Thursday, November 26, 2020
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Help Wanted

  • Bennett Kruse ’21 & Karina Carlos ’21

The seniors have left the building, but there is just one issue left unresolved. No, not graduation or prom. No, not Kairos or college shirt day. All of my staff writers for Backpage are now gone. No. Not gone. Ghosted. I woke up Wednesday morning at the crack of dawn, 11:00am 🙁 , to lead a zoom meeting where I sat on my phone for 10 minutes waiting. I was stood up. So, in an attempt to take back my dignity, I am going to make a list of reasons why you should be on Backpage. Seriously, please email me if you want to write.

  1. You can hang out with me every X period
  2. You will have constant affirmation from me 
  3. I will (maybe) bring you candy 
  4. Those really cute Heartbeat sweatshirts
  5. We give you donuts when we publish
  6. I will be happy and will never get stood up again <3

-By Bennett Kruse


if you’re reading this it’s too late
by karina carlos
hi everyone. you may not know me, but i
used to write for the oP-ed section of heartbeat.
recentLy, i havE been recruited by bennett to
write for the bAckpage. no, i waS not thrEatened

by Him. bEnnett is my friend, i Love the back-
Page. happy to be writing!!!

Quarantine Deserts

  • Semla O’Malley

Lately, many people have been bored in quarantine and want to try out new things, like cooking and baking. But, if you don’t want to go through all the effort of cooking a whole meal, here are some no-bake dessert recipes that you can make in 10 minutes or less!

1.Banana Ice Cream

Ingredients: 2-3 (overripe) bananas, milk (optional), pinch of salt

Time: 5 min.

  1. Cut up bananas and freeze.
  2. When frozen, blend together with salt and milk (optional). 

You can also add other berries, chocolate chips, cacao powder, peanut butter, etc to change the flavor!

2. Chia Pudding

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons chia seeds, ½ cup of milk, 1 teaspoon of honey, fruit (for toppings!)

Time: 5 min prep, 2-12 hr 

  1. Mix ingredients in a jar or bowl. Let it rest for a few minutes and stir again.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours, but it can also sit overnight.
  3. Add toppings and enjoy!

3. Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients: 3 tablespoons sifted powdered sugar, ½ cup of creamy peanut butter, 1 cup of melted chocolate, muffin/cupcake tin and liners

Time: 5 min prep, 1 hr.

  1. Mix peanut butter and sugar.
  2. Spread chocolate evenly in each liner.
  3. Add a “dollop” of peanut butter to each liner and smooth more chocolate over.
  4. Refrigerate for 1 hr and enjoy!

4. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Ingredients: 2 bananas, 2 eggs, ¼ cups of peanut butter, ½ cup of oats, ¼ cup of chocolate chips, ¼ teaspoon of salt

Time: 5 min prep, 5 min 

  1. Mash bananas in a large bowl until smooth.
  2. Add eggs and peanut butter and mix thoroughly, then add rest of the ingredients.
  3. Cook a flattened scoop of batter on the skillet/pan for 2-3 min. Until bubbles and flip and cook for about 1-2 min.
  4. Add toppings and enjoy!

5.  Cookie Dough Balls

Ingredients: ½ cups of peanut butter, ¼ cup of maple syrup, ½ cup of almond flour (or regular flour), 2 tablespoons of coconut flour (optional), ? cup of chocolate chips

Time: 10 min.

  1. Mix peanut butter and maple syrup until smooth in a small bowl.
  2. Stir in flour and chocolate chips and knead the dough for 30 sec.
  3. Roll dough into small, even cookie dough balls. Enjoy!

Photo contributed by Katie Sandhu ’21 through Unsplash media.

Spring Cleaning

  • Ilaria Freccia ’22

Now that we have endless hours at home, what better thing to do than clean out your closet? Although it can seem like a tedious task, spring cleaning can actually be fun. Not only is it an excuse to buy (or thrift for affordability and sustainability) more clothes, but it can be easily done while watching TV or dancing along to music.

The actual cleaning itself can seem overwhelming. I always have a hard time getting rid of things thinking, “maybe I’ll grow into it” or “maybe it will go back in style next year.” Chances are, if you don’t like it now, you probably won’t like it in a year. So when cleaning out your closet, chuck (or donate) anything that is too small, too big, or just outdated; or that you’ve been holding onto because you can’t bear to get rid of it. The next thing to get rid of is jeans.

When I surpassed fifteen pairs of blue jeans, I knew it was time to get rid of some. Anything that was out of style, like some of my super skinny jeans, or jeans that were over-faded, or over-ripped, went in the basket. The next thing to clear out is tee-shirts. Any basic white tee-shirts that are graying, stained, or stretched out, or have any sort of unplanned rips should be thrown away- no matter how comfy. Chances are, you have enough t-shirts around your house that throwing away a few of your most worn ones won’t hugely impact your life.

Overall, anything that you haven’t worn more than once in at least six months, anything too small/big, or anything faded or ripped should be thrown away or donated. However, just because you don’t want your clothes anymore doesn’t mean that someone else would. Some great ways to get rid of clothes that are still in good condition are donating them to places like Goodwill or St. Vincent DePaul, or trading/selling them to your friends and family.

There are also lots of ways to buy or sell clothes from friends and classmates on Instagram. In addition, there are several local consignment stores such as Filmore&5th (in Town and Country) which will buy your clothes from you. So, because we all have extra time now, take advantage of it and clean out your closets, and maybe make a little extra money in the process.

Photo contributed by Katie Sandhu ’21 from Unsplash media.

The Best Cooking Shows to Watch During Quarantine

  • Maddie Levey ’21 & Juliana Rosen ’21

Welcome to Foodies: pandemic edition. We all know that you have hours of extra time on your hands and that many of you are spending this free time cooking and baking, but also sitting in front of the TV. This issue, we decided to fill your foodie needs with our review of three Food Network shows that have been satisfying our tastebuds throughout quarantine. We will be reviewing Kids Baking Championship, Chopped, and Cutthroat Kitchen: three shows that will help satisfy the budding chef in all of you. Here’s what we decided:

Even though its title says “kids,” Kids Baking Championship is an excellent show for all ages- especially when you need some comical entertainment, but you also want to drool over their amazing creations. The hosts, Valarie Bertinelli and Duff Goldman, select a group of 12 kids ages 9-12 to compete for the grand prize of $25,000. Each week, contestants are eliminated which leaves three finalists. What differentiates this show from Cupcake Wars is that first of all, the contestants are kids; and second, the kids do not have to bake just cupcakes, they can be asked to bake anything that would be on a dessert menu. These junior bakers make you laugh and have quite interesting personalities. Kids Baking Championship is a highly entertaining program and we greatly recommend it.

Chopped is also a very entertaining show, starting off with four chefs competing in three rounds of cooking to win $10,000. In these rounds, they must incorporate unusual mystery ingredients into a dish of their creation. Some mystery foods have been dragonfruit, ants on a log, chicken from a can, and scallops. This show is fun to watch with your family during quarantine because it can give you great examples of how to incorporate ingredients into your meals that you may not have thought of before. Chopped has you sitting on the edge of your seat until the champion is announced. 

Cutthroat Kitchen is similar to Chopped because it has four contestants competing to win money, but instead of $10,000 like in Chopped, each chef has the opportunity to win $25,000. The chefs get $25,000 at the beginning of the show before they even cook anything. The host of the show, Alton Brown, auctions off items that the chefs can buy using their money, and then gives the items to their competitors to sabotage them. Some of the sabotages have led contestants to make cooking utensils, pots, and pans out of aluminum foil, play hacky sack to win their ingredients back, and having hamburger meat swapped out with frogs’ legs. It is a very entertaining show because it is not a traditional cooking show. It is fun to watch even if you do not like cooking, and it’s a very easy show to binge during quarantine. The only downside is that the show stopped airing on Food Network, so to watch it you need to buy it on Apple TV or Prime Video. However, it is still completely worth the effort.

All of these shows are very entertaining and fun, perfect to watch alone or with your family during quarantine. Stay tuned for our next issue where we review the best ice cream to have during lockdown!

Photo contributed by Katie Sandhu ’21 from Unsplash media.

SHP Students and Faculty Dig Deep Into the RSCJ’s Political Activism

  • Ava Borchers ’21, Sofie Wheeler ’21, Lizeth Suarez ’21, & Kaitlyn Smith ’22

The RSCJ, or the Society of The Sacred Heart, is an order of Catholic women who started the Sacred Heart School Network.  Many SHP students are familiar with the RSCJ, but how much do we know about the sisters’ lives as young political advocates? Ms. Williams and Ms. Kelly, two women deeply interested in politics and civil rights, wanted to answer this question with the help of 15 SHP students. Ms. Williams and Ms. Kelly chose to pursue this project because “most of the Wikipedia pages about [the RSCJ] are insufficient,” and as teachers, they know that students often go to Wikipedia as the first stop for information. This project aims to make information about the RSCJ easily accessible to the public. 

There are a few ways that the group of students and faculty are tackling this project. Some are  researching landmark Supreme Court cases that the RSCJ have been involved in. Another group  collecting information to add to or create Wikipedia pages on selective nuns of the RSCJ. The groups started by are researching the institutions of higher education that are affiliated with the Society of the Sacred Heart to get some background for their research. After  the initial research process, five nuns were picked to be the focus of the project for this spring semester. To get information, students and faculty looked in archives, reached out to the nuns themselves, and contacted family members of nuns who have passed away. 

Three juniors, Sam Campos (‘21), Lizeth Suarez (‘21), and Alekos Kapur (‘21), got a very interesting response from a cousin of Sister Carol Bialock, who passed away on May 3rd, 2020. Joan Grimm, the cousin of Sister Bialock, was elated to have a student reaching out because she had “been praying for this email.” Grimm had been hoping that someone  recognize  Sister Bialock’s work as a poet and protester in Chile, because she was “the real deal,” .The Society of the Sacred Heart published an article about her poetry, saying she was “not a traditional nun.” She was an “activist” who “spent her life deeply devoted to those in need.” This story of political advocacy is not unique to just Sister Bialock, but a trend seen throughout the RSCJ organization.

Harsimran Chohan (‘22) and Luci Lambert (‘21) are working together to create a Wikipedia page on Sister Fran Tobin, who is part of the RSCJ community. They explained that Sister Tobin was a lawyer and an activist in the Bay Area. Luci hopes her research and Wikipedia page can pay “tribute” to Sister Tobin. Harsimran was interested in being part of this research project because it gave her “the opportunity to learn about a different faith.” They both talk about how there is very little information about the RSCJ, which makes research difficult, even though they are an international organization.  They all agree that creating Wikipedia pages on the sisters of the RSCJ will help educate the public on their lives, advocacy, and dedication to the education of young women

Ms. Kelly and Ms. Williams have been planning and dreaming about what this project could become, but now with the help of 15 students, it is all coming together. Their research committee hopes to uncover the fantastic work of the Catholic women of the Society of the Sacred Heart. This female-led project is working on expanding or writing Wikipedia pages on Janet Erskine Stuart, Fran Tobin, Anne Montgomery, Carol Bialock, and Clare Pratt. While the research and completion of the Wikipedia pages have been difficult, Ms. Kelly, Ms. Williams, and the students contributing hope to “give a voice to the women religious of the Catholic faith.”

The United States’ Response to the Pandemic

  • Jonathan Martinez ’21

The United States has now surpassed one million confirmed coronavirus cases- as I am writing this, it has 1,064,572 cases and 61,669 deaths and counting. New York alone has more cases than any other country at 306,158 cases with 23,474 deaths. 

Whether or not we should do more testing is a controversial topic in the United States. According to Worldometer, the United States has performed 6.03 million tests, just 18,216 tests per every 1 million people. In addition, many of the test kits have been reported to be inaccurate. Trump and his administration responded late to coronavirus- the first case reported was on January 21st in Washington State, when shelter-in-place has not been nationalized. A poll taken by the Pew Research Center shows that 65% of Americans think Trump reacted too late to the pandemic, meaning that while many agree about the timing of his response, this is a polarizing issue. Trump had claimed that COVID-19 was all under control back then. However, we’ve seen a new surge of cases, and the United States has become the country with the most cases.

To help the American people, Congress passed the $2.2 trillion stimulus package, which would send to every American a check of around $1,200 or more depending on your current living conditions, marriage status, and more. Not all Americans have received the check, in fact, many are waiting for theirs to arrive.  Although people will be receiving money, for a lot of Americans that check will not be enough to even cover their rent, especially in this area where housing is extremely expensive. Trump has also passed a bill known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to support small businesses that had to temporarily close down due to the pandemic. However, the $349 million dollars of the PPP ran out in a matter of days. Big companies and food chains such as Shake Shack, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and Potbelly, amongst many others, have all received backlash for asking for small business aid despite having locations across the country, which left little to no aid for small companies. Since then, all three of these food chains have returned the aid. A new small business loan package is in the works in hopes that it can actually reach smaller businesses. The package to help businesses is an amazing idea, as it will help many companies stay safe during their time of closure. However, it would be better to have a package to assure that all companies and businesses, whether big or small, could be offered some aid. 

Whether or not you agree with the president’s or the governors’ efforts regarding the pandemic, now is not the time to be polarized and politically divided. Let’s just follow all the guidelines that are presented to us and hopefully, we can be together soon as one community. I know that many may disagree with social distancing rules, but let’s work together as one to figure what’s best for the country.

Photo contributed by Katie Sandhu ’21 from Unsplash media.

SJTI Cancellation Hurts Goal III and Community Education About Climate Change

  • Colleen Tanona ’22 & Audrey Basta ’23

The Social Justice Teach In, a crucial event in one’s Sacred Heart education that celebrates Goal III (social awareness that impels to action), was cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The SJTI takes a lot of preparation and hard work from student leaders and faculty, and because of this, it is an event that many look forward to all year. For those who have not experienced it, the SJTI looks at a social justice issue selected by the community based on how pressing it is at the given moment. Then, presentations are given by students, faculty, and experts who have immense experience with the topic. It brings the community together and also helps the school to live out its five goals, with a special emphasis on the third one. Due to the coronavirus and school being closed one day before the event was supposed to take place, the SJTI might not have a chance to teach the community about the causes and effects of climate change and what we can do to stop it. According to SJTI Faculty Advisor Dr. Hennessy, “the event was coming together as one of the best SJTIs we’ve ever had.” Climate change is an extremely prevalent issue in our society and many students and faculty at SHP have been working all year to educate our community about the immense impact that it will have on life as we know it. However, Dr. Hennessy assured the HeartBeat that the organizers working on the SJTI are “redoubling their efforts to make the SJTI extra special next year.”

Students who have put ample time and effort into the SJTI are very worried and because it is such an important issue, they feel it is their duty to the community to educate them about the issue. Caroline Salame ’22, who helped to organize the “Fun with the nuns (and the earth)” session, was really excited to teach the student body about everything that she had learned. Caroline regards the SJTI as, “a wonderful experience where you are able to learn and inform others about issues in the community. It’s a shame it was cancelled because it would have been a great time to open our minds to important matters in our society.” This session in particular would have been a great place to connect religion with climate change, stressing the need that as a catholic school that we must take care of all creation.

As it is an extremely enlightening experience that opens up opportunities to reconsider large issues through a new light, many students and faculty who were going to attend the SJTI were also very concerned. The SHP community may not get to hear any of the information and concepts that their classmates and students spent so much time learning about until a much later date, which is not ideal when dealing with an urgent climatic problem. When asked about the SJTI and its cancellation, one anonymous student said, “I was looking forward to the SJTI because it was a highlight of my year last year. I am sad it [is] cancelled because it is a day where the student body could come together and relax for a day but also learn about the very important issue of climate change.” The sentiment expressed by this student is one that many resonate with as a break from our busy lives to talk about social justice issues can be a very reflective and bonding experience for the entire community. Due to the fact that the event is such a beloved and special time for the SHP community, it is understandable why many people are feeling this way about the potential cancellation. 

The SJTI’s leaders, though unsure about how to replace the hard work and effort put in by many students to make the event possible for the end of this school year, have hope for the opportunities that will present themselves in the future to educate the community. During the time away from campus, the student body, faculty, and staff must stay mindful about ways to become informed about climate change and work to support the goals of the SJTI.

Photo of Jonathan Han’s ’22 artwork that was in Campbell before school closure.

Back Page: Outer Banks Edition

  • Erin Duane ’20 and Bennett Kruse ’21

When the only two Backpage writers, Erin and Bennett, sat down at our 11am zoom call Wednesday morning, both of us refused to talk about quarantine again. We’re sick of it. We’re bored of it. We just want to talk about Outer Banks and why we are literally both obsessed, so here you go:

p.s. This will not contain spoilers but also just watch the freaking show plz

Something Isn’t Making Sense

Why are all of the actors so old??? Literally no 16 years olds look like that. The actor who plays John B is 27, which is just ridiculous and annoying because they are just making high schoolers think they might find their own Sarah or John B, but no. Because the actors are all adults.

Why in the world are all of their names so ridiculous? Ok, so we have Pope who is a Pogue…like they really couldn’t have made that more confusing. And then we have Topper and Rafe. Those are literally not names and I am so confused about why they would name the characters that. I guess they are pretty douchey sounding tho. Wheezie…are you kidding me? Is that her real name or is she just a particularly annoying breather?? Finally, why does John B need to have the B. I mean I get that his dad’s name is also John, but his dad isn’t even in the show. They literally call him John B even in the most stressful of situations. WHY? Also, side note, why is John B’s dad’s name Big John? 

Why is everyone always fighting? I have literally never seen someone get in that intense of a fistfight, let alone every other day. They are constantly tussling and there are also some  pretty casual almost murders. Topper almost drowns John B and everyone acts like it’s just dandy. Please let me know if beating people up with golf clubs is something that people just do on a casual Friday. Also, could JJ maybe not act so nonchalant about carrying a gun everywhere? K. Thx.

Okay…so Sarah is a beloved character and is honestly a beachwear fashion icon, but some stuff about her just doesn’t line up. We learn early on in the show that she has a habit of cheating on her boyfriends…and then she does it again. I mean obviously she wasn’t going to stay with Topper, but that is just plain rude. 

Who uses the word macking. Kiara, please stop.

Don’t even get me started on Kooks and Pogues. You have to be kidding me.

The actor who plays Topper was on Disney Channel and now he is doing coke in the Outer Banks?…I am confusion. 

How to Dress like OBX…specifically John B….because who wouldn’t want to be him…

  1. Apply self-tanner until you think that you are tanned to the gods, and then keep applying self-tanner
  2. Have a black eye or a cut lip (not optional)
  3. Wear a Duvin Hawaiian shirt (this is literally the only brand that they wear)
  4. Only use the bottom button because apparently they are too busy to button any more of them (this step is optional. Shirts are not necessary)
  5. Tie a bandana around your neck…not sure why…but just do it
  6. Your hair better be super salty looking, but also super smooth and clean looking. Also, if you want to wear a hat, don’t even dare wear it any other way than backwards.
  7. Be like kind of messy and dirty, but not in a gross way

Irrelevant Opinion: Reason Why I Would Die For John B

  1. He doesn’t sit inside and play videogames all-day
  2. Not only is he extremely determined, kind-hearted, and has insane abs, but he is also respectful of women. John B definitely doesn’t bark at girls in the cafeteria
  3. He apologized to Kiara when he violates her personal space and he doesn’t shame Sarah for wanting to take things slowly.
  4. He surfs, which means there is no way he gives his jersey to freshman girls
  5. Vlad isn’t ashamed of being stylish…he’d never wear basketball shorts
  6. He isn’t afraid of commitment, in fact, he wants commitment…wow, that doesn’t sound familiar
  7. He shows and tells girls how he feels. John B doesn’t act like he’s above having emotions. He feels them. Kinda. His acting needs some work.
  8. He doesn’t have internet, meaning he doesn’t ODR
  9. He is there for his friends even when he is going through a tough time
  10. Because I bought a shirt that says “I Would Die For John B” and I ain’t no liar

In conclusion, we know that writing 4 articles entirely about Outer Banks is insane, but we both would not want to be putting time and energy talking about anything else.

What To Do During Quarantine

  • Kaitlyn Smith ’22

Bored during quarantine? Me too. It feels like I have done every activity possible. For weeks now, I have experimented with tie-dyeing, which has been a horrible fail, have knitted with every inch of yarn, and have made more than enough face masks to wear.

I am starting to go crazy, while still searching for ways to occupy myself outside of school work and studying. Staying in touch with friends on a Zoom call or Facetime has helped the time pass by, but not enough time. Here are a few arts & crafts/ ideas to keep us all sane during this time:

  1. Start and complete a puzzle! A long, tedious 1000 piece puzzle can sound like a pain to some, but is a great way to pass the time.
  2. Start a journal/ blog about your days in quarantine. Every day, document what you did that day in your journal and look back years later!
  3. Make TikToks with your family! Keep up with the current trends on the app, where you can lip
    sync to videos, master the dances, and have fun!
  4. Watch all of Netflix! This may seem like a last resort, but now’s the perfect time to binge those
    cheesy rom-com Christmas movies or watch some newly popular shows. Like, Tiger King or Outer Banks!
  5. Bake and cook! Gather every random ingredient in your homes and bake. Find the “world’s best” bread recipe or bake a 2-ingredient cake! Anything that helps pass the time!

Photo provided by Kaitlyn Smith ’22

Racial Disparities in the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Tiffany Sanchez ’21

Many of us have complained about the effects the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our lives. We miss interacting with our friends and loved ones in person, going out during the weekends, and not having to stare at a screen for hours. For seniors especially, many of their end-of-the-year traditions have been canceled, which was completely unaccounted for and has been received with much sorrow. While we have all been negatively affected in one way or another by this growing pandemic, it is accurate to say that most of us are faring much better than many others in this country. Out of respect and a need for awareness within the SHP community, we must acknowledge the privilege and advantages we have in comparison to others. 

Various studies have shown that there are in fact racial disparities brought on by this pandemic and it is devastating communities of color. COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting people of color, as they are more prone to live in packed areas and multigenerational housing situations. This densely populated situation increases the risk of the highly contagious disease spreading and infecting many more people as it makes social distancing and self-isolation harder. We are also seeing this disadvantage within communities of color because COVID-19 is primarily hitting big cities as opposed to rural areas, which are witnessing the less immediate effects. Demographically, these areas are predominantly white and lack racial diversity. According to CNN, COVID-19 “is extra-lethal because it is a pandemic jumping on top of multiple preexisting epidemics.” People of color are more prone to suffer from asthma, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes, which makes coronavirus more lethal for them. The other pre-existing epidemic, however, is that of poverty and low-wage jobs: brown people are large contributors to essential jobs, putting them in the frontlines of danger as they work to keep America running during this crisis. 

What has prominently stood out amongst these current studies, though, is that the black community is one of the top communities of color experiencing most of the negative effects brought on by this pandemic. In Chicago, black people make up 29% of the population, but they account for 70% of the deaths caused by COVID-19, and other several states have reported similar findings. 

So why exactly is the black community grappling with these disproportional disadvantages? More African-Americans are part of the essential workforce than other racial groups; according to The Guardian, the disparity is greater within the healthcare industry, with black “workers being 50% more likely to work in the healthcare and social assistance industry and 40% more likely to work in hospitals, compared with white workers.” And it has been evident for a long time now that healthcare practitioners have the greatest risk of contracting the virus. Black people are also more likely to work jobs that require proximity to others, such as bus drivers and postal service. However, despite their increased chances of risk compared to other racial groups, according to Amir Khan, an NHS doctor, it has been reported that black Americans “are twice as likely to lack health insurance as their white counterparts, and are more likely to live in areas where medical services have been cut or restricted.” They are also more likely to have lower-paying jobs that do not offer paid sick leave, pressuring many black people to continue working, even if self-isolation is being recommended. 

To make matters worse, most African Americans do not work jobs that allow for telecommuting, suggesting that the black community will be one of the most affected groups during the economic fallout of the pandemic. Black workers will be forced to face severe health consequences, on top of already being more susceptible to contracting COVID-19, due to this economic fallout, as they will be forced to file for unemployment. It is vital that people advocate for workers’ rights more, now than ever, especially for the black workers who are risking their lives in the healthcare industry by fulfilling essential services that we all benefit from. In this time of crisis, they deserve to be protected and provided for in case they get sick just as much–if not more–than we do.

Lastly, according to the Prison Policy Initiative, black people also make up 40% of our 2.3 million prison population while only representing 13% of US residents. Jails are becoming dangerous places in which to reside, as social distancing is not an option for prisoners. Recently, there was a hunger strike at Cook County jail, which is a COVID-19 hot zone as of now, out of fear that coronavirus would spread among inmates. Tens of thousands of inmates can die within days if several cases are found in one prison as inmates, guards, staff, and food services people are in constant interaction; an inmate in Washington, DC recently died from the virus after being denied bail. If these deaths continue, they would overwhelmingly be black lives. It is necessary to work towards safely shrinking our prison population right now to save as many lives as possible. This can include releasing the elderly and sick, as long as they pose no threat to anyone, and those imprisoned for minor probation and parole violations. Those who are not a threat should be able to await their trial while practicing social distancing at home. 

The COVID-19 data being collected should start to be broken along racial lines as there are clear racial disparities and healthcare inequities that should be taken into account when constructing the manner in which our nation should respond, so everyone can benefit. According to The Guardian, it has been too “often [that] black workers have shouldered an unequal share of the burden in our national struggles” and as a community we should work towards preventing that this pandemic adds to that unfair history. 

Most of us are privileged and fortunate enough to be social distancing at home and have parents who work jobs that allow for telecommuting. Next time we are called to complain about our “boredom,” we should be glad that’s the biggest of our issues because clearly, there are others struggling much more than we are.