Reflections on the Pandemic by a Somali American Teen

By Sumaya Ali

I have been thinking a lot about the world and all the good and bad that’s happening.

I look around and I see all the things we could achieve if we were able to work together and also the damage we do when we don’t work together.

I never truly realized how unfair the world could be until this virus. There are so many bad things I see now but there are also a lot of good things. It is Ramadan, I am going to graduate, I just got my driver’s license: these things make me happy, even if they are not the way I ever thought they would be.

On the other hand there are protests and there is social injustice.

There are protests going about how we should open up stores, shops and jobs. Which I understand but those people protesting do not see all the people dying.

What I am trying to focus on is how white protesters bring guns and hit the police and harass people. And the cops are not fighting back but instead they are giving them masks and water bottles.

At the same time black kids and black people in general are getting beat up for going outside of their house. And black people are getting shot for jogging and people assumed that he was robbing houses and shot him right on the street. The people who murdered him didn’t even get arrested for over two months.

It’s really hard for me to think about good things when all I see is injustice happening all around me. But I think it’s still important to think about all the good things.

Something good that I can think about is the fact that we get to graduate even though it’s going to be online. I am still happy that I will be able to graduate.

Another thing that I am really happy about is Ramadan. It’s not like how it used to be where we would go hang out with family and family and have bonfires and party’s at night. or go to fast food restaurants at 4 in the morning.

It’s different but I am still thankful that I get to spend it with my family at the safety of my house.

I am also very happy to have finished driving school even though I want the test to be an official driver. I am still happy.

There are a lot of things that I am thankful about but things really do need to change in a big and good way.

What It’s Like Being in Quarantine for an 18 year old High School Senior

By Hodon Yassin

I’m eighteen years old and it’s my senior year. I attend Whetstone High School. I’m also attending Columbus State for university. My hobbies include art, drawing, animation, etc.

Sadly, because of COVID-19, I couldn’t do as much of that as I would like.

COVID-19 stands for “Coronavirus Disease-2019”. It may have started in a supermarket in Wuhan, China. It has expanded to touch nearly every corner of the globe. Only one continent, Antarctica, is immune so far. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have been sickened and thousands of others have died. How many people

The World Health Organization has declared the virus a global health emergency and rated COVID-19’s global risk of spread and impact as “very high,” the most serious designation the organization gives. There are a total of 21,131 people in the US who have the disease and over 1,271 have died. As for the entire world, there are a total 3.94M people who have it and over 275K deaths. However, many have recovered from the illness. There are a total of 182K in the US and 1.32M in the world who survived.

Covid-19 is mainly caused by physical contact, such as high-fives, hugs, etc. But it is also an airborne virus that you can breath if someone close to you has coughed, or even flushed a toilet. Because of COVID-19 becoming even more intense, many schools closed down. My school was one of them. The absence was going to last through weeks, but because it got even worse than before, it was extended to the entire school year. In order to avoid many students getting the virus, they cancelled prom, the school play, etc.

The past three weeks had been alright. I mainly just drew my artwork, watched TV, spent time with my family, etc. The only times we exit the house is to run errands, such as grocery shopping. Still, my teachers give me and my classmates online work. I always worked hard on each assignment doing the best I could.

I even had my 18th birthday during quarantine. Turning eighteen means I was finally going to be an adult. I mainly just watch a movie, each tons of junk food, call my friends, etc. My grandmother even called me to sing “Happy Birthday”. It was an alright birthday.

I really hope they find a cure for this disease. Even if I can’t go outside, I grew closer with my family while in quarantine. I get to learn more about my cultural roots and talk to my loved ones online using Zoom. I also became even more calmer than before because of drawing and talking about my emotions with my family. It even warms my heart to hear that many people have defeated COVID-19 and thank doctors for their help. In conclusion, I hope they find a cure.

Recycling Dos and Don’ts

By Myra Wood, Olivia Cobbs, Avery Hughes, and Catie Flanagan

Do you recycle? More importantly, do you recycle here at Whetstone?

We asked the students and faculty at Whetstone if they recycle and most people said yes. But, the recycling program at the school is almost nonexistent.

According to junior Myra Wood, that is going to change. “The Whetstone environmental club is teaming up with the custodians, the staff, and all of you to kickstart the program.”

In the past, the items in the recycling bin were thrown into the trash. This resulted in teachers taking home what was in their recycling bins to have it recycled.

You may be wondering, where are the recycling bins? There is a blue bin located in every classroom for all of your recyclables.

Since it has been a while since the recycling program here are some reminders of what you can and can’t recycle.

You can recycle:

  • Paper
  • Plastic Bottles
  • Cardboard

You can’t recycle:

  • Chip Bags
  • Styrofoam
  • Food
  • Plastic Bags

So next time you have an empty plastic water bottle, make sure to put it in one of the blue recycling bins in the classroom.

One Direction Reunion Imminent?

by Catherine Flanagan

Rumors and Reunions

Image from: Daily Express

This quarantine has got many people reflecting on times when we were able to leave our homes and go to fun events, like concerts. This sense of nostalgia has left people thinking of reunions, more specifically, a reunion of one of the most well known bands of the 2010’s, One Direction.

The popular group began what was supposed to be an 18 month hiatus in January 2016, it has now been 5 years since the group has released any music or performed together.

Fans have been waiting for a reunion for quite some time and the month of April has given them reasons to be hopeful.

On April 14th, 2020, member Liam Payne spoke to James Corden essentially confirming the rumors of a reunion in celebration of the 10 year anniversary of their formation. During his virtual appearance on the Late Late Show, Payne stated “I’m not allowed to say too much… we’ve been speaking a lot more at the moment… I think we’re all feeling that that 10 year is a very special moment.”

Payne has been spreading rumors of a reunion for weeks, to the point where it has become a discussion between his bandmates. On April 19th, Payne was interviewed by the Australian news show Sunrise and explained “I kind of let the cat out of the bag about the anniversary… Louis actually told me off on text message, he said if I do it again he is going to egg my house.”

Fans have also noticed activity on the bands youtube and twitter accounts. The amount of accounts the band’s twitter has been fluctuating throughout the month and videos and playlists are mysteriously disappearing and reappearing on the group’s youtube channel.

While all of this talk has given fans a glimmer of hope about a reunion, another member of the group, Niall Horan attempted to shut down the rumors. While on an instagram livestream on April 29th, the singer stated “There’s a lot of talk about it at the moment…but there is no reunion as such. We are just talking a bit more recently.”

This obviously has left fans confused on what to believe. This could have been done because it was the truth, or an attempt to quiet the talk of a reunion before it happens. Not all hope is lost, because a few months prior to the Jonas Brothers reunion, Nick Jonas also told news outlets that there was no reunion.

There is no definite answer as to whether or not there will be any form of a reunion, the month of April has definitely got Directioners feeling nostalgic and anxiously waiting for the 10th anniversary on July 23rd.