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Turning Tide 

On Sept. 9, President Joe Biden released new information for his launch of a six-part battle plan in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 and the new Delta variant. This new plan will impact an estimated 100 million Americans, companies, and organizations across the country. 

The plan focuses on workers, entertainment venues, and schools. For employers with 100 or more workers, all employers must ensure that every employee is fully vaccinated and any worker who decides to stay unvaccinated must be able to maintain a negative test result on a weekly basis before coming to work. 

Federal workers, contractors and those who work in the healthcare field are required to be vaccinated. Also, most recipients of Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement including but not limited to; hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies will need to be vaccinated to receive benefits. 

Entertainment venues such as sports arenas, large concert halls and other venues where large groups of people gather require patrons to be vaccinated or show a negative test for entry. 

In an act to keep students in school safely, actions will be put in place to ensure all schools consistently keep up with science-based prevention strategies, according to the CDC. In doing this hopes are for schools to remain in-person and maintain the health and safety of students, staff, and families. 

Employers with more than 100 employees must provide paid time off for the time it takes workers to either get vaccinated or to recover if they are under the weather due to post-vaccination. 

In the United States as of Sept. 12, 53.3% of the total citizens have at least one dose of the vaccine whereas  49.2% of all citizens are fully vaccinated.

What you missed at the Met Gala 

The Met Gala, formally called the Costume Institute Gala or the Costume Institute Benefit, is an annual fundraiser for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City. But many who don’t know the technicalities of the gala may know it as when celebrities dress up in unique clothing and walk an infamous tan carpet.

Each year there is a theme for the gala that includes cocktail hour and a formal dinner. During the cocktail hour, guests arrive and walk down the carpet where paparazzi, photographers and many other people are waiting to see their looks. 

The 2021 Met has now been stated to be “a night filled with many, many interpretations of ‘American Independence”’ stated The New York Times. Soccer star Megan Rapinoe showed up carrying a red, white and blue clutch that reads “IN GAY WE TRUST,” matching her pantsuit. 

Russell Westbrook came with star-spangled hair. Amanda Goran wore a royal blue gown studded with thousands of crystals that symbolized a “reimagined Statue of Liberty” while also carrying a little book that was titled: “Give Us Your Tired.”

As some followed the American theme others arrived with a more artistic approach. Kim Kardashian arrived with Demma Gvasalia of Balenciaga. Both arrived at the Gala wearing black shrouds that covered their body from head to toe. Singer Kim Petras came wearing a large horse head hooked onto her shoulders. Frank Ocean showed up with vibrant green hair and a green doll in hand. 

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York came to the Gala in a white dress by Brothers Vellies, written on the dress in bright red wording stated: “TAX THE RICH” across the back. Many found this to be condescending because of the nature of the event, but many others  also supported the idea of the dress. 

Although many stars and celebrities went to the Gala, others decided to step back from the event due to a COVID-19 vaccine requirement, like rapper Nicki Minaj. Fans are also shocked to not see many Met Gala favorites, such as Harry Styles, Katy Perry, Madonna, Zendaya, and Kylie Jenner.  

Fentanyl overdoses on the rise 

With the struggles of isolation that COVID-19 brought upon many in the last year, fears began to rise in early 2020  that the fentanyl drug overdose numbers could surge. 

Information released from the CDC showed that drug overdose deaths reached a record high number of 93,331 in 2020. While the Commonwealth Fund states that these estimates are not final, this is more than 20,000 deaths above the previous high in 2019.

According to the CDC, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin and 

100 times stronger than morphine. This synthetic drug is made in all different forms including liquid and powder and is typically given to patients with chronic or severe pain following surgery according to DEA.gov

1 in 4 pills sold on the black market is laced with lethal fentanyl and because this drug is odorless and tasteless it is impossible to distinguish what it truly is outside of a lab.  

Nowadays, with the black market, teens and young adults are able to get their hands on what they believe is to be Oxycontin, Prozac, Percocet, etc. When in reality the fentanyl lacing those drugs is the real reason that young people are dying from an overdose when an overdose was never the true intention of most. Pills are now easily accessible through social media and can be sent right to your doorstep without knowing where they came from. 

Wildfires 

Over 81 large fires span more than three million acres throughout the West and in Minnesota and have burned the majority of what it has touched. New fires have also been reported in California and Wyoming since Sept. 13, the California fires have displayed active behavior and the largest fire gained about 1,300 acres. 

President Joe Biden blamed the wildfires, which also burn parts of Idahos, as an act of global warming that will only continue to worsen. During this time it is said to be a “historic and unrelenting drought." Thousands have had to evacuate in Northern California and hundreds of structures have been destroyed. 

The aftermath in Idaho has made Biden push for his “Build Back Better Plan” which will provide Idaho $1.3 billion in state fiscal relief and $600 in local fiscal relief. 

The National Integrity Fire Center has stated that although many areas have received some rain in the past few days, thunderstorms and warm, dry conditions are expected in several states. So far, the American West currently has 81 active, raging fires, with only one fire having been contained. Still 3,150,696 acres are actively burning in 10 states on the West side of the country.

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