March brought our state, and country, good news to smile about

Hannah Brooks, Staff Writer

More than a year has now passed since the “Pandemic Era” — and the subsequent era of seemingly constant bad news.  However, The Schreiber Times presents some “Good News” from this past March to put a smile on students’ faces.

Firstly, Schreiber will be welcoming back its full student body this April.  The return of all Schreiber High School students will be “effective Monday, April 19,” said Dr. Pernick.  Preparations for this homecoming have already begun, as more desks are being returned to classrooms.  Desks are fitted with shields to accommodate for classes where spacing is not possible.  All groups will be given the option to stay remote for the remainder of the year, or be in-person full time. 

“As a senior, I have found it’s especially hard to maintain focus on school.  I’m really excited to reconnect with friends on the other side of the alphabet,” said senior Lily Labella.

The school district’s hope is that bringing students back to school will help revive a sense of unity and normalcy as the end of the school year approaches.

Secondly, scientists at Yale University used stem cells to repair injured spinal cords.  The study, which was performed in Japan, was crucial because spinal cord injuries hurt the brain, leading to complications including loss of motor function and senses.  Though it is still in its preliminary stages, the usage of a patient’s own stem cells as treatment for such injuries is a monumental step in scientific and medical progress.

Next, March Madness  commenced after being cancelled in March of 2020.  

“After last season, where thousands of young basketball players’ dreams were crushed after the announcement of the cancellation of the tournament…, it felt as if the sky was falling.  Teams lost their best players, either due to the draft or [the fact] that their tenure at the schools was over,” said senior Collin Reardon.

For the first time, the basketball extravaganza took place entirely in one state — Indiana.  COVID restrictions were in place, but that didn’t stop the annual NCAA tournament from catching the attention of viewers and fans all over the country.  The tournament concluded with several unforeseen upsets that left the number of perfect brackets remaining at zero, as Baylor University was crowned champion.  

“This year’s tournament is everything we could have hoped for and one of the best in years,” said Reardon.

Moreover, Coldplay teamed up with “The Ocean Cleanup” to decrease pollution in the oceans.  “The Ocean Cleanup” project has created solar-powered barges called Interceptors that they hope to place in polluted rivers.  Their hope is that the Interceptors will help to remove  plastic and other trash from rivers and will act as a preventative measure, removing garbage from oceans before it even gets there.  The band Coldplay has funded and sponsored the newest Interceptor, nicknamed Neon Moon 1.

Good news for the entertainment industry in New York – New York has welcomed back performers with the introduction of the NY PopsUp festival.  This large-scale event was introduced by Governor Cuomo with the dual goals of boosting morale and quality of life in New York and providing work to the many artists who have struggled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The performances, which will continue until Labor Day and serve as a “test run” to bring back live entertainment, feature genres such as dance, music, theatre, comedy, and poetry include many household names.  

“I’m very excited for live performances to be opening up.  While I do believe the online streaming of these events was great, I also know that most of us are looking forward to being able to see entertainment in person again,” said junior Sarika Israni.

NY PopsUp consists mostly of outdoor performances all over the state, but also provides a vehicle for slowly reviving indoor events.

Finally, over one hundred million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to Americans.  The population of the United States is about 330 million, meaning nearly a third of the country has already been vaccinated against the virus.  Distributing vaccines in this quantity was a goal of President Biden’s. He hoped to achieve this milestone by his 100th day in office, which he has now surpassed.  His new goal is to double this initial number, shooting for 200 million vaccinations by the hundred-day marker.  The vaccination effort will likely be aided by the fact that many states are incrementally removing eligibility requirements.  For example, beginning April 6, New Yorkers ages 16 and older can be vaccinated, highlighting steps taken to protect an increasing number of citizens from the pandemic.  As the vaccination effort continues, The Schreiber Times looks forward to covering the gradual return of life as was once known.