YPIE QuaranTimes Volume 12

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

November 25, 2020

Blossom Cherry by Tereza Biswas, YPIE Scholar 2027

In this Issue

Pandemic News

  • A COVID Vaccine May Be Coming Soon, Despite Negative Factors

  • Rising Cases in New York

  • How the Pandemic is Affecting Families in Abusive Households


  • Joe Biden: America’s Silver Lining?

Entertainment and Lifestyle

  • Music Recommendations- 10 Upcoming Artist

  • Movie/Show Recommendations

Our Voices Heard

  • What’s Going on in Belarus?

  • Islamophobia On The Rise In France After Beheading of a Teacher

  • Coronavirus Delivers Yet Another Divisive Pandemic

  • Think Before You Post: Raising “Awareness”

YPIE QuaranTimes Staff


Salamatu Lawal, Editor-in-Chief

Alyssa Lee, Our Voices Heard Editor

Catarina Mendes, Politics Editor

Julia Azulay, Entertainment and Lifestyle Editor

Shemar Forbes, Layout Editor & Director of Communications

Yismel Castro, Layout Editor


Julia Azulay

Tereza Biswas

Paola Baizan

Yismel Castro

Hillary Diaz

Shemar Forbes

Vanessa Gentile

Salamatu Lawal

Alyssa Lee

Natalie Maldonado

Catarina Mendes

Raquel Negrón


Max Silverman

Welcome to the YPIE QuaranTimes

Produced by YPIE’s Journalism major, the YPIE QuaranTimes is a way for YPIE students to connect and share experiences during these unprecedented times. YPIE Scholars are using this time in so many creative, meaningful ways. As such, the YPIE Journalism major hopes to highlight all of the talents in our community through this publication.

Pandemic News

A COVID Vaccine May Be Coming Soon, Despite Negative Factors

By Vanessa Gentile, YPIE Scholar 2027

The prospects of a COVID-19 vaccine continue to grow, with companies like Pfizer announcing that their vaccine is getting close to the finishing line. Although they’re super close, there are still many concerns. This is one of the fastest times taken to complete a vaccine, with predictions from officials like Dr. Fauci, who said we can see a vaccine by April. Even with that reassurance, there are still concerns regarding both distributions of the vaccine and the safety of the vaccine itself.

First, let’s tackle the distribution question. Pfizer, who is looking like rolling out their vaccine soon, needs to keep their vaccine in very cold environments--at negative 70 degrees Celsius to be exact. This may be a problem when distributing vaccines during warmer weather, and especially difficult when distributing the vaccine to warmer states and countries. There will need to be millions of doses of vaccines distributed all around the country at the very least. Additionally, boxes will need to be carefully watched to make sure the doses stay cold, and people will be ordered to not open said boxes more than twice per day. Lastly, the vaccines would have to be stored in freezers or dry ice. However, it doesn't appear to be a big issue, and people at Pfizer are very confident that the vaccine will be distributed properly.

When it comes to safety, Pfizer and BioNTech have not found anything potentially threatening about the vaccine, but there are some major side effects. The vaccine can cause soreness and potential fevers. Dr. William Schaffner says that they are asking us “to take a vaccine that is going to hurt,” and we need to prepare for that. Many people who have taken the vaccine claim to also have headaches days after taking the vaccine. But it’s still a better idea to get vaccinated once it gets released. It will help slow the spread of COVID and we will be rid of this virus sooner.

Rising Cases in New York

By Yismel Castro, YPIE Scholar 2025

New York State has suffered immensely due to the rise of COVID-19 cases. The state is facing the threat of a potential second wave with the emergence of winter. Despite previous restrictions on schools, restaurants, and public office positions, rising infection rates could lead to more stringent confinements.

The threat of a second wave became increasingly near when the number of new infections climbed above 1,000 for five days in a row. This sudden rise pushed Governor Cuomo to tighten restrictions on bars, restaurants, gyms, and even courts. Gyms, bars, and restaurants have been forced to close by 10:00 pm as a safety procedure.

Individuals, especially business owners, are scared of this new approach since businesses are barely standing. They were hoping to make a profit during these few months before January and February, which according to Teresa del Haba, a business owner, “is always slower.”

The seven-day average test positivity rate in New York City is at 2.83%, and if it hits 3%, Mayor Bill de Blasio says schools will close and go fully remote. Students recently began to adapt to their new school environment along with the freshly imposed restrictions, however, if cases continue to increase during this time of winter, they may be forced to start learning remotely.

Cuomo says that restrictions on restaurants may be the beginning of a major shutdown.

Individuals need to be prepared to face reality and note that if cases continue to rise, a second wave will be engendered. But, novel methods are being employed in order to maintain the safety of citizens. For instance, Test and Trace Corps are sending kits to positive case homes to monitor temperatures and oxygen to stop the spread. Additionally, New York City residents may qualify to self-isolate in a hotel for free, up to 14 days, if they do not have a safe place to self-isolate.

Although proper safety procedures are being employed, civilians need to cooperate and act selflessly in order to bolster the health of the state. After all, Winter is flu season, and with COVID cases rising, this could be a major threat to the lives of many.

One of the most fundamental steps is to get a flu vaccine. In times where a second wave is near, individuals need to protect themselves against anything capable of weakening the immune system. Keeping the required distance as well as following safety guidelines can also help contain the virus.

Artwork by Hillary Diaz, YPIE Scholar 2025

How the Pandemic is Affecting Families in Abusive Households

By Natalie Maldonado, YPIE Scholar 2025

COVID-19 has struck people everywhere, devastating many families in its wake. From losing family members to becoming unemployed, this pandemic has negatively affected households across the world. It also affects individuals who suffer in abusive households, by contributing to unhealthy household dynamics and limiting access to mental health resources.

Many families in the U.S. live in abusive households. According to a study by JAMA Pediatrics,12.5 percent of children have experienced at least one episode of abuse or neglect by the age of 18. This number increases even more in minority households, with 21 percent of African-American children, 14.5 percent of Native Americans, and 13 percent of Hispanic children affected (JAMA Pediatrics). These numbers are incredibly alarming and our communities continue to experience high volumes of abuse.

This pandemic has made living in abusive households even more strenuous on its victims. Members of the family who were able to escape their toxic households through their jobs or schools do not have that option. Since many institutions have gone remote, families are spending more time in their turbulent households, enabling more abuse. The stress of lockdown is only adding to the previous stress faced by abuse victims.

This pandemic has also limited access to helpful resources. Going to a therapist or talking to a counselor is now way more challenging. With new COVID-19 restrictions, visiting a help center can be more arduous. Pandemic anxiety has also caused high volumes of appointments and limited capacity. Victims are dealing with their own stressors which makes it rather difficult to visit these places. Receiving this help online at home also proves to be challenging when the household is often where victims experience unhealthy dynamics.

This help might also be financially infeasible for some victims. Mental health resources, like therapy, are very expensive. With unemployment rates at an all-time high and a decrease in household incomes across the country, victims may not have the financial means to get help.

COVID-19 continues to challenge the dynamics of our society causing an increase in stress, anxiety, and heightened reports of abuse across the country.

Despite these difficulties, there are several hotlines available to victims of abuse to contact, access online therapy resources, and escape centers, which are all run by people who are committed to helping victims reach safety. One can receive help through a variety of platforms. Below are some places victims can contact to receive help.

  • National Domestic Abuse Hotline: Call 1.800.799.Safe(7233) TTY 1.800.787.3224 or visit their website to have a live chat at This website offers ways to get help, a confidant, ways to identify abuse, and plans for safety. This site is confidential and operates 24/7. They also provide Spanish translations.

  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: This domain offers ways to recognize abuse, safety plans, cosmetic support for victims, and medical attention and financial education webinars for victims.

  • Safe Horizon: Domestic abuse treatment center in the Bronx, New York. (Address: 900 Sheridan Avenue, The Bronx, NY 10451)

  • Pelham Family Center- Family service center (Address: 2250 Holland Ave, The Bronx, NY 10020)

  • PAC Program of the Bronx: Offers help for domestic abuse (Address: 1215 Stratford Ave, The Bronx NY, 10472)

  • Never Alone Again Resource Center- Domestic abuse treatment center in Teaneck, New Jersey. It offers crisis intervention, advocacy, emotional and spiritual support, access to emergency shelters or safe-havens, and discussion of safety plans. (Address: 668 American Legion Dr. Suite 5, Teaneck, NJ, 07666)

  • Victims Assistance Services- Social services in Yonkers, New York (Address: 30 South Broadway, Yonkers, NY 10701)



Flower by Catarina Mendes, YPIE Scholar 2025

Joe Biden: America’s Silver Lining?

By Shemar Forbes, YPIE Scholar 2025

During the 2020 August Democratic National Convention, former First Lady Michelle Obama announced, “If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it.” Recently, Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election and is well on his way to becoming America’s 46th U.S. President. But is Michelle Obama right? Will Joe Biden change America for the better?

Let us take a deeper look at Joe Biden’s proposed policies on the pandemic and healthcare, climate change, foreign policy, immigration, the economy, education, abortion, gun rights, racial injustice, and LGBTQ+ rights.

The Pandemic and Healthcare

Joe Biden appears to have the safety and comfort of Americans at the forefront of his plan to combat COVID-19.

Biden plans to have all Americans tested and traced, provide people with science-based treatments and vaccines, and supply everyone with personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition, he plans to give monthly installments of $250 to $300 to support families during the pandemic.

As for healthcare, Biden is opposed to Medicare for All. Instead, he will support a healthcare plan similar to the Affordable Care Act. Furthermore, he wants to decrease the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60.

Climate Change

During Joe Biden’s time in the Senate, he brought awareness to climate change and tried protecting the environment by passing the Global Climate Protection Act.

As President, Biden plans to continue this momentum by rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and for the next 10 years, spend about $1.7 trillion on green technology, hoping to remove all the U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Foreign Policy

Given that Joe Biden served as the chairman of the Committee on Foreign relations and advocated for strategic arms limitation with the Soviet Union, promoted peace and stability in the Balkans, expanded NATO to include former Soviet-bloc nations, and opposed the First Gulf War, we can expect Biden to handle foreign affairs wisely.

As of now, Biden plans to repair U.S. relations with NATO allies, support the UAE-Israel peace deal, and reinstate a nuclear deal with Iran. Moreover, he plans to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and crackdown on China’s activities.


Joe Biden seems to not only care about Americans but immigrants as well. As president, Biden plans to stall deportation for 100 days, simplify the application process for becoming a citizen, decriminalize illegal border crossings, and restore Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The Economy

The pandemic has destroyed America’s economy, leaving the nation in desperate need of a new economic plan.

To revitalize the economy, Biden plans to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. He also wants products produced in the country in order to increase the number of manufacturing jobs available.

As for taxes, Biden plans to raise them for Americans whose annual income is $400,000 or greater. Furthermore, he will boost tax relief for middle-class families and increase the corporate tax rate to 28%.

Lastly, Biden supports the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.


As someone who grew up in a middle-class family and worked to help his family afford the tuition for his dream school, Joe Biden understands that paying college tuition can be difficult; therefore, Biden plans to make college tuition-free for families whose annual income is less than $125,000.

In addition, Biden is going to expand student loan debt forgiveness eligibility and support universal preschool access.


When he was a member of the Senate, Joe Biden passed the Violence Against Women Act which criminalized abuse towards women and created resources for survivors of assault. Biden will continue to support women by providing federal funding for abortion.

Gun Rights

As a proponent of gun control, Joe Biden is going to enforce background checks when someone purchases a firearm, and to further ensure that Americans are safe, Biden is also going to reimplement the federal assault weapons ban.

Racial Injustice

In 1994, many Americans were furious when Joe Biden sponsored the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act which dramatically increased the size of the police force and incarcerated people, especially those of color, for minor crimes, including marijuana possession.

Although Biden does not support the legalization of marijuana, he will “decriminalize marijuana use” as well as “expunge prior possession convictions, support legalization of medical marijuana, and allow states to set their own rules about recreational use." However, he does not intend to defund the police.

Besides that, Biden plans to reform immunity and put an end to the federal use of private prisons, cash bail, and the death penalty.

Biden also plans to provide reparations for descendants of enslaved people.

LGBTQ+ Rights

Joe Biden supports the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, Biden supported same-sex marriage before former President Obama legalized it.

Along with supporting same-sex marriage, Biden will allow transgender people to serve in the military as President.

Final Thoughts

From having a reasonable plan to handle COVID-19 to a fairer vision of the criminal justice system, it seems as though Joe Biden will positively transform the nation.

However, it is not guaranteed Biden’s policies will take effect. One of the things to consider is Biden’s age. At 77 years old, Biden is prone to dementia and has already shown signs of mental decline. We must also remember that legislation has to approve Biden’s policies before they can be implemented.

We simply have to wait and see what happens when Joe Biden becomes President.

Entertainment and Lifestyle

Leap by Danielle Yeboah, YPIE Scholar 2026

Music Recommendations- 10 Upcoming Artist

By Hillary Diaz, YPIE Scholar 2025

Sometimes it surprises me how easily I get trapped in the habit of listening to the same five artists, or songs, for weeks. It’s like my brain cannot compute any new music that lies beyond this strange and invisible barrier that I have created. It's frustrating since there is nothing that I enjoy more than finding a new song; the amazement and appreciation that I experience on the first listen cannot be compared to any other (except when it’s four in the morning and I start listening to sad songs because crying seems reasonable.) But I’m lazy, and every time that I want to listen to music I don’t want to spend hours on Spotify searching for something that will catch my attention. And if I do get the inspiration to do so, I tend to not explore out of my comfort zone.

Again, tragedy.

Since I don’t want you to follow in my footsteps, below I have listed some "underground" artists who deserve a spot on your playlist. In addition, there is a link for a collaborative Spotify playlist where you can find their songs. Please feel free to add any song that you felt needed to be on the list.


Better known for writing the viral song “Coffee,” Beatrice Laus is a Filipino songwriter and singer. However, the remix of the song that became popular is not a perfect representation of the sound of the artist. Her music is characterized for following the grunge-rock formula, while also incorporating softer sounds. From my perspective, it’s like listening to an early 2000s soundtrack for a coming of age movie.

Song Recommendations:

  • Care

  • Horren Sarrison

  • If You Want To

  • She Plays Bass

  • Disappear


This Chinese Canadian artist debuted three years ago with the single “Nothing in Return.” Known for his soulful vocals and meaningful lyrics, Scott Zhang has gained recognition for his EP Tradition. Each song on this short compilation has its own personality and specific sound, making it a strong piece of work. Believe me, it’s addictive.

Song Recommendations:

  • Mountain


  • 1998

  • Nothing in Return

  • Cloud

Stella Donelly

From toxic masculinity to personal anecdotes, Stella Donelly is a musician capable of writing songs that reflect her personality and beliefs. This can be better reflected on the debut album “Beware of the Dogs” where the artist explores different aspects of her life through her unapologetic lyrics.

Song Recommendations:

  • Tricks

  • Lunch

  • Boys Will Be Boys

  • Season’s Greetings

  • Beware of the Dogs

The Marias

Listening to The Marias is like an angel whispering to your ear. From the psychedelic-soul sounds to the incredible vocals, this band has the ability of making you feel over the moon. Most of their songs incorporate lyrics in Spanish and English in smooth transitions meant to elaborate on the personality of their music.

Song Recommendations:

  • Ruthless

  • I Don’t Know You

  • Over the Moon

  • Déjate Llevar

  • Cariño

Grant Perez

This Australian bedroom singer started doing covers on YouTube, slowly incorporating his original songs on his channel. In companionship with his acoustic guitar, Grant creates music that can easily put a smile on your face.

Song Recommendations:

  • Love isn’t Easy

  • Confusing Girl

  • Dreams

  • Lost and Found

  • Everybody Here


In an unexpected combination, this Venezuelan singer incorporates sounds from traditional Hispanic songs and indie bedroom pop, engendering a distinct sound that remains present on all of her songs.

Song Recommendations:

  • My Love

  • Moody


Bratty is one of the new voices of the bedroom pop community in Latin America. With her soothing voice, this Mexican artist has developed music that reflects the difficulties of going through a breakup. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, her voice perfectly encapsulates the message of the song.

Song Recommendations:

  • Honey, No Estás

  • Quédate

  • Cruel

  • Aquí


Tierra Umi Wilson is an Asian-American songwriter and artist. Filled with meaningful lyrics and soothing sounds, her music explores the beauty of youth and the complex shadows of having a relationship. Each song follows a different message that easily encapsulates relatable themes with a lay-back R&B sound.

Song Recommendations:

  • Butterfly

  • Remember me

  • Love Affair

  • Down to Earth

Here is a collaborative playlist to add your own recommendations.

Artwork by Jazmine Thomas, YPIE Scholar 2025

Movie/Show Recommendations

By Raquel Negrón, YPIE Scholar 2026

During the fall and winter season, there is not much to do outside of home, especially during this pandemic. Fortunately, there are many shows to watch on HBO or Netflix. Each service has a variety of different films that you can watch. You can also recommend these films/shows to your friends and family. Here are 10 movies and shows to watch during the quarantine:

We Are Who We Are (Series)

This is based on a story of two American kids who live on a U.S. military base all the way in Italy. The series stars actor Jack Dylan Grazer and actress Jordan Kristine Seamón. It explores identity, first love, and friendship, immersing watchers in the chaotic exhilaration and adventure of being a teenager. So far, the production has 8 episodes and one season.

Can be streamed on HBO *TV-MA*

Cobra Kai (Series)

“Karate Kid” was a very well-known and loved movie. Thus, once people heard there would be a series continuing the beloved film, many fans were excited. It has two seasons so far and expands on the main characters' lives after the big tournament in the original movie. The rivalry between Johnny and Daniel reignites in the sequel.

Can be streamed on Netflix *TV-14*

Ratched (Series)

This suspenseful drama tells you about the original story of an asylum nurse named Mildred Ratched. Mildred first arrived in Northern Carolina in 1947 to seek a job at a leading psychiatric hospital. However, as soon as she gets there, she starts to experience very unsettling and new experiments on the human brain, causing darkness to grow inside her.

Can be streamed on Netflix *TV-MA*

The Old Guard (Film)

“The Old Guard” is centered around four warriors that have lived beyond centuries and have been secretly protecting the world in the shadows. None of them ever die and nobody knows about them or what they do. All four become targeted because of their mysterious powers. Soon, they receive some guidance as they discover another new immortal. The film shows the struggles of training for what they have been fighting all these years.

Can be streamed on Netflix *RATED R*

The Haunting of Hill House (Series)

The plot flashes between the past and present which follows five adults who are siblings. By confronting their haunted childhood memories of the home they stayed at, Hill House, they continue to get cursed in the present day. All their adventures lead up to when they fled from the mansion in 1992. Each of the family members have to confront what happened to them and how that house affected them.

Can be streamed on Netflix *TV-MA*

Unsolved Mysteries (Series)

This documentary involves a different storyline each episode is filled with real cases of perplexing disappearances, shocking killings, and paranormal activity. Including two volumes so far, if you have an interest in investigations and unsolved cases, this is the show for you.

Can be streamed on Netflix *TV-MA*

Dick Johnson Is Dead (Flim)

Kristine Johnson could not bear the fact that one day she might lose her dad, so she decided to make a film about how he dies in many different ways. He enjoyed it so much and was in it for the long run until they found out he has Alzheimer’s. Her dad decided to keep going with the films created for fun, but the behind the scenes show what losing his memory actually means to him and his daughter.