đź—˛Weekly News Blitz 1/31/21đź—˛

Ciaran Cole, Senior Editor-In-Chief

Weekly Forecast: Week in a Weather Word- Cloudburst:

Any sudden and heavy rain, almost always of the shower type. With finals just over a week ago and a cool couple of days off afterwards, the start of second semester hit the school like a 5 am cold shower. Time to wake up and get back in the swing of things! Now that the PSAT and questions about hallways routes are taken care of, here we go!

Weekly Overall Rating: Negative -but, hey, we need rainy days to enjoy the sunshine when we have it!

 

 

Reddit crashes the party on Wall Street

When people go around mentioning how billionaires are increasing their fortunes with the pandemic, in times like these, everyone’s got to feel for the ‘little guy’. In the case of a faltering video game retailer adjacent to most malls’ food courts, thankfully, it’s not just one ‘little guy’ but rather an army of Reddit users who feel this way and decided to hand out some justice. In typical Wall Street fashion the last few weeks, as is common practice among hedge funds, affluent investors started excessively borrowing stocks to short them for profit gain. Their latest target: GameStop. Essentially, as these investors would borrow stocks and quickly sell them, they’d later buy back the stocks when prices were driven lower by selling on New York’s Trading Floors. Yet, instead of business as usual, when groups of Samaritans on Reddit noticed the trend in GameStop’s selling, an unprecedented effort to combat the stock hijacking spread through the app’s forums. In banding together for a frenzy of buying shares that outnumbered the amounts sold by major players, the stock’s prices inflated in value over 1,000% the last two weeks. The result? The short-sellers lost $20 billion in their schemes, while the smaller buyers rode the stock to amazing heights. In this David vs

“GameStop” by JeepersMedia is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Goliath match-up, even when stock brokers halted trading and the main app ‘Reddit rebels’ were using stopped allowing buying of GameStop stocks, pressure from high-up places still couldn’t deter the will of the people.  As of Friday, the stock ended on the rise again as these attempts to thwart only could keep the stock down for just a few days. As the financial story of the year so far, history is being made as the phenomenon is starting to metastasize as similar stocks like AMC are now being pushed up thanks to the help of TikTok and more social media uprisings.

 

COVID-19 Variants Crossing Borders 

With the emergence of Coronavirus variants spreading from Brazil, South Africa, and Great Britain, the mess of the vaccine distribution is unfortunately center-stage. As a third case of the South African mutation in the U.S was confirmed in Maryland, the state ‘s revelation that the infection likely from “community spread” depicts how far downhill efforts from this summer’s  ‘containment goals’ have gone. With the other two foreign cases reported in South Carolina, the fact that the variant has been studied to be more contagious is alarming now that the US has passed 26 million documented cases. Even worse, the emergence of another new strain is a scare after being found in America, originating from Manaus, Brazil where infections have sky-rocketed. Moreover, the U.K. variant that developed months ago is rampant at the very least in this point in our country. As a result, Pfizer and Moderna are scrambling to reformulate their doses and figure our “booster shots” to salvage current doses’ efficacy. Yet science can only play catch-up up to a point to reckless human actions and disingenuous world-wide policies to stop unnecessary travel. The harsh reality that new mutations can lead to inoculation ineffectiveness highlights that planning and restrictions need to be ramped up instead of down.

 

Local Doppler: North Finally Stops IC Checks In-Person, Hallelujah!

After a long week of exams and protocols at school, getting back-to-normal was a bit convoluted with masks, wipes, and social distancing inside hallways for necessary reasons. Still, any semblance of our pre-2020 lives can’t help but be a relief, so hearing that we can go back to normal roll calls in class is a welcome sight. Complaints about Infinite Campus are a bit petty with more urgent problems in the world, but in fairness to frustrations with Google Meets lagging and battles to close 500 tabs in our browsers, small-victories versus stress are worth celebrating. Hopefully, the district won’t have to spam those ~6:32 pm phone calls anymore about students missing class anymore… not that I’ve gotten them… Anyways, requirements for virtual students are still in place so don’t forget to hit the “Log In” button between naps on the couch and fixing the lighting on your feed when you’re at home.