The Student Newspaper of Howard Community College

Coronavirus: The Overblown Crisis

April 18, 2020

On the news, on social media, on the tongues of friends and family is coronavirus this, coronavirus that. Despite this, I do not understand what the whole hysteria is about. I mean, yes, old people are dying at alarming rates. So what? When aren’t they? They are old for a reason. People are blowing the situation out of proportion and before your scalps get a scratching, I am going to tell you why. 

Death is an inevitable fact. No matter what age you are or whatever exaggerated underlying condition you have, there will come the day when the Grim Reaper, in all his patience, comes knocking on the destined door. Even “High School Musical” goddess Vanessa Hudgens shares my viewpoint! By doing inconsequential things like social distancing or putting into place stay-at-home orders, we are avoiding the harsh but ever-present truth of existence. It eventually ends; everything will. So, why should I, the spring chicken wanting to stretch its legs in the spring sun, suffer endless boredom inside? You know, stuck inside my house with my Wi-Fi, my iPhone, my game systems, my steady supply of food and drink, toiletries, and such. The horror! I do not know how prisoners live with themselves.

In all honesty, I think my time would be better spent at my job outside, keeping the precious economy afloat because I do not know about you, I am gladly willing to slave myself to death for my corporate overlords for peasant wages. Does everybody not remember the laws of Darwinism, of survival of the fittest? I, for one, say we all go back outside, fight like true, natural-born, red-blooded Americans, and grow immunity to the virus or die off in a feverish glory.  

That is another thing I have a grievance with. Over the past couple of weeks, there have been philanthropists such as Bill Gates and, more recently, Jack Dorsey donating their hard-earned and well-deserved millions on the efforts against the health “crisis.” Even still, common people still find a way to complain, bringing up nonsense percentages and whatnot. Nothing ever satisfies them; they should be grateful. Rich people do not have to give the lesser folks anything. 

If I were a billionaire, and I am sure I will be for some undefined reason, I would not give those ungrateful louses anything, not a cent. It is not like the need for rich people to give their money to certain causes arises from an incompetent government not taking care of its citizens and further promoting class inequalities through slanted laws and tax codes. Not that at all, anything but. It is also not like the rich donate to causes to save face when it comes to them not paying taxes like common people. And, even if they did, they deserve that right. Being better than everyone else comes with certain privileges. Remember, Darwinism. 

Speaking of Darwinism, the coronavirus is disproportionately affecting people of color. There seems to be a sense of media outrage over this, but I don’t understand the concern there either. If this pandemic is the “war” they insist on classifying it as, I honestly do not see what the issue is. It certainly would not be the first time the country sacrificed the lives of minorities and other disadvantaged people in the efforts of war. World Wars I and II, Vietnam, the Middle East, why stop now? While it may sound heartless, if they cannot lift themselves by their bootstraps at this moment, then they never will. 

A similar signal goes for others as well. Prison inmates? Good riddance. Homeless people? Likewise, another stain dusted off society’s hands. The undocumented? I do not care if they pay taxes, we have enough problems on our own. Healthcare workers? They signed up for this, they need to deal with it. So-called “essential” workers? Be glad to have any job at all, and if it is such a problem, the unemployment line is open 24/7. The people who are facing eviction? Stop crying to the landlords; they should have been putting money aside from their minimum wage checks instead of buying those nonsensical Apple AirPods. This is America, for God’s sake; our forefathers, excepting their questionable personal histories, are currently rolling in their graves to escape all of the collective whinings.

Now, I know, you are wondering is this guy being serious? But I very well am serious. One hundred percent. Let there be no doubt that I am not making a mockery of an apathetic, privileged corporatist mindset in the middle of a global pandemic. Such an action would be abominable by all journalistic, societal and moral standards. I would never, and I mean never, commit a violation against the moral conscience of the nation, particularly when it is down. I will say once again, at the end of the day, I do not see what the big deal is. Hopefully, this too shall pass, and we will all be back at our jobs, watching funny animal videos during work time as if nothing ever happened. The sooner, the better. Stay safe, I guess.

Women in STEM: a New Biodegradable Plastic for the Fashion Industry 


Deposit Photos

McDonald and Dunn are looking to revolutionize the standard of environmentally-friendly jewelry.

In early 2020, co-founders Mecca McDonald and Mia Dunn launched their jewelry business Mo.Na. Gems in hopes of creating a biodegradable plastic jewelry alternative. With part of their mission being to “normalize sustainable jewelry,” the duo had to develop a bioplastic recipe for their products. The idea behind the business is to create a plastic that is “sustainable, but also appealing, cool, trendy and modern.” Since launching their business, McDonald and Dunn have gained a large social media following and funding from the Johns Hopkins FastForwardU Fuel Grant.

The business idea was born at the start of the pandemic when McDonald saw a rise in resin jewelry sales and began to wonder if there was a more sustainable option. She eventually reached out to an acquaintance, Mia Dunn, and together they worked to create a bioplastic formula they could apply to their products.

McDonald and Dunn began experimenting in their college kitchens with chemical recipes they found online, initially struggling to find a recipe that fit their needs. The pair worked for seven months, trying different ingredients and recipes until they came up with a sustainable bioplastic formula that fit the aesthetic they were aiming for. They then launched their business, Mo.Na. — followed by their first product — an earring, or “Gem.”

Mo.Na.’s jewelry is made from starch-based, natural vegan and non-toxic materials. Their jewelry breaks down completely after about two weeks through biodegradation — similar to fruit, the jewelry becomes moldy and decomposes. This sets Mo.Na. apart from traditional brands since their products are not contributing to landfills by generating more plastic waste.

The name Mo.Na. — short for Mother Nature — reflects the pair’s desire to educate people on the importance of buying sustainable products. McDonald and Dunn have been selling their earrings on Mo.Na.’s online store and through local businesses like Double Dutch Boutique. However, they hope to market to larger companies such as Anthropologie and expand their product line to include ashtrays, phone cases, etc.

One of McDonald and Dunn’s ultimate goals is to create a product that can replace traditional plastics in the fashion world. The grant money from Hopkins has provided the duo with the resources they need to relocate to New York City. With the move, the business partners intend to perfect their formula by making it water-resistant and experiment with larger-scale production. As McDonald said, “it would be great if Mo.Na became the brand for art, fashion and sustainability.”

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