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.  

Mask mandates are gradually being lifted. For instance, locally, New York and New Jersey have begun to loosen restrictions. New York City dropped their school mask mandate except for those under the age of 5 and vaccination requirements for businesses. Likewise, restaurants, theaters and gyms will no longer require proof of vaccination. However, masks are still required in public transport and medical facilities in the city. The COVID-19 infection rate sits at 1.8%, the lowest since last August.  

A recent study published by the journal “Nature” believes they found a link between those who were affected with COVID-19 and having a greater loss of gray matter and abnormalities in the brain in comparison to those who never tested positive for the virus. These changes in the brain concern the area of the brain that is related to the sense of smell. More research has to be done before we understand the virus’ full impact on the brain.  

Information from ABC7, CNN, and Bloomberg.  


Russia-Ukraine war updates. 

Two weeks after the world watched in horror as Russia invaded the Ukraine, the world continues to hold support to the Ukraine. Russia has threatened action if anyone were to intervene which has millions throughout the world fearing the Kremlin’s next step. Recently, Russia has warned that it may close its main gas pipeline to Germany if the West establishes a ban on Russian oil. The European Union receives approximately 40% of its gas and 30% of its oil from Russia with no accessible alternatives. Oil prices have already risen, but the impacts of a complete ban of Russia remain to be seen.  

According to the Ukraine, Russia’s advancement in the war has significantly lessened. They report that troops have been demoralized. Maj. Gen. Vitaly Gerasimov, a leading Russian general has been killed in Kharkiv. Two senior officers are also believed to be dead. Lastly, the third round of negotiations between Russia and the Ukraine has resulted in no major breakthroughs. Nevertheless, the parties have agreed to meet again to talk about humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians after several ceasefire agreements have failed.  


Information from the BBC, the Guardian, and NPR.  

East High School shooting.  

Members of the East High School community in Des Moines, Iowa are lamenting the death of a teenage boy and the hospitalization of two other victims after a shooting on March 7. The 15-year-old boy was not a student at the high school, while the other victims are. The police began getting calls around 2:48 p.m. At arrival, they discovered the teenagers. The police have detained several suspects but have not charged anyone with the crime.  


Information from CNN and ABC News.  



General COVID-19 Update.  






Russia-Ukraine War Updates. 





East High School Shooting.