By Asmita Saha
COVID-19 has affected everyone. As a highly infectious and deadly disease, it has the power to harm anyone who contracts it. People have lost jobs, family members, and livelihoods. The pandemic has also helped shine a light on many injustices within our world.
As of October, New Hyde Park has been easing out of lockdown and changing to a new normal with social distancing, mask regulations, and uncertainty. Vacation plans, concerts, and other events had to be canceled due to the pandemic. People are eager to go out and resume regular activities, but a threat of a second wave of infections looms over them.
“It’s hard. I couldn’t see my teachers face to face. I couldn’t see some of my friends face to face,” said eighth grader Tiffany Tso.
“It’s hard. I couldn’t see my teachers face to face. I couldn’t see some of my friends face to face...”
Over the last few weeks, infections have risen steadily, with national cases increasing for three weeks in a row. An essential piece of coronavirus advice has been to do things outside but now cold weather will drive people indoors to places with possibly poor ventilation, where the risk of spread is increased.
President Donald Trump was one of the nearly eight million people who tested positive for COVID-19 in the United States. He was diagnosed on October 1st, 2020. The second presidential debate, scheduled for mid-October, was canceled due to his diagnosis. As of October 13th, President Trump has tested negative for the coronavirus “on consecutive days,” according to White House physician Sean Conley.
COVID-19 has also highlighted that there are still injustices in the US today. The rapid-fire changes surrounding the coronavirus, presidential election, and inequalities within the United States have been detrimental, but the pause on regular life has empowered most people to create change and to fight for what they believe in, even at home.
Artwork by Sabeena Ramdarie, @jammin_with_jelly
Over 26 million Americans participated in peaceful BLM protests all over the nation during the pandemic.
The Black Lives Matter movement began in February 2012 after the shooting death of African American teen, Trayvon Martin. It recently gained traction again after the murder of George Floyd, another African American male. George Floyd was killed by police officer Derek Chauvin during an arrest, where it was believed Floyd used a counterfeit $20 bill.
Seniors Emily MacKnight and Jack Vasquez held a protest on June 2nd in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The idea came up during a conversation over text. The two were both disgusted at George Floyd’s murder and wanted to take action. MacKnight and Vasquez quickly put together a protest calling for police reform and spread the word through social media.
“We both feel passionately concerning the lack of justice for African-Americans and people of color whose lives were unfortunately cut short at the hands of police brutality,” said Vasquez.
“Many people reached out to me after the protest saying we inspire them to do more research and be more of an activist in their daily lives, and I think that’s all I could’ve hoped for,” said MacKnight.
“We both feel passionately concerning the lack of justice for African-Americans and people of color whose lives were unfortunately cut short at the hands of police brutality...”
Many other protests like this happened across the country because people want to bring about change. Millions of people have signed petitions and been to protests to rally against police brutality. Students at NHP Memorial are among the 20 million people who have signed a petition to bring about justice for Floyd.
“I signed some petitions online by just clicking a link,” said eighth grader Isabella Alix.
To maintain the peace, people must work towards maintaining it and helping it grow. Following COVID-19 safety precautions are crucial to reducing the number of coronavirus cases. Peaceful protests can change legislators' thoughts and as a direct result, change lives.
“Once the quarantine is over, everyone will be able to be a lot more social and be able to live their lives again. But we’re not out of the woods yet,” said seventh grader Anisha Chakroborty.