New Zealand: 1, Coronavirus: 0

File:Rugby world cup 2011 NEW ZEALAND ARGENTINA (7309671212).jpg ...
Image from Wikimedia Commons – Rugby world cup 2011

New Zealand, among the most successful of all nations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, recently released nearly all restrictions on its citizens. While this sounds like it must be premature, it is justified by the incredibly low numbers recorded in recent weeks. New Zealand, being a relatively small independent nation, was able to impose harsh restrictions early on and prevent cases from spreading. This resulted in a total of just over 1,100 cases and only 22 deaths before the spread of the disease was stopped altogether, with several weeks passing since the last new case.

In contrast to most countries, New Zealand plans to allow full crowds of spectators in sports stadiums, much to the delight of its many rugby fans.

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South Korea Sends 10,000 Masks to Navajo Nation

Picture by Melinda Modisette

By Megan Blackwell

While COVID-19 attacks the world, communities help each other stay afloat. South Korea has been sending lots of supplies, namely masks, around the world. Recently the South Korean government shipped 10,000 masks to the Navajo Nation in honor of Navajo veteran’s service in the Korean War. The Navajo Nation’s infection rate for COVID-19 rivals that of New York; it’s one of the hardest hit communities in the U.S.

In the Korean War, Navajo men served and many worked as code talkers; the Navajo language is incredibly complex, and the enemy was unable to break their coded radio messages. While over half a century has passes since the conclusion of that war, at least 130 of the 800 Navajo men who served are still alive.

“We hope our small gifts will console the veterans in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. The government remembers those who made a noble sacrifice to defend a strange country 70 years ago, and we hope they will proudly tell their posterity about the choice they made so many years ago,” said committee co-chairman Kim Eun-gi.

South Korea has been honoring many of its allies – the South Korean government also donated over a million masks to various foreign veterans, including 500,000 masks to the Department of Veteran Affairs in honor of other American soldiers who fought in Korea.

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Street Art Changes

Throughout the Internet currently, we can find innumerable pages describing the statistics of the spread of COVID-19 and the effects of catching this deadly disease. It is almost as if everywhere we look, there are negative outpourings of information. However, this is not the case for street art. As the pandemic progresses, street artists are designing motivational and uplifting pieces of art to fill up the streets so that maybe on your walk to work, you can look up to find that there is still hope filling the minds of everyone around you. Some of the street art commend essential workers and some bring out the humor in this strange situation. Though two very different ways of looking upon an event, both are just as valid and encouraging as they lift the edges of your mouth into a smile. Even if you are reading this from a computer and not strolling down the streets right now, we hope this article can simulate an early morning walk through street art that may just make you laugh a little bit:

 @iamfake/Instagram, From:
Picture: Getty, From:
Art by Austin Zucchini-Fowler, From:
“The Lovers” by Pobel, From:
(Photo by ARUN SANKAR/AFP via Getty Images), From:
Photo by Francesco Fotia/AGF/Shutterstock (10629449c), From:
The writing says, ” To you all… Thanks”, (AP Photo/Luca Bruno), From:
(Source: Twitter @Anth0ny_Ward), From:
Mural by Lionel Stanhope, From:
Art by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images, From:
Art by Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images, From:

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Llama Joins in Protest

Note: llama pictured above is not actually Caesar. It’s just a random llama. But a cool llama nonetheless.

By Sarah Wang

While you have heard of the recent protests (and may even have joined in), one protester in Portland, Oregon does not fit the image of a typical activist. Caesar the No Drama Llama has joined in protests to spread love and support others. As Caesar’s caretaker describes, all Caesar wants is a hug and a good time. He offers hope and entertainment to worn out protesters, who can pet him and take selfies.

Besides attending protests, Caesar the No Drama Llama also employs himself by showing up at retirement homes and classrooms (when students are on campus) for surprise visits.

Although Caesar the No Drama Llama is a of a different species, he might just be an example for all of us. With his positive attitude and carefree nature (he is, after all, a llama), he reminds us to spread love and not stress out.

If you want more information about Caesar, you can find out more here:

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Battling Homelessness

THB Fownes Hotel in Worcester
Image from

For all of us, the closing of businesses and the spread of Coronavirus has had a drastic effect on our way of life and our health. For many (especially those infected with the virus), this effect may have been detrimental; for nearly 50 homeless individuals in Worcester, England, this effect was life-changing. However, the Fownes Hotel made the decision to keep its doors open, giving free shelter and food to the homeless. With only minimal staff, it has been providing meals to its inhabitants and allowing them to stay in the rooms free of charge. To repay the hotel for its generosity, many of the previously homeless people have been doing gardening, cleaning, building, or helping out in any way possible on the property. This small community has demonstrated how even a small amount of stability can quickly change a person’s life – the guests hope that even after the hotel reopens to usual customers, they will be able to support themselves financially with far more ease, due to workshops and connections with charity organizations.


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Cleaning Up

Picture by Melinda Modisette

Currently, in many cities around the world, protestors fill the streets with banners and posters as night falls. And although they are advocating for their own beliefs, sometimes a mess is left behind: walls covered in graffiti, trash strewn across the road, crushed bottles and broken windows scattering pavement. Despite the amount of chaos in the world today, statistics show that in some cities, more people spend their personal time cleaning the streets during the day than protesting on them at night. According to CNN, after a night of protests in downtown Houston, a truck driver dedicated the next morning to driving up and down and washing away graffiti. Everywhere around the country, people flood the streets in the morning with trash bags and masks to pick up litter. One individual in Minneapolis even dressed up as Spiderman before heading out to clean. Although the world is focused on protests and conflict, the ordinary kindness of everyday people should never be forgotten.

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Promising Results in Cancer Research

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Image from Wikimedia Commons

While the whole world focuses on the SARS-CoV-2 virus and finding a working vaccine, significant discoveries in other areas of medicine have been overlooked. Dr. Reza Izadpanah and others at Tulane University in New Orleans have been researching a treatment for an aggressive form of breast cancer with very promising results. After discovering two genes, TRAF3IP2 and Rab27a, that seemed to function in the metastasis of the cancer, the researchers performed a series of studies to see whether inhibiting these genes could slow or altogether stop the spread of breast cancer. Not only were they able to slow the spread of the cancer, but they found that the suppression of these genes shrunk existing tumors with surprising efficiency. These findings will be instrumental in treating breast cancer as well as other conditions: research is already taking place at the University of Missouri to apply the results of these studies to the treatment of brain cancer. Though it seems that our most pressing issue is finding a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, discoveries in other areas of medicine are just as important and will become even more important as the coronavirus issue fades.

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COVID-19 Testing in New Mexico

Picture by Niannian Modisette

While COVID-19 tests are in critically short supply in many US states, this is not the case in New Mexico. In fact, the state is encouraging people to get tested to accumulate data, even if they are not experiencing immediate symptoms. New Mexico is in the top four states for tests per million people at 89,784, according to the Worldometer. Although the number of cases is still growing daily, the relative rate of increase in New Mexico has been kept low, especially considering the high number of tests that has been administered (188,261 as of May 30). Another factor in New Mexico’s favor is that COVID-19 testing is free: anyone can sign up to be tested in drive through fashion regardless of their financial ability. As more New Mexicans are tested, we will gain a better picture of how the virus is spreading and how we can most effectively slow it down. If you live in New Mexico, consider getting tested to contribute to scientific data, even without having been exposed.

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NCAA Grants Extra Year to Spring Sport Athletes For Curtailed Season

Picture by Melinda Modisette

Featuring NEW writer Chen Ruo!

The NCAA’s decision to suspend all the winter and spring sports seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic has a silver lining for student-athletes who got their 2020 spring sports season cut short.

The NCAA Division I Council has decided to grant an extra year of eligibility to all student-athletes! This applies to all spring-sport athletes, not just seniors whose careers would have ended after the cancellation of their seasons, and will allow schools to expand their rosters beyond current scholarship limits to account for incoming recruits and seniors who were expected to leave.

More specifically, the waiver will be applied for student-athletes competing the sports: baseball, softball, tennis, golf, outdoor track and field, lacrosse, rowing, men’s volleyball, beach volleyball and women’s water polo.

This NCAA decision has not only granted another year of eligibility to the spring athletes, they have also given them another chance to compete for another championship ring!

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A Creative Initiative in Saving Endangered Species

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Image from Wikimedia Commons

For many years in South Africa, illegal poaching of endangered species has posed a significant problem. Rhinos especially are one of the hardest hit by poachers, with hundreds or even thousands being killed each year in South Africa. Thankfully, this number has been decreasing in recent years, but it remains a challenge to prevent poachers from killing off an already dwindling population. Luckily, however, a new initiative to save these creatures saw unprecedented success.

With the help of a dog breeder named Joe Braman living in Texas, the South African Wildlife College attempted to introduce a group of dogs into the Rhino population to catch poachers. Although their hopes for the project were low at first, the dogs, which had been trained since birth to protect wildlife, managed to catch 145 poachers since their introduction in 2018. Unlike previous initiatives, the dogs were allowed to roam free and work in a pack. The college plans to add even more trained canines in the future, hopefully aiding to bring poaching to an end and helping the Rhino population gain a stronger foothold.


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