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 Updates. 

Last week, the CDC approved the updated COVID-19 vaccines to include children ages 5 to 11. These updated COVID-19 vaccines include Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 spike protein components to the current vaccine composition that help restore protection that has lessened since the prior vaccine and targets the recent Omicron variant, which is more transmissible and immune evading.  Children in this age group can get the boosters from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech as long as it has been two months since their primary vaccine series or last booster shot. The updated Pfizer/BioNTech booster is a 10-mircogram dose. A clinical trial has started to evaluate the updated vaccine based on the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants in children six months through 11 years of age, aiming to offer all ages the chance to be immunized against the Omicron variants and subvariants.   

Around 13 million to 15 million people in the US have received the updated COVID-19 boosters. It is estimated that if more people get the updated booster by the end of the year, about 90,000 COVID-19 deaths could be prevented this fall and winter. However, if vaccination rates remain at their current pace, the nation could see a peak of more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths per day this winner. Currently, the death rate is more than 400 daily deaths.  

Information from the CDC, CNN and New York Times.  


Climate change protestors throw tomato soup at Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers.” 

Last Friday, two activists entered the National Gallery in London and threw tomato soup at one of Van Gogh’s famous paintings. Luckily, the painting was unharmed but that did not stop the internet from going into a frenzy debating the ethics of defacing the art piece. The protestors were from “Just Stop Oil” which is a coalition that advocates for the UK government to halt new fossil fuel licensing and production. After pelting the painting with the soup, they glued themselves to the wall. The women were then removed and were arrested for criminal damage and aggregated trespass, according to the London Metropolitan Police.  

Information from The Washington Post, CNBC News and CNN. 


Fire breaks out at Iran’s Evin prison amid protests. 

A fire broke out in Evin prison with 4 casualties and another 61 injured on Oct. 16. The prison is known for housing political prisoners as well as human rights violations. According to Iran authorities, the fire began on Saturday evening with no prisoners using this situation as a chance to escape. Ten prisoners remain in the hospital. However, the fire has been confirmed not to be involved with the protests but it may fuel them with footage outside the prison showing people shouting, “death to the dictator.” 

Information from Time, the BCC and the New York Times.  



General Covid-19 Updates. 




Climate Change protestors throw tomato soup at Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” 




 Fire breaks out at Iran’s Evin prison amid protests.