Starting in early March, 2020, many countries went into lock-down due to the Coronavirus. Schools closed, people started to work from home, you could not go anywhere without a mask and sanitizer, and takeout became many people’s safest way to shop for food. Then on March 14th, a travel ban was placed on the United States to 26 European Countries. Many businesses and industries were, and are, severely impacted by this pandemic. While online shopping started to be the main source of shopping for many people, one business suffered immensely, and that was the travel industry.
America has been seen as the number one country for immigrants looking for a new home. With the first immigrant wave occurring in 1815 consisting primarily of Irish and Germans, America has been a land of immigrants since its founding. In the book, Common Sense, Thomas Paine wrote about America being an asylum for those facing civil and religious scrutiny. George Washington said, “The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respected Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges…” The men that created the United States of America were immigrants themselves, escaping the tight grip of Great Britain, with high hopes of the opportunity this land held.
On a sunny October 18th in San Francisco, a group of more than forty demonstrators gather near the Joseph Strauss statue off the Golden Gate Bridge. The attendee dress code has two requirements: the color black and face masks. Paper, cardboard, poster board and cork board house the words and messages these members showcase: “Thailand Democracy Now,” “Reform the Monarchy,” and “Free Speech is Not a Crime,” to mention a few.
The crowd groups together for photos to be taken of their efforts, and in between, a woman stands as the head of the group and reads her speech in Thai to the crowd. Demonstrators keep a hold of their signs or they keep up the three-finger salute with a free hand. Passersby would do a double take on any gathering of people, but today that was the goal.
KeAndre Berry, Communication Studies major and Multimedia Journalism student, interviews his friend and dormmate at Sierra College, Emmanuel Dudley, Engineering major, on learning about COVID-19. 1-minute audio track. His written story follows below.
Peaceful before the hunger for money
The King, the danger, the deadly
Few more million than one can count
The tallest, the fastest, and even the smallest
That the world has ever seen
Living on one continent
With whispers of the finest sunsets
Accompany where the wild roams
Believing in what science has proven false
Herbal remedies, black markets
The importance of a narrow-minded belief
Serves more highly than the lives of the wild
Lion manes, rhino horns, elephant tusks
Sold under a criminal act
A trophy on the wall
A smile for the picture
Forever remembering a hunt for the endangered
Ignoring the position as the dominant species
To protect and preserve the lives of ones who do no harm
Don’t turn your head
Look at the numbers
This world has life greater than a desire for selfish needs
Populations low as extinction lists grow
Animals who were here long before
Won’t be here to witness
Written by Nicque McMullen | Photo by Geran de Klerk