Magazine News Volume 69, Issue 7

And in Other News…

Open nearly any news app, and you’ll find total–or almost total–coronavirus coverage. Few outlets currently report on anything but the pandemic, with most news being updates on the state of the pandemic, stories about people disobeying shelter-in-place orders or just general bad COVID-19-related news. “[Only grim things being reported] makes me feel discouraged,” said freshman Lizzie Flores. Less reported are good things happening in response, from big things like celebrities donating large amounts of money or supplies to hospitals and food organizations to smaller-scale things like companies waiving certain fees in their businesses to help support those under lockdown or businesses and/or people suffering from the mass closures.

Jack Ma, a Chinese billionaire and the founder of the Alibaba Group, Tweeted that he, the Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Group would be donating emergency medical supplies such as masks, testing kits, protective suits, ventilators and thermometers to countries in need. He started with the United States, donating 500,000 testing kits and 1 million masks, which shipped off from China on March 15. Next, he pledged to donate 20,000 test kits, 100,000 maks and 1,000 protective suits and face shields to each African country; 1.8 million masks, 210,000 test kits, 36,000 protective suits, ventilators, and thermometers to 10 smaller countries in Asia and finally 2 million masks, 400,000 test kits and 104 ventilators to 24 Latin American countries.

A famous medical YouTuber and doctor known by his channel name, Doctor Mike, recently donated $50,000 towards buying N95 masks for hospitals suffering from shortages. He arranged to buy around 6,600 masks from a third party, but after a journey lasting several days documented in a YouTube video, he only received $30,000 worth. “I’m not going to let my friends who are working on the front lines–nurses, doctors, CMAs that are seeing and treating patients–to go out and get scarves and hope that that somehow protects them from this virus,” he says in his video. “I’m gonna do what I can, and what I can is getting these masks.” At the end of the video, we see him drop off the masks at a warehouse and pledge to donate the remaining $20,000 to a hospital or charity suggested by commenters.

Uber Eats, one of the many third-party food delivery companies, announced that during the epidemic, they would stop charging fees to independent restaurants and cafes in an attempt to help them through the severe drop in business that all businesses are suffering from.

There are still good things happening locally, as well. The Safeway off Danville Boulevard in Alamo has put up signs in their windows politely asking for shoppers to refrain shopping for the first 3 hours of opening–6:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M.–on Tuesdays and Thursdays so that seniors and those who are immuno-compromised have a chance to shop without exposing themselves to people who are less likely to die from the virus.