Mental Health Matters

by jmccoy3 on April 21, 2022


Mental Health Matters After COVID-19

Christina Charie ’25

Putting on a pair of sweatpants after a long day is always a great feeling; however, many students and staff struggle to find an extra few minutes to relax during their weekly schedules as Providence College adjusts to normal operations. After a year spent on Zoom, many are eager to be social again. The College’s COVID-19 protocol introduced reading days to mitigate stress throughout the pandemic, but these breaks have ceased to exist now that we have resumed “normal” operations. Students and staff alike deserve time to walk around campus on a warm day or watch a few episodes of a Netflix show without feeling the guilt associated with being “lazy.”

COVID-19 brought many of the mental health issues exacerbated within the educational system to light. Many problems that arose during the pandemic existed before but often went unnoticed. Expecting students to manage five exams in one short week is a difficult task both in “normal” times and during a pandemic. Students naturally experience anxiety during midterms and finals and stress is unfortunately a part of college life. Maintaining an open dialogue about mental health on campus is essential if PC wants students to understand this.

However, there are methods, such as reading days, that ease stress surrounding time constraints for studying without diminishing academic standards.

Putting the proper amount of time into research projects and exams is difficult after a student finishes an entire day of classes. Additionally, working incessantly does not always produce high-quality results. When students take a break, they return to class with vitality and readiness. Reading days during the week after long segments of five-day weeks are crucial to overall productivity in the classroom, though it may seem counterintuitive.

Reading days are essential around the midpoint of the semester when many classes are conducting examinations during the regular weekly schedule. The same principle applies to final-exam week at the end of each semester. After taking an exam for two hours, the motivation to study for the next day’s exam is low. Students need time to rest in order to ensure their best performance. A reading day supplies the perfect opportunity for professors to grade exams while students can study without the time constraints of other exams.

While PC can affect individuals through policy changes, all members must be open to a new mindset. All students must be open to recognizing a study break as an effective use of time instead of a waste. Anxiety is normal for college students. Each student’s “best” performance varies depending on their circumstances.

Watching television is not always lazy. Sleep is an essential activity that allows humans to function. Society needs to shift its negative attitudes towards certain strategies that many use for self-care. No individual can work all the time without negative consequences.

These conditions are independent of any global crisis. Students were incredibly stressed even before the onset of COVID-19. One should not overlook effective policies that promote both individual well-being and academic success. While the College should be excited to move beyond pandemic life, the community could become stronger than before. Slowing down for a day during the semester will not cause a disaster. A class meeting will not be effective if students are preoccupied with cramming for an exam.

A single person cannot make every grade and join every club without some help along the way. PC must encourage students and staff to support each other during stressful times to promote overall optimism on campus in a post-pandemic world.

Core Knowledge

by jmccoy3 on April 21, 2022


Core Knowledge

Christina Charie ’25

The Providence College core curriculum builds analytical skills with a focus on close reading and writing. While the current requirements cover a broad range of topics, there is always room for new perspectives. Different requirements would offer benefits to students in an ever-evolving world. A foreign language and global history requirement would increase the diversity of the core curriculum while teaching content not discussed in high school.

The Development of Western Civilization Program supplies an excellent focus on historical text analysis. However, a global history requirement would incorporate more content that DWC is not able to address, either due to time or content restrictions. In an increasingly global society, understanding a variety of cultures besides one’s own is imperative. While DWC aids in this matter, unique history classes are engaging for students of all majors and disciplines.

Additionally, providing a new perspective during courses already in the curriculum might provide clarity. As Dr. Robin Greene, Professor of history and classics said, “Ancient Romans, among whom are counted a variety of peoples whom we would identify as peoples of color today, would never understand themselves as belonging to the same ethnic group as, say, Germans. Ethnicity and what we call race were perceived in the ancient world—and were also real issues—but not at all in the same way as they are today.” While written texts may originate from similar geographical areas, the perspectives can be drastically different. At the same time, one cannot expect modern views on issues such as ethnicity to apply to ancient cultures in the exact same manner. While using familiar concepts is helpful, it is important to keep the distinctions in mind as well.

Presentation is critical to engaging students in history. As Dr. Jennifer Illuzzi, director of the Development of Western Civilization Program states, “Reading a text is a personal experience, and every person brings their identity and their selves into the textual interpretation. We can bring an awareness of that fact into our DWC program.” Many students desire to see a piece of themselves in the authors discussed in class. Therefore, the course should show how people viewed their own cultural identity within historical society. This is particularly true for ancient cultures, in which views are inherently unlike contemporary ones.

A language requirement also corresponds with the ever-changing global workforce. Greene, has noticed “experience in another language gives an automatic leg-up to our graduates in just about any industry.” The course would allow students to expand upon the foundation from foreign language studies in high school, either by diving deeper into the study of the same language or through knowledge of another language. In the end, a foreign language class has a massive practical part. Additionally, Greene does not see how “any amount of study in English can foster the deeper understanding of another culture that the study of their language facilitates.” Ancient Greeks would not have a word for cell phones. The same technicalities exist when modern English speakers discuss Homer, for instance. English words might not fully describe a feature of ancient culture. Greene continues to describe how “language gives shape to our perception of our world, and translation is a poor substitute for that.” In the end, translation cuts elements within the text, such as rhyme, for English speakers. However, meaning is lost along the way that would be present in the original language.

As Greene says, “Greeks, Romans, ancient Jewish people and so on can’t and shouldn’t be understood as ‘white people in togas.’” To fully understand the experiences of historical people, one must try to step into their shoes. This includes developing knowledge on new experiences through the study of language and culture. Ultimately, education promotes unity and diplomacy, which is imperative given the current geopolitical situation. Hence, diversity and foreign language requirements must be emphasized in the curriculum. 


Tangents and Tirades

by jmccoy3 on March 24, 2022


Fashionably Unequal: How Fashion Treats Women Differently 

Christina Charie ’25

Two-inch inseams. Bodycon dresses. Cheeky bikini bottoms. The list is incessant. The fashion industry continually projects these trends on women once the temperatures rise. While no one should be ashamed of showing their shoulders, the fashion industry leaves women with few options. A pair of women’s bermuda shorts is a distant memory from years ago. However, dress codes and conservative mindsets blame women for their buying habits when it is not necessarily a choice. 

Men do not have the same advertising pressures. A crew neck shirt with basketball shorts is perfectly acceptable to society for men. Meanwhile, women squeeze into ribbed baby tees and bike shorts, and shopping becomes impossible when juggling dress code restrictions, proper fit, and trends. Why do women have to wear ridiculously uncomfortable clothing to be considered fashion-forward? 

Ultimately, the fashion industry is sexualizing women. While an excessive emphasis on modesty can cause body image issues, the other extreme is also abhorrent. Sheer mesh dresses seen on supermodels present women as objects to be desired. The clothes distract from the intellectual and emotional value women have to offer while holding dangerous perceptions of the ideal female physique. With more women at the forefront of industries such as law and science, the fashion world remains in the past.  

The same principle extends into the cosmetic industry. Acne needs concealer. Wrinkles need creams. Lips need filler. There is no limit to the resources women need to put into appearances. Women are no longer objects for others to admire. It is time for the fashion industry to support women, rather than tearing them apart.  


Promiscuity in Rap

Sienna Strickland ’22

It is growing increasingly impossible to turn on the radio, browse TikTok, or scroll through Youtube’s trending music section without encountering sexually suggestive or vulgar content. Promiscuity in music, particularly mainstream music, is not new; sexually suggestive songs have been around since humans have. However, during a month in which we reflect on women’s achievements and social progress, it is important to ask ourselves if the overwhelming prominence of sexual themes in modern, mainstream music made by women is a step in the right direction. On one hand, women making music about their own bodies and promiscuity is a self-reclaiming of their own sexual agency, co-opting the trend of males being exclusively allowed to rap or sing about women’s sexual appeal. However, there are more dimensions to this question than liberation achieved through a normalization of both genders expressing and exploring sexuality in their music.

The practice is anti-feminist if it is forcefully reducing female artists to this “hot-selling” subject matter, excluding them from exploring others, and reducing them to their anatomy as well as what they do with it. Hearing messaging that women are primarily valued for their overt hyper-sexual appearances, attractiveness to men, or sexual skills can be negative for girls bourgeoning body images. Also, the music industry is full of old-money, ancient, out-of-touch men in suits dictating what these women talk about. The autonomy women have gained to openly express their sexualities is a positive, but when they are coerced by market incentives and contractual obligations to express themselves sexually, exactly how much agency they really have in this transaction gets called into question.

Women are certainly sexual beings, but they are also much more than that. During this women’s month, we must consider what true “liberation” of women is. It is not only an unabated expression of their sexual selves (that have historically been demonized), but also an exploration of other aspects of womanhood, femininity, and female creativity that are not produced for the monetary or sexual gratification of men, but for the genuine self-expression of women.

China Burdens its Citizens with Zero COVID-19

by jmccoy3 on January 27, 2022


China Burdens its Citizens with Zero-COVID-19 

By Christina Charie ’25


Zero COVID-19 is a goal the world continues to chase. However, the Chinese government thought any draconian means were justifiable given the imperative end. As the Winter Olympics approach, Beijing is subject to substantial restrictions to ensure China receives its moment in the global spotlight. However, the cost of this policy continues to grow exponentially as it spreads into the global economy.  

A fine line exists between cruelty and containing the COVID-19 pandemic. In China, reports have emerged of patients being denied critical medical care because they live in an area with higher virus transmission. Recently, a man burdened with chest pain died from a heart attack after being denied hospital care. A pregnant woman lost her baby after her COVID-19 test was not considered acceptable for admission into the hospital. While hospitals need healthy staff to care for patients, turning patients away undermines why the medical sector is needed. A heart attack is preventable in the right medical environment. Therefore, medicine should not take steps backward to contain COVID-19.  

The Chinese government has raised a force of nationalism committed to suppressing anyone who defies authoritarian policies. Lockdowns happen suddenly, without warning. Residents who leave their homes for groceries are attacked by the government’s enforcers. The government also has nationalists verbally confront people on social media platforms. Clearly, many Chinese citizens and residents do not favor this policy. However, the will of the government trumps all concerns. People are starving, but the Chinese regime does not examine all issues that arise during a pandemic.  

With the global supply chain disrupted, China only exacerbates  the issue by shutting down ports and factories after discovering a few COVID-19 cases. The ripple effect of this decision spreads far beyond China and the United States. 

With goods becoming more difficult to obtain, inflation will continue to persist at record levels. Obviously, this continues to place an economic burden on families struggling to acquire  essential products. With the Federal Reserve contemplating potential economic intervention strategies in the United States, China’s actions could lead to a recession if interest rates are increased.  

While stopping the spread of COVID-19 is an admirable cause, the Chinese government has gone to the extreme. The authoritarian style of enforcement violates human rights. 

Everyone should be concerned about the abuse of power present in the world today. In the larger view of the world, wearing a mask is not an extreme mitigation effort. Life could be incredibly more difficult. A crisis can become a distraction from the real problems present within society.

Additionally, if part of China’s motivation is ensuring the Olympics are held in the coming weeks, the International Olympic Committee should develop their own solutions. COVID-19 did not exist when Beijing was awarded the 2022 games. The committee is complacent by allowing China to continue violating human rights for economic revenue and nationalist glory.  

Stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus is a worthy cause deserving attention. However, the world must not lose sight of the infinite number of human needs. Staying home for two weeks is not realistic for all individuals. With numerous variants, COVID-19 is now part of daily human existence. Zero COVID-19 is an unlikely proposition after two years of surges. 

Women Severely Impacted by International Human Rights Conflicts

by The Cowl Editor on December 9, 2021


Women Severely Impacted by International Human Rights Conflicts

by Christina Charie ’25

The famous Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai recently made headlines when she accused former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault. After her accusations were made public, Shuai vanished for three weeks. In addition to Shuai’s disappearance, the posts containing the accusations were wiped from her account within thirty minutes of being uploaded. Shuai should not be censored for demanding control over her body, which is what the public believes is the case here. If the disappearance and censoring of Shuai are related to her allegations, then the reaction sets an inadequate standard for a woman’s right to autonomy over her body. Even though Gaoli is not proven guilty in the official sense, the claim certainly warrants investigation.

The global community, including the Women’s Tennis Association, demanded proof from the Chinese government that Shuai was still alive. The WTA even threatened to pull competitions out of China if Shuai was harmed in any capacity. The United States indicated a potential boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympics without action from the Chinese government. While videos and photographs proving Shuai was physically safe were eventually released by the Chinese government, one cannot ignore the blatant disregard for Shuai’s statement. Despite representing her country on the international stage, the Chinese government had no concern for her quality of life. One must consider what Shuai’s fate would have been if the international community had not rallied behind her. International pressure, especially economic forms of persuasion, can unfortunately influence the outcome of conflicts surrounding gender issues.

Women face similar toxic situations in other parts of the world. In Afghanistan, the reemergence of the Taliban has only worsened the situation for women in the country. Female reporters live in fear of being caught wearing cosmetics or showing skin. The Taliban perpetuates body-shaming and subsequently demeans women in the process. Wearing makeup should not be up for debate to the public. Clothing and makeup are forms of self-expression. By regulating appearance into adulthood, the Taliban attempts to conceal each woman’s unique qualities.

Additionally, the Taliban are returning to a gender-separated school system, which will inherently lead to educational inequities between genders. Clearly, women have been denied opportunities based on sex in Afghanistan after the Taliban’s takeover. 

The international community should hold countries or organizations like the Taliban accountable for sexist actions against women, something they have yet to do. Leaders certainly can condemn the actions of a particular government, terrorist group, or individual accountable by avoiding blanket statements. A united force against gender inequality will prove more formidable than sporadic support.

The events these past few months have set a new precedent in China and Afghanistan by questioning women’s credibility and value. Every single woman should be gravely concerned by the current situation if they want to enjoy the privileges of education, athletics, and freedom of speech. While the battle for women’s rights seems geographically distant from the United States, the conflict is still present and not to be ignored.

Christmas Takes First Place

by The Cowl Editor on December 9, 2021


Christmas Takes First Place

by Christina Charie ’25

The real holiday season arrives once Christmas lights adorn every building. Americans spare no expense when Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around each year. However, there is a clear distinction between Thanksgiving and Christmas at Providence College that makes December simply magical.  

From Christmas trees in Slavin Center to Holiday Bingo, Christmas is the more exciting holiday on campus. Students cannot ignore BOP Christmas stickers or Christmas caroling during halftime at the Dunk. McPhail’s becomes a center for gingerbread house-making and holiday-themed do-it-yourself activities. PC becomes a quintessential childhood countdown to Christmas. Organizations on campus simply do not have as many Thanksgiving traditions or celebrations.  

Additionally, students have more time to celebrate Christmas with an extended break. With travel time considered, Thanksgiving break happens within the blink of an eye. Even though students love being at the College, every Friar needs time to rest in the company of family and friends. Christmas break provides more valuable time at home during the academic year. 

Furthermore, Christmas entertainment offers an option for all movie lovers. From comedic masterpieces such as Home Alone and Elf to classic tales like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Charlie Brown Christmas, most have a favorite Christmas movie. This speaks to the impact Christmas has upon the masses. Inherent qualities of magic and wonder exist that make Christmas an impactful part of the year where the countdown to Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.  

Christmas brings communities together through shared joy. The holiday allows Friars to celebrate the end of the semester in a unique way. Christmas gives everyone on campus a reason to smile throughout the day, despite the stress of exams and papers. However, every single day should be a reason to spread cheer. Even though Christmas only happens once a year, the kindness of the season does not have to vanish after Dec. 25.  

Tangents & Tirades

by The Cowl Editor on November 18, 2021


Veteran’s Day Should Not Be Business as Usual

Christina Charie ’25

Enjoying a day of relaxation is not a tragedy. After multiple five-day weeks in a row, Providence College students are exhausted and feeling anxious about finishing homework and studying for exams. Since Veterans Day is a federal holiday, many people in the Providence area do not report to work. A one-day vacation from classes would not result in a learning deficiency. In fact, having Veterans Day off could have the opposite effect. Additionally, by ignoring the federal holiday, PC prevents students from honoring and serving veterans in the community.  

After midterms, students often need time to find their homework routine again. A day during the week without classes gives students the chance to complete assignments while taking time for self-care. Cutting down on instructional time seems counterintuitive; however, if students feel overwhelmed, they will not learn effectively. Time spent in classes is more productive once students are relaxed. In addition, professors could utilize the extra time on Veterans Day to grade exams, alleviating much of the anxiety that lingers after midterms. Having the College close on Veterans Day would encourage and support learning, despite giving up time in class.  

By taking off Veterans Day, students at the College would have the opportunity to organize Veterans Day events, service projects, and memorials. Events on campus could help students learn about the sacrifices veterans make for the community. The College could invite alumni who served in the military back to campus as a sign of gratitude. Veterans in the Providence area would certainly appreciate Providence students reaching out to them.  

Clearly, changing the academic calendar offers benefits to all members of the PC family, including students, staff, and alumni. 


Astro-Nomical Tragedy

by Sydney Gayton ’23

The last thing people could have imagined at Travis Scott’s Astroworld concert in Houston, TX on Friday, Nov. 5 was the death of nine people and the hospitalization of hundreds more. Injuries resulted after concert goers at the 50,000-person music festival stormed towards the stage when Scott came on. People were pushed and trampled while others sustained more serious injuries, some treated for cardiac arrest. 

The tragedy is attributed to a systematic breakdown. In the 59-page operations plan for the event, only the concert and executive producers had the ability to stop the concert. It also did not have an emergency plan in place to deal with such a situation despite something similar occurring at Astroworld in 2019. The plan only contained a warning about avoiding a potential “civil disturbance/riot.” The safety measures at the event are currently under investigation to determine who is at fault. Hundreds of concertgoers have already hired attorneys in lawsuits against Scott and Live Nation for their bodily injuries that occurred as a direct result of the encouraged violence and lack of safety precautions at the venue.

While Scott may have been unaware of the situation while performing, his prior safety violations, as well as his and Drake’s actions after the tragedy, that resulted in the death of nine people between the ages of fourteen to twenty-seven are reprehensible. The “concern” both performers show on social media seems to be only to protect their images and minimize lawsuits. It was their actions that night, at Dave & Busters and a strip club, that say more about their care for their fans than the obligatory Instagram apologies try to express. No one should die at a concert. Scott should cancel the rest of his Astroworld Tour and spend time figuring out how he can ensure his team’s and his own failures never result in the loss of another fan’s life. In the meantime, stop listening to Travis on Spotify and listen to Taylor Swift’s new releases.


Business Majors are Not the Only Students at PC

Olivia Bretzman 22

There is no doubt that Providence College has an extremely successful business school. Most PC students are business majors, so obviously, they need support from the Career Center, networking events, etc.

However, there are a lot of other majors at PC that deserve the same support considering all undergraduate students pay tuition to attend PC and utilize their resources. This is a major point of discrepancy in PC’s student support system, particularly when it comes to mentorship in applying for internships, jobs, and higher education.

When looking for internships using PC’s Slavin 108 network, the “past internship list” includes about 30 possible places to intern for each business major and only five-10 for other majors. The Slavin 108 system is entirely geared towards becoming a corporate businessperson, so much so that when an undergraduate, non-business major asks for guidance, the system fails to foster.

There is a real lack of knowledge within the network of what humanities majors can accomplish and how to assist them, which seems incredibly convoluted considering PC prides itself on its liberal arts education and was founded on a strong belief in the humanities.

Thankfully, many professors in these non-business major departments are incredibly helpful in job searches, internships, etc. However, that is out of their expectation as a professor. While most are happy to connect students to their connections, other faculty, and more, it often feels like putting more work on an already extremely busy plate.

Overall, PC simply needs to do more and better support its non-business majors. Not only should they have mentors in Slavin 108 for all majors, but they should also provide career expos with more than just business-focused jobs and graduate work. While there are some, it truly is not enough.


Truth Social?

by The Cowl Editor on November 4, 2021


Truth Social?

The Dangers Donald Trump’s New Media Platform

Christina Charie ’25

If one thought Donald Trump’s influence on the media had vanished, he or she would be mistaken. The former President recently announced his new Trump Media and Technology Group along with his new “Truth Social” social media platform. Trump argues he should have access to platforms such as Twitter if groups like the Taliban are still granted permission to utilize these platforms. The country, along with politicians, must decide what constitutes freedom of speech. Social media companies are considered private organizations in the eyes of the government. Therefore, even if legally Trump is protected under the First Amendment, outside corporations have the right to restrict his access. Trump would also have the right to grant himself unlimited access to Truth Social if one follows this logic. However, the government must decide if Trump has crossed one too many lines in his Twitter rants. Politicians need to take a stand for the victims of Trump’s cyberbullying or side with the man that controls the minds of millions. Many get caught in the cycle of party politics, but one does not have to identify as a Democrat to disagree with Trump’s antics. 

Everyone, including the former President, has the right to an opinion, but the spreading of misinformation by Trump has even persuaded people to commit violence.  Nothing the former President says is obscure; millions of people hear his rhetoric. Trump’s comments inspired an entire group of individuals to storm the US Capitol and convinced others that the election results were falsified. 

After insensitively nicknaming the coronavirus, a rise in Asian hate crimes occurred across the nation. The persistence of coronavirus impacts Americans daily. One must wonder about Trump’s consistent denial of the dangers presented by the virus as well. Unfortunately, Trump does not spread harmless misinformation. He tells his followers to drink bleach or to use a tanning bed to cure COVID-19. Millions of Americans are still reluctant to receive the vaccine. Trump takes advantage of his platform to discuss issues he does not understand. Before, Twitter or Instagram had the power to censor Trump’s scandalous messages. Now, Trump does not have to answer to anyone when he posts racist, sexist, or harmful content. The former President will most likely not be suspended from his own social media platform.  

Even though this conflict is a freedom of speech issue, the situation demonstrates the inherent problem with wealth distribution in America. The former President evades consequences because of his economic status, by buying his way out of problems. Normal Americans, however, do not have the means to overcome their struggles in the same way. One cannot shout fire in a crowded movie theater as a prank without facing legal penalties. If America is a place of equality, the former President should face legal action for his words. If Trump created fear and violence in America, there has to be consequences no matter his financial or social status. There is no doubt about Trump’s shrewd persuasion methods. When combined with massive monetary power and an unrestricted platform, he can still control millions of Americans.  

The most important step America can now take is to make a final decision on the Trump Presidency. Lower taxes can be appealing, but the cost could be too high. An outsider can be effective in a political position, but that person does not have to be Donald Trump or any celebrity for that matter. With the controversy still in the air, the best course of action could be leaving Trump in the past.  

Why Do People Hate Dr. Fauci

by The Cowl Editor on October 28, 2021


Science Changes… Don’t Shoot the Messenger

by Christina Charie ’25

Science is a blessing—until it is a curse. Many people living in first-world countries have gotten used to science providing a reasonable answer to several conflicts which are now considered issues of the past. Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, science began telling the population truths no one wanted to hear. The comfort one could find in science was nonexistent. Dr. Fauci became one of the faces of social distancing, masking, and Zoom calls. When the government decided to shut down the country, waves of reports came regarding Dr. Fauci initially telling government officials not to act against the virus in early 2020. However as the latest information and data about the novel coronavirus’ transmissibility became available, his messaging changed. This behavior is not unique to the infectious disease specialist. Reacting to current information is natural. 

In recent weeks, Fauci has come under fire for research he completed regarding the Spanish Flu. People falsely claimed the investigation concluded that masking during the Spanish Flu caused bacterial pneumonia. Eventually, the pneumonia itself or in combination with the Spanish Flu would lead to death. However, the research results never verified this conclusion. Masking can be an inconvenience at times, but Dr. Fauci does not deserve to be slandered for suggesting a tactic for the safety of the public. Quite frankly, masking is a widespread practice that has worked for several years. Doctors have worn masks for most of recent history during surgical situations. People should not push their pandemic fatigue on Fauci. His job is to make recommendations based on scientific data..  

Secondly, critics of Dr. Fauci should not compare COVID-19 and the Spanish Flu because of the historical and technological differences between the two periods of history. General sanitation practices in the early twentieth century are not as comprehensive as today’s society. The quality of 1918 face coverings is not as consistent as ones available today. Additionally, during the outbreak of the Spanish Flu, the disease had a perfect environment. The trenches on the battlefields of World War I were highly unsanitary, leaving no room for social distancing. Comparisons to the Spanish Flu being wielded against Fauci are illogical since society and science are constantly evolving. Even if Dr. Fauci concluded that masking made the Spanish Flu outbreak worse, he should not be held to his conclusions today because science constantly improves.  

Also, the flu and the novel coronavirus are biologically different. Mitigation efforts proven effective for one of these diseases might not work for the other. Masks may not be as effective against the flu while still providing ample protection against coronavirus. The primary method of disease transmission influences how science issues guidance.  

Few would say COVID-19 mitigation efforts were great. The restrictions brutally interrupted everyday life, led to increased depression, and negatively impacted educational progression. Despite this, Dr. Fauci is not to blame for simply telling the public a difficult truth. People needed to work to support their families. Few preferred social distancing, staying home, and masking instead of their pre-pandemic lives. If Americans took Dr. Fauci more seriously, lives could have been spared from the dangers of COVID-19.  

The Economic Effect of the Pandemic

by The Cowl Editor on October 24, 2021


The Economic Effect of the Pandemic

COVID-19 Continues to Cause Economic Problems

by Christina Charie ’25

Eighty cargo ships sitting idle in the Pacific Ocean. An incessant line of “Now Hiring” signs displayed in the grocery store. With a vaccine, diminishing unemployment benefits, and in-person school restarting, the excuses for economic disruption seem irrelevant. However, while the COVID-19 vaccine is commonly distributed in the United States, certain countries that are hubs of manufacturing, such as India and China, continue to experience outbreaks of COVID-19. For instance, Vietnamese textile factories have recently shut down due to outbreaks. 

Due to continuing COVID-19 concerns, factories still do not operate at full capacity. Even when all the workers themselves remain healthy, quarantine is still a possibility for workers whose families or friends may fall ill. 

With factories still limiting operations, the number of workers involved in good transportation is decreasing. Crewmembers trapped on a cargo ship for months may decide to utilize their time in a more fulfilling manner when the ship must wait until an understaffed port can unload cargo. As a result, goods may have no way of getting to consumers. When truck drivers were laid off after stores closed their doors for months, many found new positions of employment. As a result, fewer people are working to move goods from ports to various locations across the country. 

The pandemic may have also caused individuals to realize the value of their time. Minimum wage might not provide sufficient income for a family if childcare costs must also be accounted for. For many families, staying home with children is more cost-effective than working and paying for childcare. Companies, in response, may offer higher wages to compensate. The increased cost of labor will fall upon the consumer in the form of higher prices. 

While additional unemployment benefits may have reduced the number of individuals in the labor force, if no substantial change in unemployment rates is observed within the coming months, one must consider other causes.

 Additionally, many average workers may not want to increase their exposure or put vulnerable families at risk. This fear will remain in the minds of workforce members until COVID-19 is eradicated. 

The connective nature of the economy results in several issues at once, especially after major disruptions such as the novel coronavirus.  

These factors have contributed to the strain on the consumer in recent months. An example of this consumer strain can be found in the Southwest Airlines flight cancellations over Indigenous People’s Day weekend. If air travel is at normal demand levels, Southwest does not have the workers it originally laid off because many had to find new jobs for survival. 

A vaccine mandate still might not be the root factor contributing to the employment shortage. Making the assertion that working to end the pandemic undermines the economy is not completely true in all cases. If people are afraid to physically go to work, shop, or travel, the economy will suffer.  

The economy is in a transition as the world frees itself from the clutches of COVID-19. Companies need time to react and manage the new levels of demand for products and services. Demand has risen quickly to elevated levels after much of the pandemic. This outcome is unexpected, which  has caused manufacturers to halt expansion under the assumption of a long road to economic recovery. 

The modern economy is more fragile than many will admit. Once the market balances and finds a new equilibrium, inflation will fall. 

Economic recovery is within reach; however, consumers should expect to experience difficulties until the economy is able to stabilize itself.