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COVID-19 COVID-19 COVID-19 Uncertainty causing hysteria March 19, 2019


Issue 6 Vol. 130



the year. Around the same time, President Donald Trump announced a travel ban that restricts travel to and from Europe, where COVID-19 has hit countries such as Italy especially hard. On March 12, the San Mateo Union High School District school district announced that all schools would be closing for at least two weeks and that classes would take place online. Along with school, all sports and school-related events would be put on hold until further notice. This cancellation has since been extended through spring break for an additional two weeks due to San Mateo County orders. Among the students forced to learn from home is senior Matthew Pilch. “I think that it might be more serious than we actually think it is because the government knows so much and

they are just telling people to go home,” Pilch said. While the coronavirus is not usually deadly to healthy individuals, with many affected young people seeming asymptomatic, precautions are necessary to avoid spreading the virus to at-risk groups. In addition, hysteria about the uncertainty of the current situation has escalated tensions. It is hard to predict when the risk of infection will subside, making the future of many students, business owners and employees uncertain for at least the near future. This fear of the unknown is heightened by the plummeting stock market and short term economic ramifications of the virus. continued on PAGE 2

The WHO was first alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, China. The cases had no known cause. DEC 31

World Health Organization (WHO) A new type Media began of corona- reporting the virus was first known identified person to die and named from corona2019-nCoV virus. JAN 7

JAN 10

Washington State reported the first case in the U.S.

The WHO declared COVID-19 a global health emergency.

The WHO officially named the virus COVID-19.

The CDC confirmed first case in CA with no reported travel connection to China or exposure to another person with COVID-19.

JAN 21

JAN 31

FEB 11

FEB 26

The WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic after confirming over 118,000 cases in 114 countries. MAR 11

MAR 13

Super Tuesdays Paint Clearer Picture of Frontrunners in the Race for Nomination BY ELLIOT SKILLINGS and AIDEEN DELAHUNT

Staff Reporters

The biggest round of the Democratic presidential primaries took place on March 3, pitting five candidates against each other. It was clear heading into the night that Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden were the frontrunners, with Mike Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren and Tulsi Gabbard trailing by substantial margins. At the end of the night, Biden and Sanders were the only candidates with legitimate shots to win the nomination, as the two won all 14 states voting. Biden pulled off a historic comeback, even winning


Texas, and pulled in front of Sanders for the lead. On March 10, Biden expanded his lead over Sanders, winning every state besides North Dakota, which Sanders won. Biden’s delegate count is 1,181 as of March 19, compared to Sander’s 885. Tulsi Gabbard, who earned two delegates, dropped out this morning and endorsed Biden. Sanders remains in the running, although his main goal is to have a Democrat elected to office in November. He has stated that if he has to drop out to make that happen, he will. After the most recent primaries, he is officially “reassessing” his presidential bid. In less than a month, the future of the primaries has changed drastically. However,


Got ink? Read about featured tattoos of the Burlingame staff

a candidate needs 1,991 delegates to win the nomination, so neither Biden nor Sanders can definitively claim victory yet. “Everyone that is saying it’s already been decided is maybe calling it a little too early,” history teacher Jim Chin said. Regardless of the outcome, the debates that go along with the primaries are an essential way to open up political discussions, unite parties and decide on the best decisions for the people. Following a back and forth debate on March 15, Sanders and Biden went toe-to-toe once again on Tuesday, March 17. Although four states postponed their primaries due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Flori-


Burlingame sports at the mercy of COVID-19


San Mateo County School District closes its schools through April 3.

MAR 15

MAR 16


da, Arizona and Illinois still allowed ballots to be cast. Even though the California primary passed on March 3, there will be many more voting opportunities for young people to get their voices heard, the most significant opportunity being the November election. The youngest voters have always been the group with the lowest turnout, with turnout growing drastically as age increases. “I think it’s important for [young people] to make our views known,” senior Anna Bronzini said. “And we can do that by voting. It’s the most direct way that we can influence politics.”

Our moment in history; student’s responsibility to define how we deal with state of emergency

First reported coronavirus related death in San Mateo County. This was the third coronavirus related death in the Bay Area. 31 confirmed cases in San Mateo county.

Source: www.VeryWellHealth.com


President Donald Trump declared a national emergency, enabling $50 billion in federal aid. San Mateo County Health Officer issued a School Operations Modification Order from March 16 through April 3.


China has been suffering from the effects of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 since it was first discovered. Many citizens have had to evacuate, including Shanghai resident Mathew Lewis, who found refuge in Australia amid the crisis. “The hardest thing is that there is no certainty. We have no idea how long this will take. Who knows when everyone is going to return? Who knows when the schools are going to open?” Lewis said. Since being interviewed, Lewis and his son have been able to return, hopeful that school will resume shortly. In recent weeks, China has slowly become safer as the country’s infection rate has slowed.

In contrast, the infection rate in the U.S. is increasing daily, and the pandemic is having full effects on the local community. Just over a week ago, the coronavirus seemed a very distant threat to Burlingame. The first cases were just hitting the Bay Area, and many dismissed the virus as nothing worse than the seasonal flu, which is a big misconception due to COVID-19’s higher mortality rate and contagious dormant period. In the following days, national figures such as Rudy Gobert and Tom Hanks were diagnosed with COVID-19. While these diagnoses have no direct relation to Burlingame, they served as a wake-up call to the world and Burlingame students alike. In the 24 hours following, nearly every major sports league was canceled or suspended for



n Jan. 10, a 61-year-old man died in a Chinese hospital from what was presumed to be pneumonia. Locals continued on as usual, assuming that the sudden outbreak of sickness in Wuhan was connected to food from a local fish market. But by the end of January, when there were over 200 deaths and over 9000 confirmed cases of this illness, it became obvious that the situation was much more severe. Now, less than three months after the new disease was discovered, nations around the globe are experiencing the detrimental results of the COVID-19 pandemic.



see the SPREAD on PAGES 6 to 7

After months of hard work, the spring play, Puffs, has been postponed indefinitely



March 19, 2020

Tax on feminine products lifted in California BY HANNA SATO

Photography Chief In June 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 92 which went into effect this January. This bill removes the luxury tax or “Pink Tax” from feminine products such as pads, sanitary wipes and tampons, in addition to diapers. Alison Liberatore, an economics and government teacher, describes how feminine products are invaluable and therefore should no longer be taxed throughout the U.S. “A feminine product tax is a regressive tax. These are inelastic products that you have to buy no matter what,” Liberatore said. “For people that don’t have a lot of money, it is going to be really difficult. If you have enough money that you don’t have to think about it, it is just an annoyance.” Senior Cedric Eaton also highlighted the economic disparity between Burlingame and other places where this tax has more severe complications. “I think in Burlingame, you feel it less and everyone is able to afford it. Clearly, there’s an issue in other countries and other areas in the United States where peo-

ple cannot afford it,” Eaton said. Days for Girls is a club that provides reusable feminine products for women in developing nations. Senior Natalie Malik, the club’s co-president, is dedicated to lessening the impact of poverty on women’s ability to manage menstruation, and she supports the luxury tax removal and what it symbolizes for this reason. “When girls do not have access to menstrual products, they sometimes attempt to use substitutes like sticks, leaves or old paper, which can cause deadly diseases. Or girls do not attend school while they are on their

New and improved financial aid system BY SAM JOHNSTONE



period,” Malik explained. “If girls miss one week every month, eventually they fall too far behind and must drop out of school.” The passing of this new tax indicates the shift towards more progressive taxes in addition to increased representation of women in government. However, Malik and Eaton believe the solution to period poverty is greater, and should even go so far as to

California’s Poetry Out Loud competition revives creative writing as an art

Staff Reporter


The administration has implemented a new financial aid system this year for school events in the hopes of making them more accessible. Burlingame students face expensive tickets to dances and other school-sponsored events due to pricey venues, food and decorations. These hefty price tags have resulted in students avoiding activities in the past due to their inability to afford them. The administration hopes that the new system will stop cost from being a factor in social and extracurricular decisions. Site accounting technician Nancy Marty is in charge of financial aid school events. The new process involves students picking up a form from A120 and filling it out with the event name, how much money they need subsidized and signatures from their parent or guardian. “If you would like to get a yearbook but you don’t have money for it, or tickets to the prom or the formal dance, or really any kind of cool activity through the school, all you need to do is fill out that form,” Marty said. Financial aid has no qualifying factors and is open to every student for full or partial assistance regarding school dances, graduation activities and even merchandise from the Spirit Shack.

Poetry Out Loud is a poetry recitation competition offered in the state of California. It was created in 2005 and has since gained tremendous traction, as students of all ages across the state participate. This competition encourages and inspires students to use confidence and make themselves heard through art. In the program, students learn about poetry through memorization, performance and competition. Additionally, this program helps students master public speaking skills, strengthen their self-confidence and learn about literary history. Since its creation, California’s Poetry Out Loud has grown steadily and is now one of the largest event of its kind in the U.S. The 2020 competition series included 53 counties, 282 schools and 769 teachers, with almost 56,000 students participating statewide. Poetry Out Loud is structured similarly to a spelling bee. The program starts in the fall and continues into the spring semester. High school teachers


provide free feminine products. “There are so few women as policymakers that our voice is often not heard,” Malik said. “Free feminine products would change so many women’s lives, and it would encourage gender equality.”

Staff Reporter

Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Design Editor Sports Editor Chief Photographer Business Manager Webmaster Copy Editors

are given a Poetry Out Loud toolkit and other materials to teach poetry recitations and run classroom competitions. Classroom winners go on to a schoolwide competition and school winners go on to compete at the district or county level by

“Poetry Out Loud was an amazing opportunity to enter the world of poetry.” -Alex Gratch February. County winners advance to state finals in Sacramento, competing for a chance to go onto the national competition in Washington D.C. However, this year’s national

Tekla Carlen Claire Hunt Rachel Yap Ethan Gardner Hanna Sato Moya Liu Ben Neuman Amelia Harris Jacob Lubarsky

Senior Reporters Hubert Chen Tyler Idema Aidan O’Sullivan Annie Sun Allison Szetu Caroline Yeow

competition has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. For those who have a passion or hobby for creative writing, this competition allows participants to indulge themselves in creative writing while also learning more about it. But as some students are reluctant to try something new, this program is meant to inspire and encourage those who have an initial interest but are unsure where to start. English teacher Courtney Pazin led efforts this year to introduce Poetry Out Loud to Burlingame. “Poetry Out Loud was an amazing opportunity to enter the world of poetry, and I enjoyed learning about the poems and preparing with the other participants,” freshman Alex Gratch said. Last month, Gratch moved on to county recitation and had the opportunity to compete against students from other schools in San Mateo County. Poetry Out Loud works to inspire students and keep the art of poetry alive in our community. Since creative writing is not a strong focus in the Burlingame English curriculum, programs like these are supplements to in-class learning.

Staff Reporters Allison Cohen Aideen Delahunt Nicole Fassina Alexia Goldstein Samantha Johnstone Conner Lyons

Website: www.theburlingameb.org Phone: (650) 558-2899 Email: theburlingameb@gmail.com Address: 1 Mangini Way, Burlingame, CA 94010








The average woman will spend more than $6000 on feminine products in her lifetime.

Uncertainty causing hysteria surrounding coronavirus FROM PAGE 1



On March 16, it was announced that the Bay Area would be enacting a “shelter in place” order, meaning that everything but essential services will close for at least two weeks. Residents of the six participating counties, including San Mateo County, are expected to stay home in all cases except for urgent necessities, such as buying groceries. Additional measures include frequent handwashing, avoiding touching one’s face and social distancing of six feet. “Personally, this virus is really frustrating for multiple reasons,” senior Steven Yarmolinsky said. “First, it has affected everyone in the Bay Area, causing major shutdowns. Secondly, not everyone is doing their part, as some people are disregarding the severity of the virus. Hopefully the U.S. can start mass testing soon, as it’d be more favorable if we took after South Korea instead of Italy.”

Policy Statement: The Burlingame B is a student-run newspaper with the role purpose of providing an open forum for student expression. Anything printed represents the opinion of the writer, but not necessarily that of the Burlingame B staff, the administration, or the faculty of Burlingame High School, or anyone affiliated with the San Mateo Union High School District. The Burlingame B does not discriminate against race, political oritentation, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Although The Burlingame B will never refuse to publish guest submission based on the aforementioned factors, we reserve the right to edit or not publish them.

Letters to the Editor Disagree with the writers? Bring your letters to the room A120 or email them to <theburlingameb@gmail.com>. Letters may be considered for publication. The Burlingame B reserves the right to edit for clarity, length, and accuracy. We welcome all comments.



March 19, 2020

Incoming sophomore to try out for football BY AMELIA HARRIS Copy Editor When freshman Sirine Heroumi’s Ethnic Studies class began talking about the lack of girls playing football, she began to think about the possibility of

trying out both as a result of her interest in the sport and as a way to break gender norms. As a former swimmer in Algeria, she had always enjoyed watching football but had never played before. According to Heroumi, when she first told her PE teacher that PHOTO BY AMELIA HARRIS

Sirine Heroumi practices technique by playing catch with future teammates on the field.

she planned to try out for the team he laughed. However, since beginning to attend conditioning in the weight room, Heroumi has gained more support from friends and family, and is befriending the players. “I was so scared for the first [practice]; they’re guys and I always had people telling me that they’re not nice and that football is so aggressive. But they help others and they help me,” Heroumi said. “There’s so much positive power and football affects my grades because I want to play.” According to varsity football coach John Philipopoulos, there have been no girls on the football team in his 19 years at Burlingame; however, there are girls on other teams in the Peninsula Athletic League and he remembers playing against them in past years. Despite the general lack of girls who play football, Philipopoulos emphasized that anyone is welcome to join the team. “We’d love to have anybody in the football program, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort that’s required to be a successful member of the team then we would love to have you,” Philipopoulos said. For girls who play football, it is common for them to play kicker, a lower contact position. Despite the stigma that girls in football should play low contact positions, Heroumi hopes to play receiver. She looks forward to the challenge, although she knows

TEACHER TATTOOS BY SAM JOHNSTONE Staff Reporter Tattoos are a form of artistic expression that allows for people to creatively share stories. It may be surprising, however, to find just how many staff members have adorned their bodies with ink. Seven years after her grandmother passed away, math teacher Kristin Berglund decided to get a small swirled tattoo on her ankle to honor her relative. “I know that some cultures put a tattoo on their body to honor the person who has passed, and I really liked that idea,” Berglund said. Berglund came up with the idea of the blue swirls as a tribute to her grandmother’s crazy hair, which could regularly be found in tight blue curls. Because a tattoo is such a permanent alteration, Berglund wanted to see if she was fully set on the idea by drawing the symbol on her ankle with a sharpie every day for a year prior to getting the actual tattoo. Health aide Ana Herold has a Hawaiian flower tattoo located on her foot that was drawn by a high school friend and inked the day she turned eighteen. Her parents made her wait until she was of legal age, so she signed herself out of school and drove over to the tattoo shop. “There has been a lot of flexibility over the last few decades surrounding tattoos, as we see them so much more on social media with celebrities getting them and posting about them,” Herold said. Math teacher Kat Whited also has a tattoo located on her foot.

After studying abroad in South Africa during college, she decided to create a permanent reminder of those memories. The complex tattoo has three parts. “The first part of the tattoo is … the Trinity symbol, a chance for God’s Son and Holy Spirit,” Whited said. Layered on top of that is “hope” and “peace” in Zulu, one of the official languages of South Africa, to allow her to cherish her time spent abroad. Attendance clerk Denise Burch has a total of five tattoos on her body. She has inked her children’s names on her wrists, but says that her favorite tattoo is the one placed behind her ear. “This is a tribute to the singer Prince, and after he passed away I got that tattoo,” Burch said. Special Education teacher Timothy Whitehorn has a tribute tattoo as well, dedicated to Chelsea Football Club and California, both located on the backs of his legs. “I’ve loved Chelsea since I was a little kid—it’s my team. I always told myself that if they ever won the Champions League I would get a Chelsea tattoo, and then they did,” Whitehorn said. His brother-in-law gifted the tattoo to him as a birthday present one year. His second tattoo is a bear hugging California, based off of his favorite mug. This tattoo was a present to himself after finishing his master’s degree. Tattoos are a unique form of art that allows for people to express themselves. The staff members at Burlingame explained the meaningful and interesting stories behind them, showing how incredible ink can be.

she will need to work hard to gain the skills necessary for the sport.

“I was so scared for the first [practice]; they’re guys and I always had people telling me that they’re not nice and that football is so aggressive. But they help others and they help me, -Sirine Heroumi Though she is still learning basic rules and technique, she is excited for the start of the season. “I don’t want to just be a kicker, like what most girls [who play football] do; I want to be a receiver. I want to play line … that’s what I’m most excited about,” Heroumi said.

Berglund “Her hair was curly ... and I am also a math teacher so I love the idea of infinity … so I put my love for her and her continuing love for us and put these two ideas together.”

Whited “This tattoo means peace [and hope]… so I put it on my foot so it was a constant reminder when I looked down.”

Herold “There is actually a cursive L in the middle, it is hard to tell, but it standards for my sister’s name Lena.”


“My favorite tattoo is the one one my wrist because it is my kid’s names, so it probably has the most meaning to me.”

Whitehorn “Tattoos are a really cool way to express things you are really into, or a part of yourself. However, they’re permanent so just really think about it!” PHOTOS BY SAM JOHNSTONE

Film class to come to BHS BY TYLER IDEMA Staff Reporter Starting in the fall, English teacher Shane Karshan will be teaching a new semester-long class that is centered around the analysis of film. Unlike the current Art of Video class, run by Stephen Erle, Karshan’s class will focus less on the creation of film and more on the appreciation of cinema as an art form. “To be able to watch a movie not in a way that makes it work, but to just be able to see it from an artistic standpoint and be like, ‘Wow the way this shot is framed is both an artistic choice and a thematic choice.’ And to be able to appreciate the writing of it,” Karshan said. The class, which will be called Cinema and Society, will study more than just different forms of film. Short films, international films, old films and modern films will all be shown in the class, and students will focus on the themes, parallels and aesthetics seen in the films they watch. In class, students can expect to have minimal homework, participate in discussions, do presentations and, from time to time, produce small writing pieces. Cinema and Society has been a long time coming for Karshan, who has been a film fanatic for the majority of his life. While studying English and writing in college, Karshan also explored his interest in film, which is when he was able to really see and understand the aesthetics of film. “It was a very exciting moment when I realized that film can be taken to a level of great literature and great fine art,” Karshan said. As an English teacher, Karshan has been mostly invested in the parallels between books and their film adaptations. “Because I love books so much, sometimes it feels like a betrayal when an amazing book that can change your life is bastardized as a film, so when it’s done well, it’s exciting,” Karshan said. Because of the similarities between the Art of Video class and the new Cinema and Society class, Karshan recommends that students interested in film take both classes to truly gain a higher understanding of film. “I think it’s great how they can kind of work hand in hand in that some of my students who were really into film and are in Art of Video appreciate the aesthetics of film and the way aesthetics can work hand in hand with thematics. Hopefully, it will be a great parallel for people to also be inspired by the shots in the film,” Karshan said.












Sports cancelled due to spread of the novel COVID-19 virus. The prevention of mass concentrations of fifty people or more lowers chances of the spreading of the Coronavirus.





J u n io r A l ex Go sl aws k i r u n s for t h e b all at t h e M arch 1 0 ga m e a ga i n st St . F ra n c i s .

J u n i o r Sydney F l em i ng runs to fi rst b a s e af te r hitt i n g t he s o f tball

March 19, 2020


As the San Mateo Union High School District board announced a schoolwide shutdown, there was a collective air of excitement. Initially, “no school” sounded like a dream. However, athletes across the spring season’s nine sports soon realized what it meant for their athletic careers at Burlingame. For many seniors, this year was supposed to be their last ride, their peak season, for most will never play competitively again. While the future of the school year is uncertain, it is unlikely that sports will return, if at all, until mid-April. With their prospects for the season in shambles, Burlingame athletes are devastated. “Our team is really disappointed to have our season interrupted like this. I think we all feel we have great chemis-

try and talent and had a chance to be really successful this year,” senior varsity baseball player Tim Christian said. Other players expressed similar sentiments, as they came to terms with the fact that their initially successful seasons may not proceed. “We have a lot of seniors on the team, so it’s really upsetting,” senior varsity lacrosse player Ethan Kaufman said. The same disillusionment is affecting every team as they all grapple with the same fate. “I am sad,” senior and track captain Cooper Glavin said simply. Many of the Burlingame teams had strong starts to their seasons, and were hoping to make runs at the Central Coast Section finals. Varsity baseball opened the season at 5-0, with statement wins against Mills and El Camino. Softball was also undefeated, winning three games against Saint Ignatius, Half Moon Bay and Mills before their

season was cut short. Boys lacrosse, after a shaky preseason in which they went 2-2, capitalized on a huge win against league opponent Sequoia. Girls lacrosse started the season at 1-3 but looked to make improvements down the line with a very salvageable league record of 1-1. Additionally, boys volleyball went 3-3, boys tennis went 1-3 and badminton, track and boys golf all had high prospects for the coming year. It was difficult for all athletes to let go of these budding seasons, though their futures are still questionable. Moving forward, not much can be said for the future of Burlingame athletics, or the school as a whole for that matter. Based on an update on March 17 from Gov. Gavin Newsom, it is possible that all schools remain closed until summer. Although this is not established for certain, it would mark the definitive end of their careers for many Burlingame athletes.



Junior Austin Daga playing in the match on Mar. 10 against the Hillsdale Knights.



March 19, 2020
















S o pho m o re M o ll y Watcho rst runs t h e 800m o n March 11 m e et against E l C am i no H ig h S cho ol.

Senior Ben Hoffman practices his golf sw i n g .


Junio r B rando n Fo ng pre pare s to s e nd the birdie across the net in a m atch against Univers ity H ig h S cho o l o n March 9.



Varsity pitch er Ty l e r M o n i z - Wi tte n p re p a re s to d el i ve r a strike.



Junio r Zachar y Ngai leaps fo r the s pike during a co nference m atchup against S an M ate o o n M arch 12.




Senior Reporter

Sitting at the dinner table, your great-aunt asks you which colleges you have applied to. All conversations halt. 10 pairs of eyes focus in your direction. You have no idea how to respond. Although you applied to some big-name schools, their acceptance rates are outrageously low. If you say them now and do not get in later, you’ll look like a failure. The other schools you applied to are so obscure that you would rather tell your family about a rejection than say their names aloud. Today, students are pressured to choose colleges based on how prestigious they are. The prevailing mindset is that the prominence of the college they attend is linked to their selfworth. Both students and their parents believe that going to a highly competitive college is critical to be successful later in life. This perspective is not only untrue (A Stanford study, “A ‘Fit’ Over Rankings,” found no correlation between the success of a student and the selectivity of a college), but is also damaging, as the pathway to success appears to be rigid, creating pressure and stress. The most significant consequence of this mindset is that students don’t pick colleges based on fit: size, programs, community, etc. Instead, colleges are considered based on how impressive they sound. This is akin to shopping for a jacket and choosing the most snazzy, expensive one, even if it is three sizes too small. Finding a college shouldn’t be about impressing people, it should be about finding the right path to your future. Realistically, even if you are accepted into a highly selective school, you may be unhappy with the competitive nature of the school, the environment or the people. The five minutes of glory you get from your acceptance will be completely forgotten in the next four years of misery. We need to change our collective mindset about what defines success when it comes to being accepted into college. People should congratulate others for finding a college that is suited uniquely to their needs, rather than being accepted to a school with a 2% acceptance rate. The college you attend doesn’t define you. Finding the college that fits you, however, will stimulate your growth as a person, which will help you define yourself. So what your greataunt really should be asking you is if you’ve found the school that suits you.

“Mulan” is coming out… does anyone else care other than Asians? BY ALLISON SZETU


Students pick colleges to apply to based on prestige

March 19th, 2020

Senior Reporter

I always resonated with Disney movies as a child. However, there was one movie that I loved the most: “Mulan.” Looking back on my younger years, I question why I liked “Mulan” in the first place. The story was not accurate, the voice actors were not all Asian and the CGI was subpar at best. In spite of these flaws, I probably loved “Mulan” because I never saw any other movies with actors that looked like me, much less any Asian heroes or princesses. Everyone else’s favorite Disney princess was Cinderella or Snow White, but I felt like I had a duty to my Chinese heritage to love Mulan because it was such a revered story in Chinese history. Even now, I notice that I look specifically for Asian actors in films, and I root for them, and it is not because I like them—in fact, Rose from the new “Star Wa r s” films

Disney is releasing a live action of “Mulan” later this year annoys me. And therein lies the problem: there is not enough Asian representation in the media, and when there are Asian characters, they often have stereotypical roles, such as Gong in “Sixteen Candles.” A l -

Club,” which was made 25 years ago. Also, the fact that this film captured a wide audience consisting not only of Asian people convinced me that Hollywood was open to diversifying its range of actors. As expected, I enjoyed the movie. Nevertheless, I can’t help but ask myself: do I like the movie itself, or do I just












though it is not a competition, it seems like Hollywood doesn’t represent Asians as much as other minorities. Is it because Asians are afraid to audition for roles? Or is it because Asians are just not as appealing heroes to Americans? One movie that intrigued me was “Crazy Rich Asians.” It was the first all-Asian cast in a Hollywood film since “The Joy Luck




like it because I am supposed to? If this movie had no Asian actors, would I like it just as much? The live-action adaptation of “Mulan” will be released later this year—its March release was delayed due to COVID-19. “Mulan” features all-Asian leads. As an Asian, I am extremely excited for this film, and I expect other Asians are, as well. However, I wonder if the movie will capture a diverse audience besides those Asians that want to watch it. I’m sure that, like my family, Asians around the world are jumping for joy that Hollywood is expanding its range of actors. However, I worry that “Mulan” is just another movie that will go over everyone else’s head because it may look mediocre. I hope that people are actually going to flock to the film like a bunch of origami cranes. Through broadening their pool of actors, Hollywood will not only increase Asian representation in the media, but also allow children to look up to these actors. Children and adults will no longer feel the surprise I do when I see Asians on TV.

American commuting habits dictated decades ago


Senior Reporter

For many of us living in American suburbia, it is sometimes hard to imagine leaving our houses in anything other than a car. This is really no surprise, seeing as how our communities were designed around this mode of transportation as compared to cities like New York, where subways dominate. In Burlingame, seeing a cyclist or skateboarder on a busy road usually sparks the reaction, “What’s this lunatic doing on this dangerous road, endangering themselves and others?” During the first semester of my junior year, I biked the four miles to and from my house to school daily. However, when I returned the following semester with my brand new, shiny driver’s license, I found myself almost never biking anymore, despite promising myself to bike whenever possible for health and environmental reasons. Whenever I did bike, I found it much harder than before, further discouraging

me from biking in the future. On the West Coast of the U.S., this cultural trend is not a huge surprise given our carbased suburban expansion in the mid-20th century. Nearly all of Burlingame and Hillsborough was planned under the assumption that residents would have ready

“Normally, when I ride my electric unicycle, it takes around 16-20 minutes to get to school, depending on traffic, and when I use a car, it takes about 14-15 minutes.”

-Arthur Powers access to cars, and little to no motivation to use any other mode of transport. However, in the 21st century, when people are trying

to limit their carbon footprint to reduce global warming, our city planning makes it increasingly difficult and inconvenient to limit the amount we drive. So, we have essentially been tied to the use of cars by city planners decades ago. For me, biking was intended to be a source of fitness and entertainment as much as it was intended to be a mode of transportation, whereas driving is really only a mode of transportation. By giving my commute another meaning, I was able to overcome the inconvenience of not driving and adopt a more ecologically friendly option. For many students, however, fitness and entertainment isn’t really an issue, and by the end of the day they just want to go home with minimal effort and relax, making biking a pointless and inconvenient mode of transportation. But biking is not the only way to avoid driving. “I use my electric unicycle to go to school almost every day,” junior Arthur Powers said. “Normally, when I ride my electric unicycle, it takes around 16 to 20 minutes to get to school, depend-

ing on traffic, and when I use a car, it takes about 14 to 15 minutes.” Electric unicycles (EUCs) and other options such as electric skateboards, while not as mainstream as cycling, are also effective modes of transport, although they remove the fitness aspect of cycling. “Some drawbacks to riding an EUC is its roughly 30-mile range per charge, although some more expensive models allow for 60 to 80 miles, and the difficulty curve that comes with learning how to use it. For people who live only a few miles away from school, I think riding an EUC, bike or electric skateboard would be a much better alternative to riding a car,” Powers said. While getting a new electric unicycle or electric skateboard might seem like a large financial investment, it is also important to account for the money saved from driving less. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, it is estimated that the average Californian spent around $1,147 on gasoline in 2017, some of which would be reduced by spending less time driving.


March 19, 2020


We are currently living through a momentous period in worldwide history. With the spread of COVID-19, we have witnessed widespread shutdowns, hysteria, mass quarantines and other unprecedented measures. If we dare to venture outside of our homes, we see a ghost town— cars no longer ramble along the streets, store shelves are near empty, strangers in masks distance themselves from us. As students and teachers, we have struggled to adapt to online learning and keep ourselves sane for long periods of isolation. We question our futures, from prom to graduation to the increasingly likely possibility that this situation will irreparably damage our communities and our economy. While this challenging time affects every person differently, it is important that we realize that we are not alone and that we will get through this. Just like the millions affected by the various emergencies in our past, from the diphtheria outbreak of the 1920s to the Great Depression, we will survive. And just like the people who lived through similar states of emergency, we have the power to control how this part of our history will go down. In only a matter of years, this period of our lives could be a subject on some future high school student’s AP U.S. History test. So what kind of legacy do we want to leave? How do we want to shape this period of history? First and foremost, we must remember our responsibilities. High school students, because of our young age, have fewer risks when it comes to the mortality rate of COVID-19, unless we have conditions like asthma or diabetes that make us more susceptible. However, we must not dismiss the dangers of this virus. COVID-19 particularly threatens older people and those with immune deficiencies, meaning our parents and grandparents are especially at risk. Because younger people are more likely to be asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19, we must take extra precautions to avoid infecting the people around us. We must remember that our actions have serious consequences on the important people in our lives and act accordingly. We must practice social distancing,

frequent hand-washing and other measures to ensure that we do not worsen the current situation. In addition to taking care of our physical health, we must not ignore our mental and social health. The government recommends creating a routine to establish normalcy during this abnormal period in our lives, including making the effort to get a recommended amount of exercise and going outside. Just taking a daily walk can impact how we react to the stress that we face during this quarantine. As Principal Paul Belzer advises, students should also strive to establish a safe place for themselves where they can focus on their academic work without the interruption of home life. If a student finds themselves in a situation where they feel unsafe in their home during this time of quarantine, they should reach out (resources are available from the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (1-800) 799-7233 or on their website). During this trying period of our lives, we must remember to take care of ourselves and our loved ones, whether that means listening to music for some alone time, baking to destress or reaching out to friends digitally. We also cannot allow this unprecedented period of our lives to influence how we treat each other. As addressed in staffer Hanna Sato’s opinion piece, there are racial ramifications to this virus which are aggravated by an overall sense of ignorance and misguided anxiety. Our president has unfortunately come to call the coronavirus the “Chinese virus” in his tweets, only exemplifying the behavior that we, as a society, must avoid. The fear we experience in the face of this national emergency does not excuse mass xenophobia or racism, and this kind of thinking is counterproductive in our efforts to move past this trying period of our lives. Widespread fears about COVID-19 necessitate social distancing and other precautionary measures, not widespread displays of racism. COVID-19 introduces unprecedented fears and reactions, but we must remember that we will get through this state of emergency. We must remember that we are a part of history, and we have a responsibility to shape how this part of our lives plays out. From our editors working hard to bring the facts to the masses sequestered at home, we wish you luck.



A discussion on free speech

n 2017, a transgender boy named Aiden Sucec received backlash from his high school orchestra teacher, John Kluge, in Brownsburg, Indiana. Kluge was fired by the school district after denouncing Sucec’s pronouns in front of the class, and the teacher later sued the school, as he felt that his remarks did not warrant his termination. The debate on the teacher’s actions and their consequences splits readers on whether his punishment fits the circumstances. Should he have been fired?





This article is not an attempt to speak over or for transgender students. To me, this is about the unethical behavior of teachers because a good teacher should not let anything get in the way of a safe space for education. I believe that Kruge’s firing was justified due to the damage inflicted upon the student. A teacher’s main priority should never be their own beliefs; it should be their students’ health and safety. With the attempted suicide rate of transgender student males at around 50% and transgender student females at about 30% (as opposed to the overall rate of 9.3% for female teenagers and 5.1% for male teenagers), transgender teens are already at a much higher risk of mental health struggles than their cisgender peers. Teachers should be actively supporting and lifting their students, transgender or otherwise. If they do not do so, it is a problem, and if they actively alienate students, it is a severe issue. If one is not willing to put their students’ needs above their own beliefs, they should not be a teacher. Teachers should never call a vulnerable teenager “sinful” or have them believe their personhood is invalid, wrong or immoral. This is not about censoring opinions; it is about keeping children safe. The Bible and political beliefs should never come before the well-being of children, and if a teacher thinks they should, they should consider a profession other than teaching. Kruge deserved to be fired after his purposeful and repeated disrespect of Sucec, a child placed he was meant to support on a daily basis.

I concur that the teacher’s statements toward Sucec were distasteful and inappropriate; with political correctness should come politeness, especially given the anger and division such controversial statements may incite in the classroom. With all of this said, the professor in question should not be fired in spite of his remarks. Political views amongst teachers is quite common—over the years I have been in school, several of my teachers have openly expressed their views to their students on subjects ranging from climate change to abortion. While a classroom is not the preferred platform for political views, one should hold the right to express themselves in a public school. Essentially, a double standard is put forth when on one hand, it is a grievance to share political views about being transgender, but here in the Bay Area, when a teacher shares a political view, students don’t seem to be bothered by the statement and the teacher faces no consequences. A profession should not restrict one from keeping quiet about the issues that concern them most, and the same goes for this teacher. Whether you agree or disagree with this professor on the issue, as well as the way it was addressed, voicing his opinion simply should not cost him his profession.

Staff Reporter

Staff Reporter

“Break down your walls.......?” BY HUBERT CHEN

Senior Reporter

Unlike coronavirus, people discriminate against Asian Americans BY HANNA SATO

Chief Photographer










When the coronavirus first broke, it was a joke, a faraway reality we were not a part of, an encroaching nightmare we did not know we had. But when the epidemic made its way to the U.S., to California, to our community, we all realized this was no longer a joke. It also became apparent this was not a joke when I had to be afraid to cough in public spaces. A week ago I was waiting in line for my coffee when I coughed. The woman behind me went and sat down and got back in line after I had left. I stood there for a moment, utterly speechless. As an Asian American, I’ve always experienced toned-down racism. It is the kind of racism that is not obvious to others, made up of insensitive jokes, weird com-

ments and the enforcement of offensive stereotypes. Compared to the violent and blatantly clear racism experienced by African Americans and Latinos, the racism I experience does not seem real or worth acknowledging. So my entire life, I’ve ignored the jokes, the mixing up of me with the other Asian girls who look nothing like me, the way people speak to me half-expecting that I don’t speak English. But now the racism that I have always known existed has come to the surface. Just like people assume that every Asian person plays the piano or is a math genius, people now assume every Asian person is a carrier for the coronavirus. People act as though, much like themselves, the virus discriminates against Asian Americans. My grandfather describes how his father felt betrayed during

World War II as he watched the country he called his home cast him out and try to put him in a camp. I feel something similar. I was born in this country and have been proud to call it my own, only to have it look at me like the root of the problem. I was able to ignore the subtle racism I’ve encountered. But when someone glares at me for daring to cough, I’m tempted to go up to them and cough in their face. I’m not willing to swallow more of the racism deeply grained within our society, racism everyone seems to justify. This behavior and xenophobia is beyond unacceptable, it’s the reason why our country is divided, it’s the reason why immigrants are discriminated against, it’s the reason why I am now embarrassed to call myself an American. Fear does not justify racism, and it never will.



March 19, 2020

The uncertain future of “Puffs” BY LEXI GOLDSTEIN

Staff Reporter


Cast and crew members of the spring play, “Puffs,” have worked on the production since Jan. 13, only for COVID-19 to postpone the show. This decision is heartbreaking for director Cindy Skelton and the 43 students who prepared for March performances. The comedic play follows Wayne and his two fellow misfit friends, Oliver and Megan, as the trio navigates their time at a certain school of magic while struggling to conform to their purpose as wizards. “Puffs” pokes fun at a familiar book series by shining the spotlight on the Puffs, students who primarily specialize in kindness, who are often over-

looked in favor of the charismatic Braves. The Burlingame drama program is a haven for many students where they can freely express themselves onstage or behind the scenes. “Theatre is what I love whether I’m on stage or not, so being in the theatrical environment was something I loved coming to every day,” sophomore Kimberlly Baldwin, who worked on the show’s costumes, said. “‘Puffs’ was a comedic play where I could’ve looked at any scene and started laughing like crazy. Also it being a smaller production meant the cast and crew were closer than ever.” The postponement of Puffs upset those involved in the production and the community that was excited to see it.

“I’m devastated the show was postponed,” sophomore Laurel Brown said. “It is so disappointing to be told after four months of preparing and rehearsing that you can’t perform in front of an audience. We are all extremely proud of what we created, and it is heartbreaking to not be able to share it with friends and family. However, we are positive that we will perform the show as soon as possible. We are continuing to work on creating an even better show, and I cannot wait to perform with everyone in front of our community.” While there is no set future date for “Puffs,” the cast and crew hope to perform when or if school resumes.







No. 0002


MARCH 19, 2020

Crossword | Burlingame High School Edition Down


1. Where leadership sells BHS apparel and event tickets. 2. This University of Wisconsin alum made BHS his home four years ago. 3. These apple products are widely unpopular among teachers, but can be seen in the possession of students across campus. 5. The controversial new addition to this year’s Wednesday and Thursday schedules. 8. The school mascot, who appears at rallies and leadership events, _ Panther. 9. This Burlingame institution is a popular coffee and breakfast spot for BHS students, mainly because of its proximity to campus and low prices. 10. The Burlingame chapter of this international service organization is on 990 Burlingame Ave. 12. This campus supervisor is famous for his mode of transportation and his reputation as being the messenger of bad news. 14. The controversial new addition to this year’s Wednesday and Thursday schedules. 15. The street adjacent to the football field; also the name of the convenience market right by the school.


4. The spring play. 6. Technically the B building, this campus staple is home to thousands of books and a large chessboard. 7. Our school’s colors are red and __. 11. While this art is widely ignored at BHS, the A-building is full of __. 13. An alternative to the traditional high school experience, where students can accumulate college credits while being enrolled at BHS.

16. This teacher has worked at school the longest, with over 20 years under his belt. 17. This trophy of football excellence has been in the possession of BHS for almost 10 years. 18. The lavatories in this building are often shut down by administration due to misuse, much to the avail of students. 19. These avian members of the BHS community like to congregate in the senior quad after lunch. 20. The daily news broadcast


Find the ANSWER KEY on The Burlingame B’s social media @TheBurlingameB (Instagram and Facebook) in March. Send us a photo of your completed crossword for a chance to be featured!

March 19, 2020




Student Life



Editor in Chief

The Advanced Drama class participated in the district’s second annual drama festival on Wednesday, Feb. 26. Instead of going to their regular classes, drama students went to Aragon for a day of performances. They acted out scenes from published plays in front of fellow festival participants from Aragon, Hillsdale and San Mateo, and they then received feedback about their work.

“I found it really beneficial to see all the character choices other actors were making with their scenes,” junior Angela Crosatto said. At the festival, Crosatto performed a scene from “My Sister in This House” with senior Zoe McCarthy and sophomores Annika Gauthier and Saanvi Jain. Crosatto portrayed a cruel, aristocratic woman in 1930s France who is murdered by her maid in a sudden revenge plot. Other Burlingame selections included “Radium Girls,” a play

March 19, 2020

Drama students from Burlingame, Aragon, Hillsdale and San Mateo pose for a photo onstage.

about a radium poisoning scandal in female factory workers, and “Aria da Capo,” a surreal one-act that references traditional Italian commedia dell’arte. “I thought it was nice to work with others, and it was really satisfying to see it all come together,” junior Jessi Fleming, who worked on “Aria da Capo,” said. “All the other schools were very supportive.” Apart from performing their prepared scenes, the four drama departments also warmed up as a group, ate lunch and put together

an improvisational theater show. “My favorite part was watching the impromptu improv show,” Crosatto said. “It was really fun to see all the students from other schools engaging with each other.” Drama teacher Cindy Skelton and her colleagues from the other participating high schools first envisioned the festival as a replacement for the Ohlone College High School Theatre Festival, which Burlingame students used to compete at annually. Last year Ohlone College announced that its campus would no longer be

able to support its theater festival. Burlingame Advanced Drama students now spend the first part of their spring semester working on scenes for the district festival, which has lower stakes and more of a community focus. “Ohlone was more of a competition between schools whereas this [San Mateo Union High School District] festival was more to see what other advanced drama classes were working on,” Crosatto said. “It was nice for [this festival] to be more about watching and performing than trying to win.”

Abramson’s new nihilist club makes a statement BY MOYA LIU

Business Manager The first time I walked into the Secret Society of Budding Nihilists, I was struck by the sheer darkness—not only of the room itself, but of the attitudes of its members. The only light was an oppressive white glare from a Google Slides presenta-

tion, which invited nihilists to write a dream of theirs on a Postit note and tear it into pieces. While I personally enjoyed the task, I could not help but notice the demonic expressions of some as they transformed a sticky square into microscopic bits. “I felt oppressed by how much meaning there is in this world; I just wanted a break,” senior Alec

Abramson, the club president, said after a long pause and several shrugs. “Also, it looks great on college applications … especially after you’ve submitted them.” As the arbitrarily determined Seer of the Society, Abramson facilitates meetings with fellow members of the Order of the Golden Pickaxe, a reference to the useless Minecraft tool.

Due to the oath of secrecy administered at the first meeting, no specific details about Societal affairs may be disclosed (the Post-it note shredding took place before the oath). “In an ideal world, members of the Society would gain nothing from their presence,” Abramson said after staring into the distance and counting to

thirty by fours. “But I will be adequately emotionless if our nihilists feel as though they have a home, a place to be themselves, here at Burlingame High.” Friedrich Nietzsche did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the Secret Society of Budding Nihilists, which meets Mondays in Room A-113.



BLACK MILK TEA Long line out the door.

Good flavor. Boba was a little warm and it was the perfect texture without being too soft or hard.

Good sweet boba.




Really nice atmosphere, there were people at most of the tables but not overcrowded.

Taro flavor was strong and good. Taro chunks were pretty good, a perfect balance of sweetness. Boba still was not great but it was a lot better in taro than in the Black Milk Tea.

BY ALLISON COHEN AND AMELIA HARRIS Staff Reporters Walking into Majestea, the store was clean and welcoming, with plenty of tables and board games to play. Friendly staff members were available, as well as machines to order on without having to talk to anyone. The wait was relatively short, with no hassle or confusion. The black milk tea was average tasting, with a lack of flavor coming from the tea itself. The taro milk tea, however, packed a punch with a bold and refreshing flavor. Taro chunks in addition to boba created a unique texture that added to the experience. The boba was a good texture but lacked a bit of flavor. Overall, Majestea was a positive experience. Given its recent opening, Teaspoon was crowded upon arrival. We ordered a black milk tea, 50% sweet, and their top-selling drink called Liquid Gold, also at 50% sweetness. Despite the line, the wait time was relatively short, and the staff were efficient and no-nonsense. The tea itself was flavorful and served at a cold temperature. The boba was slightly warm, and a perfect in-between texture and sweetness. While the store does not seem an approachable place to linger, the boba was very good.

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