Chinese New Year’s Eve Is What Kids Prefer 

Chinese New Year is in the first day of the lunar calendar. It is a highly anticipated event, but many people, especially kids, prefer New Year’s Eve even more. 

Traditionally, people will have lunch at night in their homes; however, in modern times, people prefer to go to restaurant. In this way, all the family can sit together and have meal. Normally, every family will eat fish at dinner and leave the last piece of fish uneaten, because that means you had even more than you wished for. 

At the middle of the big meal, an elder will give young people red pockets containing money. The amount of money will differ depending on the different provinces in China. Normally, I can get the equivalent of $350 for each red pocket from my uncle and aunts. Sometimes there are $1,500 in my grandparents’ red pockets. 

After dinner, people will get back home early and watch the Spring Festival Gala. It includes every kind of program: cross talk, music from ethnic minorities and short sketch. The last part of Spring Festival Gala is the countdown. That night will usually be the only night of the year that children are allowed to stay up all night. 

The Return of Fans Will Improve Pro Sports 

A sign that reads, “We can’t wait to see you!” lights up the top of Madison Square Garden. (Photo: MSG)

In a move that looked like it would never happen, New York will soon be allowing fans to attend professional sporting events. With youth sports in limbo for so long in the state of New York, it seemed as if allowing fans to attend sporting events was far out of the question. Therefore, it came as such a shock when it was announced that as soon as February 23rd fans will be able to watch their favorite sports teams compete. Obviously, this experience is not going to be the same as it was in the past, but many people have waited almost a year for this moment.  

With Covid restrictions in place, stadiums cannot have enough fans to fill them to full capacity. The Buffalo Bills were a test run for this current format, as they previously played a home game in front of fans. The arena may look largely empty once fans are inside, but it will be a great change for viewers and attendees who finally get to experience some sense of normalcy.  

Teams will only be able to host a very small percentage of their fansMadison Square Garden, with a normal capacity of more than 18,000 fans, will only be hosting about 2,000 fans. At Barclays Center, they are very confident that this format will work. “We’re very confident in our ability to do this safely. It’s been at the forefront of our concerns all along,” John Abbamondi, the chief executive of BSE Global, the parent company of the Nets and Barclays Center, said in an interview with the New York Times. “We have a very massive facility here and we’re going to be bringing a really small percentage of our capacity.  

Fans cannot just simply buy a ticket like they used to. The process to get into the arena has got far more complicated. And the days of scalpers are over. The lastsecond decision to attend a professional sports event will have to wait until the pandemic is over. This is because testing to attend sporting events is key in ensuring the safety of all that are involved. The athletes clearly cannot interact with fans the way that they used to, as social distancing is also greatly encouraged. This is also shown greatly at Barclays Center as “All attendees will have to show proof of a negative P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of the event, and the state’s Department of Health will have to approve each venue. Fans will also be required to remain socially distanced and wear face coverings at games.”   

Even if the comraderies of the fans sharing this experience with the players is different, the players are surely just as excited as the fans that games are no longer being played in empty arenas. The experience of hearing people in the audience adds an extra rush of adrenaline to the players. It helps them feel as if somebody is appreciating what they are doing as the ovation adds an extra level of excitement. It makes the game feel as if it is less like a job and more like it is for fun as other people are enjoying it with you. Without fans, there is no sports, so it is great that New York State is finally rewarding fans for all they do to keep sports alive. 

 

Teachers Share Vaccination Experiences

Many Northwood faculty and staff are getting vaccinated. As a matter of fact, nearly 80% of Northwood School employees have received or are scheduled to receive their first dose. Nearly 30% have received their second dose of the shotThese numbers are encouraging, considering less than 14% of the US population has received at least one dose.   

The Mirror caught up with five faculty and staff members to ask about their experience getting vaccinated:  

Mr. Tony Miller said, I reacted to the first dose like a normal flu shotmeaning just my arm was sore. The second dose made me feel like I had a severe case of the flu, but I felt a sense of relief afterward. We’ve all been living in fear of getting sick. It was the first time I felt any sense of relief or comfort in a year.” (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

 

“Mr. John Spear said “I had no reaction to the first dose, which I was lucky enough to receive the week before students arrived back to school in January. The second dose really knocked me down for a full day, but it was worth it. I’m so excited that so many of my colleagues are able to get the vaccine.” (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

 

Ms. Katie Gilligan said, “I feel really, really lucky to be fully vaccinated this early in the year, though the second vaccine definitely kicked my butt. I woke up with just a sore arm and thought that would be the worst of it, but then around 11:00am I hit the couch hard and didn’t move for at least 6 hours. Fever, body aches, headache, stomachache — I had every symptom in the book. But the day after I was totally fine! Again, I feel super lucky and it was totally worth the 12 hours of not feeling good.” (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

 

Ms. Noel Carmichael said “I feel much more comfortable about the vaccine. There’s a lot we don’t know, and a lot we are assuming about how much it will protect us and for how long and from which strains. I’m still going to be cautious about wearing a mask and being careful about where I go. For instance, during spring break, I plan to go see my mother and she will also be fully vaccinated and so it’s exciting and a huge deal for my family. We haven’t seen my mom in over a year, so that one thing alone is huge in terms of our quality of life.” (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

 

Ms. Tara Wright  said, “I’m very fortunate to have been able to get both vaccines. I had very little reactions which I was also very fortunate, but I still feel like I don’t have a total sense of security because my kids are not vaccinated, and my husband is only partially vaccinated, so I’m continuing to do things as I was prior to being vaccinated.” (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

 

It’s Here: First COVID-19 Case at Northwood 

After more than 2,000 negative COVID tests and six months into the 2020-21 school year without a positive casea member of the Northwood community has COVID-19Yesterday a day-student in the Snowsports cohort tested positive SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Assistant Head of School, Mr. John Spear, notified the school community in an email this morning:  

This is the first positive case of a student or employee while school was in session and the student was attending in-person classes. The school is aware of more than twenty positive cases among students and staff that have occurred during school breaks and were resolved before the student returned to school or the employee returned to work.

Life at Northwood has proceeded as normal today for all students except those within the Snowsports cohort. Mackenzie Hull, a senior in the Girls Hockey cohort said, “It’s a little concerning, but I know that the school and the health board are taking the right precautions to keep studentsafe.”  

One of the students in quarantine also gave us insight on how they’re feeling. “Going into quarantine feels strange but I figured it would happen to some people at school eventually,” they saidI’m at least happy that I’m able to go home for a few days and just have a mental reset before coming back to school, they added. The Mirror will not use the names of students who test positive or are required to quarantine out of concern for student privacy.

The school is assisting the Essex County Health Department with contact tracing and expects the precautionary quarantine to be lifted within a few days. While having a positive case in the school community is unsettlingstudents are all working together to protect our pack” and continue keeping our community safe.  

Sports Need Fans 

(Photo by Christian Verheyen/Borussia Moenchengladbach via Getty Images)

Sports and spectators are two terms that go together. Ever since the Coronavirus pandemic started these words have started to drift apart. This at this point is getting nonsensical. People can shop in crowded grocery stores and dine indoors in many places, but parents can’t attend their children’s indoor sporting events. Many parents are missing out on a large part of their children’s upbringing which they will never be able to get back. Children usually hope that their parents are proud of their performance, but now indoor sports feel more like a chore. Parents are not allowed to be a part of something that may also bring them a lot of pride. If they are lucky, they can watch the game through a livestream but that is not the same.  

It is going to be extremely hard to grow indoor sports such as hockey and basketball if children are not motivated to get involved. It is hard for young children to be motivated if their parents can have no part. It would seem odd if they can go everywhere else with their parents in even closer proximity but once they are at a sporting event their parents can’t even be within one hundred feet of them. Most stadiums, gyms, and arenas are large enough that parents can easily distance from each other. When children are competing in sports, they are within much closer proximity to each other than parents would ever need to be when watching from the stands. There is no reason for parents to be close to each other when watching a sporting event which makes the chance at the spread of COVID extremely low. If they feel it is safe to let their children inside the building than they should be granted the same opportunity. If they choose to not attend than that is their decision, but ultimately, they should be allowed to make the choice.  

NY State Finally Allows Hockey Games 

Northwood hockey players received good news on January 31st: Essex County will allow high-risk sports, including ice hockey, to play. Mr. Gino Riffle, Athletic Director and Junior Team assistant coach, sent a mass email with the confirmation stating, “The county we are in, Essex County, released information Friday that they will allow high-risk sports to begin at the youth level on February 1st.”  

Members of the 2019-20 Northwood Girls’ Hockey team celebrate at the 2020 New York State Championships (Photo: Kara Wentzel ’22)

The news has Northwood hockey players ecstaticBeneath all the excitement many of us had questions about the fine print. Governor Cuomo stated that in order to be able to train and play games, county health departments must first approve it and provide guidelines, which came from Essex County late last weekMr. Riffle’s message indicated that the school has more work to do before games could be scheduled. “The countyhas included procedures, protocols and stipulations about playing these high-risk sports. We are working through the document and with Essex County officials to figure out what we can and cannot do based upon the guidance. We will have another update this week as we gain more clarity. 

Hockey players are left wondering what the protocols will be. We do not yet know, but we assume they pertain to spectators coming to watch and whether masks will have to be worn while playing or not. Questions remain about how it will work if Northwood wants to play teams in other counties, considering there are no teams to play in Essex County. On top of that, Husky hockey players are curious to see how thnew UK strand of COVID-19 will affect us, since it has made its way into the area.  

UK Variant Found in Essex County

The UK variant of SARS-CoV-2, a highly-contagious strain of the coronavirus, has been found in Essex County, according to the Essex County Health Department, which released the following statement on its Facebook page last night:

The presence of the more contagious variant in the county could affect Governor Cuomo’s order permitting higher risk sports like ice hockey to play games beginning on February 1. In that order, the Governor delegated authority to permit such activities to local health departments and instructed them to consider the presence of more transmissible variants in the area as the first factor to weigh when making their decisions. The relevant part of the Governor’s order on higher risk sports is:

The Mirror will follow this story closely.

COVID Rates Spike in Essex County 

When Northwood Students arrived in Lake Placid in late August COVID-19 cases in Essex County, NY, where Lake Placid is located, were far lower than almost all other counties in New York, and even in the United States. New cases were almost nonexistent in the areas surrounding Northwood. Almost every Coronavirus test being administered in Essex County was coming back negative, hospitalizations and deaths due to virus in the area were so low that residents generally felt safe and weren’t fearful of the virus. 

The Essex Center Center Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Elizabethtown, NY was the center of the first major COVID-19 outbreak in Essex County in August 2020 (Photo: mychamplainvalley.com)

Five months later, in January 2021, COVID-19 cases in Essex County have skyrocketed. The North Country region, on one the 10 regions of New York state and where Essex County is located, is now considered a very high-risk area. At one point, as students were preparing to return to Northwood, there were consistently more than 20 new cases each dayAs of this writing, new cases have leveled off to around 10 new cases per day, and there is some evidence that cases arstarting to decline and the apex of the pandemic in the region is behind us 

According to the New York Times, 1 in 35 residents in Essex County have been infected with COVID19. On average 78 percent of intensive care beds in area hospitals are occupied, according to the Times, many with COVID patients. Hospital capacity may become an issue, especially if positivity rates and cases begin to climb again, because Essex County may have trouble hospitalizing all who need it. As of January 2021, there has been an increased rate of Covid hospitalizations in Essex County from 57-72% of available beds, which is higher than it ever was in 2020. Public health officials will keep an eye on these numbers and will need them to go down in order to keep schools and the economy open. 

Pandemic Effects Mental Health of Student-Athletes 

Since March 2020, the Coronavirus Pandemic has been an ongoing series of unfortunate events. From social distancing to lockdowns of schools and businesses, the coronavirus has taken over our lives. 

Sports are central in the lives of athletes. Sports teach social skills and development, giving a healthy way to relieve and cope with stress and everyday life problems. From Little League to National Leagues, the Coronavirus has forced athletic seasons to be canceled. According to a recent study from Stanford University and Strava, a social network of exercise enthusiasts, “22.5% of professional athletes reported feeling down or depressed on more than half of the days of the week in the period between mid-March and August of last year, while COVID-19 restrictions on athletic training and competition were in place, compared to 3.9% of athletes reporting the same struggles earlier this year before the pandemic hit. That’s an increase of 477%.”   

It’s not just professional athletes affected by the pandemic. Even though Northwood students can train with their coaches and teams nearly every day, they have had very little competition in the form of games against outside opponents. Student-athletes at Northwood are suffering. Senior Rachel Hinkley says, “I know that Covid has effected us all, but it’s really hard not being able to play the sport you love. Watching others get to play while we can’t breaks my heart, and while I know it’s for our safety, it’s really hard having to sit on the sidelines when I’ve been playing hockey for fifteen years. While we can’t play games, I’m happy to be with my girls to keep me sane during these hard times.”   

Sports are a type of therapy and the bonds built by teammates are like a family’s connection, which is just one of the many reasons the game is loved by Rachel and millions of other athletes in the world.  Senior Ashlyn McGrath says, “not playing games makes me feel like I’m missing out on my senior year/season.” Throughout your hockey career you look forward to things like your senior night. It only comes once, and for some of us, it’s not coming at all. 

Northwood’s school psychologist, Ms. Tara Wright agrees that sports are important to the emotional well-0being of athletes.  “Diminished opportunity for sports has taken a toll on student athletes’ social emotional health during the pandemic,” said WrightAthletes derive multiple benefits from sports, which affect their mental wellbeing – physical fitness, goal setting and achievement, focus and mental training, and the social benefits that come from team sports. Even with more individual achievement sports such as ski racing or ski jumping, the group training aspect provides student athletes with significant social benefits,” she added 

Wright also noted that online learning exacerbates the isolation that students-athletes feel. “The Covid pandemic has left student athletes to adjust to online or hybrid learning for periods of time, reduce their ability to spend time with family and friends, and made athletic training and competitions fewer or altered to ensure social distancing,” said WrightThe teenage years are a time when students form significant bonds with their peers,” she addedWhile Covid has affected all teens by limiting their ability to socialize, the effect on teams has been particularly challenging.”   

It’s safe to say this is a very challenging time for everyone, especially the studentathlete population 

Photos of Northwood student-athletes enjoying the social benefits of athletic training and competition. (Source: The Mirror)

Tips and Tricks for Online Learning

Online learning and teaching can be very challenging for many students and teachers. At Northwood, students are usually able to engage in new material in a traditional classroom setting. Now, students have been introduced to remote learning via technology and online.

Don DelNegro, who is in his 27th year as the Head Athletic Trainer for the Boston Bruins, spoke with Ms. Fagan’s Honors Biology class on April 30. (Photo: Ms. Marcy Fagan)

Some students may be able to learn very quickly and easily this way; however, some find it very challenging to grasp the material. Not only is it a different way of learning, but also there are also no exact class times, study halls, or schedules.

Online learning may be intimidating, but you may find the following tips and tricks very helpful to not only make learning more successful but to manage your time more easily and efficiently.

The first tip is to stay focused on the right mindset. Before starting your work, make sure you are in a clean and comfortable workspace with no distractions. As Dr. Finnerty Paul says, “Get out of your pajamas! Get dressed and brush your hair and teeth as if you are going to your physical class.” Having a positive and confident mindset on your schoolwork will make you more likely to get it done on time and less likely to avoid it.

Having a schedule is very helpful. Schedules help get work done and aid you in steering clear of procrastination. Make sure to add personal hobbies and activities along with school on your schedule. Having a schedule gives students and teachers a better understanding of their duties and keeps them energized and motivated to get their work done. Google Calendar helps big-time at creating schedules. Having a list is also very beneficial in getting your work done because it allows you to check things off making you feel accomplished.

Although online learning may seem challenging at first you will soon get the hang of it. If you have a hard time grasping new material, do not be afraid to reach out to your teachers. We are all in this together through the whole process, just be sure to take advantage of your resources.

Looking for more tips? Try this article from edX, a leader in online education founded by Harvard and MIT.

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