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 Monday, President Biden announced that that the COVID public health emergency will end in May. The U.S. government plans to no longer buy COVID-19 vaccines for the public by this summer or early fall. This decision means that Pfizer and Moderna will sell the vaccines directly to health-care providers at a higher price. When the federal COVID-19 vaccination program ends, the vaccines will remain free for people who have health insurance due to requirements under the Affordable Care Act. However, uninsured Americans will likely have to pay for their vaccines when Pfizer and Moderna starts selling the shots to the private market and the current federal supply runs out.  

Luckily, the recent winter COVID-19 surge appears to be mild. Although infections, hospitalizations and deaths increased after the New Year, numbers have dropped for weeks. Approximately 400 people die from COVID-19 each day. Most of the people dying are the elderly, many of whom did not receive the last booster shot against COVID-19.  

Information from CNBC, NPR and Vox.  

Tyre Nichols. 

On Jan. 7, Tyre Nichols, a Black 29-year-old was pulled over by the Memphis police for what was deemed reckless driving. Nichols attempted to flee but was aggressively beaten by police officers. He complained of shortness of breath and was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Three days later, Nichols died. His family described his body as unrecognizable.  

Nichols was described as an avid skateboarder and nature photographer. He leaves behind a son who is four years old. After the body camera footage was released that proved the police had beaten Nichols, peaceful protests arose around Memphis and throughout the United States. As of late, the sixth police officer involved in the accident has been fired. Five other officers have already been fired and charged with his murder. Additionally, three Memphis emergency workers were fired for failing to provide adequate medical treatment to Nichols at the scene.  

Information from NPR, BBC News and CNN.  

Chinese Spy Balloon.  

A Chinese spy balloon was recently spotted flying over the middle of the country. The American public became frightened due to the balloon’s presence and President Biden approved downing the balloon soon after. He stated that the balloon could have been shot earlier but they waited until the balloon was safely over water. The Chinese government’s reaction was that the U.S. overreacted. Officials stated that the balloon was for civilian use and entered the U.S. due to a malfunction.  

Information from CNN, the Hill and APNews.  



General COVID-19 Updates.  




Tyre Nichols.  




Chinese Spy Balloon.