Those who do not live with diabetes may not
realize the extent of caring for someone diagnosed and the procedures involved. The family members of diabetics often take on additional responsibilities to help out their loved one with diabetes, such as reminding them to inject insulin before eating, prepping meals that are cohesive with a diabetic diet and monitoring other medications that may need to be taken. “My family has been amazing through this,” Johnson said. “They’re always there to help me out. I’ve become extremely independent with my diabetes, but they still check in on me and help me handle the stress. When I was first diagnosed, my mom would wake me up at night when I had high blood sugars and made sure I was okay. They really helped me from the start, getting good at counting carbs, getting used to carrying around my bag of supplies, taking shots or changing my insulin and slowly gave me more of the responsibility. That has set me up to be extremely responsible and now they don’t have to worry about me taking care of myself.” Diabetes is a serious disease, currently with no cure, but proper treatment can help make the management of diabetes much easier.
Recognizing symptoms key to management PRINT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ANDREA ELSHOLZ
HIGH BLOOD SUGAR (GLUCOSE LEVEL OF 180mg/dL) Also known as hyperglycemia, high blood sugar is when there is a high concentration of sugar in the blood. For people without diabetes, the hormone insulin attaches to cells and acts as a gateway that allows glucose to enter the cell, where it can be processed into energy through cellular respiration. Those with diabetes have to inject insulin before, during or after eating if their blood sugar is too high because their pancreas either does not naturally secrete insulin or secretes insulin that does not work properly. While high blood sugar episodes are typically less damaging in the short run, they can cause longterm damage to organs. There are two types of hyperglycemia: fasting hyperglycemia and postprandial hyperglycemia. Fasting hyperglycemia is when the blood sugar is about 130mg/dL after a person has gone eight or more hours without eating. The normal blood sugar range after fasting for eight hours is 70mg/ dL to 130mg/dL. Postprandial hyperglycemia occurs when the blood sugar is high after eating and the liver continues to make and store sugars instead of adjusting for the recent food intake. Postprandial hyperglycemia will have blood sugar levels around or above 180mg/dL. When basil insulin (responsible for keeping ketones at bay) levels fall too low, ketoacidosis can occur. In ketoacidosis, high levels of ketones (toxic acids produced by the liver) are present in the blood and in the urine. Ketoacidosis is largely associated with high blood sugar, but it can occur during low sugar levels when there is a mis dose of basil insulin, illness or a pump site that has gone bad. The symptoms of ketoacidosis are very severe and can lead to diabetic coma or even death. RECOGNIZING HIGH BLOOD SUGAR There are a few factors to take into account when determining blood sugar: the most recent meal time, the typical sugar levels a person experiences, the recent activity level and the blood sugar level. Typically, symptoms of hyperglycemia do not appear until the sugar is around 180mg/dL to 200mg/
dL. Early symptoms are: frequent urination, headache, fatigue, dehydration, excessive thirst and irritability. More severe symptoms are ketones in the blood or urine, shortness of breath, fruity-smelling breath, dry mouth, blurred vision, abdominal or stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, confusion and loss of consciousness. For type two diabetics, there is another condition called Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonjetotic Syndrome (HHNS) where they can experience vision loss, sleepiness, high fever, dehydration, dry mouth and a sugar level of 600mg/dL. If someone is experiencing any of the severe symptoms, cannot keep fluids down or have a sugar level persistently above 240mg/dL, call a medical emergency number. LOW BLOOD SUGAR (GLUCOSE LEVEL BELOW 70mg/dL) Also known as hypoglycemia, low blood sugar is when the cells are deprived of glucose. Hypoglycemia is often caused by improper dosing of insulin relative to the amount of food consumed, missed or delayed mealtimes, malnourishment, intense exercise or alcohol consumption. When someone is experiencing low blood sugar, eating fast-acting sugar like fruits, juice or candy. Avoid foods heavy in carbohydrates. Heavy proteins foods are better for longer acting sugars, but are not as useful if the sugar level needs to be brought up immediately. Another snack may be needed if the sugar is still low after ten minutes have passed. If the sugar is really low and someone is exhibiting severe symptoms, a glucagon shot may need to be administered or a trained medical professional should be consulted. Glucagon shots are administered like an allergy shot, into a large muscle. If the person in need has lost consciousness, turn them on their side after administering a shot, as they are likely to vomit when they regain consciousness. Symptoms of low blood sugar are: shakiness, clumsiness, jerky movements, dizziness, sweating, hunger, upset stomach, nausea, headache, changes in behavior or mood, irritability, lack of concentration, tingling around the mouth, rapid heartbeat, blurred vision, nightmares, loss of consciousness or seizures.
November 30, 2020
Average monthly cost for diabetes supplies vs Percent O of Monthly Income, 2016 (US dollars)
OH N O O
O S OH N
O S $360 US OH 7.6% OH N O India $112 O N H H O 79.3% S N S N OH UK $65 O 1.4% O N South Africa $63 5.6%N OH $30HO OH Austrailia 0.5%
Blood Money OH
$19 O 0.6%
OH Rising Insulin Prices too high for Americans to afford S O
PRINT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ANDREA ELSHOLZ
Before the discovery of insulin, diabetics had for a single vial of insulin that might last for a a life expectancy of one to two years beyond few weeks,” American Diabetes Association (ADA) the initial date of their diagnosis. However, in advocate Gary Dougherty said. “There have been 1921, Federick Banting and his assistant Charles reports indicating that the cost to manufacture Best removed insulin from the pancreas of a insulin is about six dollars per vial and its being healthy dog and injected it into another dog who sold for many times more than that. Not a lot of was terminally ill with diabetes. The sick dog improvements have been made in insulin and yet immediately improved. After refining the formula, the prices continue to rise.” Banting, Best and their colleague, James Collip, Some diabetics crowdfund to pay medical bills. sold their insulin patent to the University of A few resort to using expired or untrustworthy Toronto for three dollars. insulin or they ration the amount of insulin they A formula that added decades onto the life use. Insulin rationing can induce ketoacidosis, a expectancy of millions of people was sold for three condition where a high concentration of ketones dollars; its inventors wanted to insure that (a type of fat converted to acid such an essential drug would be mass produced “To cover the released by the liver when it at high quality and available to everyone in costs associated cannot process sugars) appears in need. As the mass production of insulin took with diabetes the blood. Ketoacidosis can lead off, insurance and medical companies turned comas or death. Reported by management, to the sale of insulin into a means of profit. RightCare, 13 Americans have died people around The prices only went up from there. In fact, from rationing insulin in the past the world the cost of insulin in the United States is so three years. pay anything high that a few American diabetics are dying “I am worried that insulin from zero to prices will keep going up and that because they cannot afford it. 118 percent of by the time I am an adult I won’t “Having diabetes means that my body their monthly be able to pay for it,” Toth said. cannot naturally produce insulin so I have income.” to get it through other means,” sophomore “It’s pretty scary to think about. -T1 International In a developed nation, insulin Spencer Toth said. “People think that it stops me from eating certain things. It doesn’t; it should be affordable. It does make just means that I have to give myself an injection me sad. It shouldn’t be so expensive. It shouldn’t when I do.” be something that people profit off of. [Insulin] Insulin prices have been marked up 5,000% should be something that is available for those in the U.S. according to Right Care Alliance, who need it. The fact that it is cheaper to pay for a grassroots organization that aims to hold enough gas to leave the country and buy insulin healthcare companies accountable. Three from Canada than it is to buy insulin locally in the companies were indicted for an alleged insulin U.S. is bad.” price-fixing scheme in 1941, according to Insulin in People with diabetes are more likely to be Nation, a digital diabetes news platform. unemployed, less likely to be hired, more likely to “It really depends on individual health plans, be fired because of health complications and less but we have heard that people pay as much as $300 likely to receive proper accommodations for their
November 30, 2020
diabetes. “Unfortunately, people with diabetes face discrimination,” Dougherty said. “That’s one of the things we at the ADA really focus a lot of resources on: making sure people their rights and how to respond if a case of discrimination presents itself. More broadly, it’s making sure that people with diabetes, which obviously is a chronic disease, have access to healthcare coverage and the medications they need. Insulin is a life-saving hormone produced naturally and a life-saving medication, and the price is just too exorbitant for a medication that is critical for people to live.” During a Nov. 2018 protest by Right Care Alliance, parents of deceased diabetics delivered the ashes of their children— who had died from insulin rationing— to Sanofi drug corporation. The ADA, on the other hand, uses a lobbying strategy to push diabetic-friendly healthcare reform. “A number of states have enacted insulin copay cap laws,” Dougherty said. “What that means is that the amount a person would pay for a 30-day supply of insulin would be capped at a certain amount per month. The first state that enacted that was Colorado last year  and they had a $100 copay cap. Since then, 12 additional states have followed suit this year and some of them range as low as $25 up to $100. Michigan has a bill pending that would cap copays for insulin at $100 per thirty-day supply. Unfortunately, the bill has not had any hearings or progressed through the legislative process and so we are hoping to work with the legislature to get some traction on that bill.” To sign up to be a diabetes advocate, go to diabetes.org/advocatesignup. For more information, go to makeinsulinaffordable.org.
N , It Is Not Just Like The Flu
The Fenton community does not take COVID-19 seriously Ordinarily, a global pandemic that has taken 243,580 lives in the United States alone would be met with a community-wide initiative to protect the well-being of others through the practice and enforcement of public health and safety precautions. For a few students at Fenton High, however, this was not enough to convince them to stop throwing or attending parties. The case numbers are higher than they were when the first wave of COVID-19 hit the United States. Compared to other countries who have had the outbreak under control, the U.S. has handled the pandemic with mediocrity. The entire continent of Africa has only 8,000 more COVID-19 deaths than the singular state of New York at 41,000 deaths, according to BBC World News. For a country equipped with the medical, technological and scientific resources to handle a pandemic, the U.S. is so far behind the rest of the world in regards to the attitudes of its citizens. Most other countries went on lock down, launched wide-spread testing, established contact-tracing procedures and enforced pandemic guidelines. Americans ignored medical experts, continued to throw parties and whined until they could have a fall football season. The lack of concern for public
health and the lack of judgment in determining priorities have proved fatal for the U.S. In the past month, social media accounts from Fenton High students have been awash with pictures from fake-homecoming (FOCO) and Halloween parties. In these photos, students blatantly ignored several basic pandemic precautions. A few classes were missing half of their students after one such Halloween party, where several students were quarantined once it was discovered that an attendee tested positive. Despite this, some students still can not seem to wear their masks according to CDC guidelinesâ€” with the material completely covering the mouth and nose. The attitude of these students is reflected in the community. One such restaurant in Fenton has been shut down twiceâ€” both occasions within less than three weeks of each otherâ€” after staff members were exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19; and yet, Fenton community members still come flooding in as soon as the doors reopen. While many people in Fenton can afford good healthcare, the community is not immune to the pandemic. Regardless of the fact that the general population in Fenton is younger, there are still
Ho w other c om mu n itie s re a ct to the p a n d em ic
residents who are at risk; their health depends on the actions of those around them. Of course it is difficult to limit interactions with others, and it is difficult to not have a regular sports season, school year, work day or even a regular meal. Nor is it easy to try and readjust an established routine when something unexpected comes along. However, COVID-19 is unavoidable; the whole world has had to adjust and make sacrifices for a safer future. So why is Fenton unable to do the same? Public health has to be of greater priority than parties and sports. Fenton is a great community, so it is puzzling why there is such a lack of effort to follow pandemic guidelines. Over the past several months, numerous drives have been put together for winter gear, school supplies and non-perishable food items; teachers have delivered meals to firstresponders and healthcare providers; restaurants have organized free or reduced meals for children. Fenton residents care about their community. They have seen that people are struggling. However, a few people are still neglecting to do some of the easiest, and most important things that they can do right now to assure the health and safety of others: wear a mask and stay inside whenever possible.
Ho w Fe nton re a cts to the p a n d em ic
The Staff ED is based off of a question that the staff votes on. The majority vote determines the angle that the editorial is written from.
Does the Fenton community take pandemic precautions seriously?
Yes: 6 No: 9 Abstain: 0 Total: 15 Final opinion: No, the Fenton community does not take pandemic precautions seriously EDITORIAL CARTOON ANDREA ELSHOLZ
November 30, 2020
Way Too Expen$ive
The cost of athletic supplies, practice spaces, lessons ads up for athletes ASSISTANT PRINT EDITOR MOLLY KILLIAN
PHOTO ABBY SIZEMORE
Statistics provided by The Aspen Institute’s Project Play via https://www. aspenprojectplay. org/youth-sportsfacts/participationrates Photo of senior Lydia Anderson (above) by Abby Sizemore Photo of senior Brook Herbstreit (below) by Logan Reeves
PHOTO LOGAN REEVES
November 30, 2020
As the prices of equipment, uniforms, teams, practice spaces and lessons soar, many students find themselves no longer able to pay the price required to play the sport they love. According to Grand Stand Central, hockey can accumulate a total cost of around $4,000. Most of this cost comes from the equipment. A full set of used equipment costs about $3,000. “With hockey, there is a lot of expensive equipment that you need to get,” sophomore Brett Elsey said. “You have to worry about a stick, skates, shoulder pads, shin guards, elbow guards, a neck guard, gloves, pants, a helmet and a mouth guard. All of these things end up being very expensive. My skates and stick alone cost around $800. Also, some of that equipment requires some upkeep costs. For example, you need to get your skates sharpened and buy tape for your stick.” Not only are there high equipment costs, but many people also have to pay to get practice time and practice space. For instance, one can’t exactly play tennis or baseball in their living room. “Private lessons for golf are usually quite expensive,” senior Brook Herbstreit said. “Mine are $80 for an hour. If you want to get better at golf, you have to keep on practicing during the off-season. So, I have a lesson about once every other week during the summer. Many people also go to tournaments which can end up costing over $100.” While the price can be a factor when a student decides whether they want to play a sport, some students love the sport enough that they feel the high cost is worth it. These students want to reap the benefits that sports can provide. These benefits include increased confidence, social skills and discipline, according to the Novak Djokovic Foundation “I do not think that I have ever really thought about quitting hockey because of the price,” Elsey said. “I think that hockey is the most fun and exciting sport to play. If you really enjoy it, the price wouldn’t really matter to you. However, since prices are rising, the price could start to matter in the future..” Many times, playing a recreational sport is less expensive than playing it through a school. Because of this, some students decide to continue playing their sport, but they do not join a team. “I have been skiing since I was two years old,” junior Samantha Megdanoff said. “I would love to join the ski team, but it is just too expensive. The passes that you have to buy for Mt. Holly end up costing about $300. Also, if I were on the ski team, I would need to buy a G-suit, which costs about $200. So all in all, switching from recreational skiing to being on the ski team would cost about $500.” Over the years, sports have become much more expensive, and because of this, fewer kids are able to participate. According to the Aspen Institute, many parents wish that sports didn’t cost so much so that their children would be able to reap the benefits sports can provide.
“But What If . . . ”
Cheating is more complicated than just academic dishonesty WRITER ADELINE OSTRANDER
Multiple schools across the nation have switched to online schooling instead of face-toface because of COVID-19, forcing students to work from home using computers to complete assignments. This unsupervised learning environment has led to an increased amount of cheating on assignments and tests. With only half of students’ bodies shown on the screen, the ability to cheat has increased with less risk, and students would rather risk being caught than getting a lower grade. Students are taught that their grades and academic abilities define them as a person and determine how successful they will be in their future. Therefore, a failed test or assignment may evoke feelings of panic that spiral into a chain of catastrophic and unrealistic thoughts. Upon failing a test, a student may begin to worry that they will never get into the college they want, which means they will not get a good job, they will struggle financially and they will end up as a failure. This idea is not only toxic and harmful, but it is often false. Jobs look at multiple factors of a transcript and not simply grade point averages (GPA), and there are numerous colleges and trade schools that provide a good quality education while also accepting students with “lower” GPAs. If a student doesn’t think they will do well on their own, they might turn to cheating just to make sure they get a good grade. HealthyChildren states that “between standardized testing and a culture of achievement, today’s youth can feel pressure to succeed in ways previous generations did not.” Every year, Higher Education Research does a survey asking incoming college freshmen
if they feel overwhelmed by all they have to do. “In 2016, 41 percent of students said ‘Yes’ compared with 28 percent in 2000 and 18 percent in 1985.” Anxiety can also play a role in academic dishonesty. People who suffer from anxiety may have difficulty taking tests or getting proper accommodations for tests, such as extra time. These external factors can provide another barrier to assessments that other students do not have to face. There are several psychological factors that play into cheating as well. Studies conducted by Jason Stephens showed that students are more likely to cheat in a class where the teacher is less fair and not as compassionate towards their students. If a teacher is more focused on the grades instead of learning, students are more likely to cheat. Most school systems are teaching in a way that does not coincide with the working of the real world. Students are expected to memorize and recite knowledge, receive a grade and repeat. It is unlikely that this knowledge will stick with them for the rest of their lives, let alone for the next week, and is often not needed for jobs. When it comes to cheating, there are more external factors at play than just moral corruption. Humans are biologically wired to collaborate with others. In today’s society, there is nearly unlimited access to almost everything taught in school, making the memorization of curriculum unnecessary. There is too much pressure on students to succeed; it is no surprise that their methods of success may be less than savory.
ART CAMERON CARLSON
another customer thinks that they’re above Customer Service salty, waiting for their food just like everyone else, a
One of the biggest indicators of personality is how someone treats workers in the service industry. These workers are constantly talked down to and blamed for things that are not their responsibility; Get Real considering that these workers Editor-in-Chief are an important backbone in Andrea Elsholz society, they deserve nothing but respect. There is no logic behind yelling at a waitress or waiter. They are often subject to undeserved deflections of anger, they constantly clean up after everyone else and they are currently risking their health and safety to satisfy customers during a pandemic. Someone thinks that their eggs are too
creepy older man thinks that the sixteen-yearold waitress should smile more; all of this anger, impatience and perversion is ultimately heaped upon restaurant employees. These customers are the people that they have to rely on for an income, because most waiters and waitresses— like many tipped workers— make below minimum wage. As a result, restaurant employees are trapped in an endless cycle of disrespect and complacency. So next time, tidy up the table and tip as much as possible; anyone who has to clean up a little kid’s snot off of a chair deserves to be paid handsomely. Restaurant workers are not the only ones subject to poor treatment. Many adults seem to think that a great outlet for releasing anger is yelling at teenage retail workers for things that are out of the worker’s control. If the cashier could magically
manifest that color and brand of yarn that is currently out of stock, they would. However, since they do not have magical powers, nor are they in charge of ordering the supply of goods for the store, this is not an option— and yelling at them will not solve anything. It just creates a scene. Yet, the retail workers often show nothing but politeness in return; and with the frequent waves of holiday shoppers, this is incredibly impressive. Showing disrespect to someone who is actively providing a service is not only illogical, but it shows a lack of decency and perspective. When someone is disrespectful to service workers, speak up. The employee is rarely ever in a position where they are able to protect themselves without putting their job on the line. Make it abundantly clear: service workers should be treated like human beings— not servants.
November 30, 2020
The holiday season during the pandemic WRITER ANGELINA VITARELLI
At this time of year, Americans would typically be gearing up for the winter holidays. But 2020 has not been a typical year. The large number of restrictions placed on gatherings because of COVID-19 has made it difficult to plan holiday events with families. “I haven’t seen much of my extended family at all,” junior Megan Guile said. “Last year I had a huge gathering with my cousins and grandparents on my mom’s side, but this year I won’t see many of them at all.” According to Jill Cowan from the New York Times, California has placed restrictions where only three households or less can gather for holiday events— this includes the host household— to limit exposure and reduce the possibility of spreading the virus. Now in Michigan, on Nov. 15, Governor Whitmer gave a statement cautioning the state to limit Thanksgiving gatherings to only one other household to slow the spread of COVID-19. “I had not heard that California has put on holiday restrictions but it doesn’t surprise me because they’re so densely populated,” Guile said. “I think the Michigan holiday restrictions are kind of sad, but it may slow down the COVID-19 cases so I can see why.” Music has largely been affected by the virus as well. Artists have either resorted to virtual shows,
streamed on their social media platforms, or they have taken a break from performing. As for school performances, singers and musicians alike are starting to feel the effects of the pandemic within the band or choirs. “The band was not able to go to Saginaw Valley State University this year for band camp,” sophomore Caleb Markley said, “but we did manage to get together for a smaller camp this summer at the high school. Near the end of the football season we were able to come to three games before the season ended. We had to play at the end zone by McDonald’s, which I ended up liking more because I got to see the game better.” Choir student senior Drew Baldwin has been equally affected by the inability to sing and perform with her . “We haven’t had any shows or concerts yet, but we are hoping to be able to have some soon,” Baldwin said. “We are trying really hard to perform in any way we can, whether that be a live stream, video recording or in person. We are going to be singing our holiday songs and doing our caroling around town like we do every year. With the lock down I don’t think it would be possible for us to do a holiday concert.” The winter holidays are a time to be thankful and spend time with family and friends. Faced with quarantine, precautions to limit exposure and
Stocks Up, Economy Down
The COVID-19-induced recession is currently the worst economic downturn on record. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, unemployment peaked at 14.7 percent in April. The second quarter was the worst period for economic Economics growth ever— gross domestic product (GDP) declined 31.4 Guest Writer Aaron Toth percent (seasonally adjusted). While unemployment fell to 6.9 percent in October, and GDP rose precipitously in the third quarter, the U.S. economy has still not returned to its pre-pandemic level of prosperity.
November 30, 2020
Despite this, the stock market has returned to pre-pandemic levels and has even begun to surpass previous records. According to Yahoo Finance, the Standard and Poor 500 Index (S&P 500) has been setting records since August after rebounding from a low point in March. This raises the question: why has the stock market not reflected the rest of the economy? The answer is as nuanced and complicated as the economy. For one, the stock market is highly sensitive to future expectations— especially those about the pandemic. According to the New York Times Vaccine Tracker, Moderna and Pfizer have shown promising signs of delivering inoculating vaccines before the year’s end. The news of vaccine success has boosted confidence in a coming recovery for the economy. Additionally, the accommodative monetary policy
ART MOLLY KILLIAN
financial restraints brought by the pandemic, gifts will be harder to come by this holiday season for many individuals. Many businesses have suffered throughout this year, with lack of customers and reduced stock. “Lately we’ve been really slow,” Carter’s employee senior Paige Mesarosh said. “We’ve extended our hours for Christmas but [the store] is dead for the last two hours that we are open. I think less people are willing to come out especially because a lot of people that shop there are grandparents, have young kids or are expecting.” Family plans have been put on hold all year due to quarantine. This includes birthdays, anniversaries and the winter holidays. Many extended families have quarantined from one another to keep each other healthy and safe. “I normally visit my older sister, Sarah, for the holidays,” Guile said. “It is always relaxed and there are never a ton of people so our plans will probably not alter because we have been exposed to Sarah and her two babies the most.” COVID-19 has been the cause of many changes this year. But the community and the nation have taken these changes in stride, adapting as challenges come. To have a happy, healthy and safe holiday season, visit www.cdc.gov to learn more about COVID-19 and how to protect loved ones.
from the Federal Reserve has boosted stocks prices through major asset purchases that even include corporate bonds. This loose policy has both boosted confidence in future Federal Reserve action and directly raised asset prices through demand. After a surge in value in response to the uncertainty present at the beginning of the pandemic, the dollar has weakened relative to both the Chinese Yuan and the European Euro. This is not the same as inflation, which has been held down by weakened demand, but it does mean that the appreciation of dollar-denominated assets can be partially explained by the depreciation of the dollar, which has happened as investors seek to reinvest in other currencies and financial assets. Ultimately, there are many reasons for this dicontinuity— all important to understanding the current crisis.
Sophomore Keira Shantry: “Wearing sandals in the winter is fantastic. A lot of people think that it is weird or that your feet get cold, but mine do not. I like wearing sandals all year long, with or without socks. I did have bright pink and purple fuzzy socks that I wore with my sandals once, but then I never did that again.” Junior Mikayla Maher: “My unpopular opinion is that I do not think that Blue Jays have blue pigment in their feathers— they reflect blue light. [My sister] Jenna calls me crazy whenever I say this. There is actually only one animal that has blue pigment and that is a Nessaea butterfly. I found it out from a random search on google and a YouTube recommended video.” Senior Chase Ort: “Ronald Reagan sucks. He is terrible. So many people idolize him and look at him as one of the best presidents ever for no good reason. He’s literally terrible. He increased spending so much every year he was in office. We’re going to go back to when he was the governor of California. He cut funding for public colleges, which drove up the price of college. He is the reason. After that, all the other states followed suit. Not only that, once he was in office, he ignored the AIDS crisis because it didn’t affect his base. It didn’t affect the people that were going to vote him back into office. It affected minorities and inner city people and that’s why he didn’t care.”
Agree to Disagree Unpopular opinions that students have
PRINT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ANDREA ELSHOLZ
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Freshman Brady Bidleman: “‘Stranger Things’ is overrated. I think it is good, but so many people say that it is such a great show and that they’ll die if another season doesn’t come out. They always end each season with a giant cliffhanger and then everyone freaks out about what will happen next. But then we all wait a year and a half for the same thing to happen with a different monster. It is like a ‘Scooby Doo’ episode that takes four years to watch.”
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