Outside Iona

Jocelyn Arroyo-Ariza, News Editor

Throughout our hectic student lives, we should always remain aware of what is happening around us. In this column, I find some of the most significant things around us and provide you with a small blurb and nitty-gritty details. Here are some of the major events that have been taking place: 




General COVID-19 Update.  


With cases of the Delta variant rising, the United States is approximating January’s hospitalization peak. It is estimated that more than 101,000 Americans are now hospitalized with COVID-19 compared to the more than 125,000 that were hospitalized in early January. Data from the DHH indicates that Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Florida and Arkansas have less than 10% of their ICU bed capacity available. The states with the highest COVID-19 case rates are Mississippi, Florida, Kentucky and Louisiana.  


In states where schools opened the earliest, cases are most quickly rising. In the forementioned Mississippi, schools opened in early August and since then approximately 14,000 students have been affected. 


However, vaccination efforts have fared better. According to the CDC, about 61% of eligible Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A week after Pfizer was fully approved by the FDA, data shows that there has seen a slight uptick of first doses.  




Information from ABC News, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal.  




U.S. Involvement in Afghanistan Ends.  


With the last of American troops evacuating Afghanistan a minute before midnight, the twenty years of the war in Afghanistan come to a close. Five American C-17 cargo jets flew out of Kabul before midnight, leaving thousands of Afghans deserted, even including those who held valid visas to enter the United States. Control of the Kabul International Airport was left to the Taliban.  


President Biden promised that those responsible will pay for the deadly suicide bombing that killed dozens of people in Kabul following the Taliban’s takeover. In response, the U.S. conducted a drone strike on suspected ISIS-K fighters, the details of which are still being revealed. According to two U.S. officials, the government relied on overhead surveillance imagery to pursue suspected ISIS-K fighters. The footage uncovered that the suspects loaded explosives into the trunk of a car. The vehicle was then tracked by intelligence, discovering that it had stopped at multiple suspected ISIS-K locations. A third official cites that by the time of the strike, the Pentagon had uncovered additional evidence to believe the car was headed towards the Hamid Karzai International Airport to unveil an attack. The aftermath of the strike resulted in the deaths of at least 10 civilians, including seven children.  


Information from The New York Times and CNN. 




Supreme Court Upholds Texas’ Restrictive Abortion Law.  


Texas has banned abortion beyond six weeks as a result of the Supreme Court denying a request from the state’s abortion providers to freeze the latest law. The ruling violates Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion in the U.S. prior to viability, which is around 24 weeks of pregnancy. Previously the Court has blocked similar laws in eight other states.  


The law is one of the most restrictive in the entirety of the developed world. Abortion has been prohibited once a fetal heartbeat is detected. Many women are not aware that they are pregnant at that time. Additionally, the law permits private citizens to report anyone who assists someone seeking an abortion that infringes the ban.  


In response, activists from TikTok have spammed the Texas Right to Life group’s website with fake tips. The bot, which submitted a false report around every 10 seconds, has now since been banned. GoDaddy decided to no longer to host the site as it violated the company’s term of services.  





Information from CNN and NPR. 





Sources: General COVID-19 update 





Sources: U.S Involvement in Afghanistan Ends  




Sources: Supreme Court Upholds Texas’ Restrictive Abortion Law