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SMITH | Caring for Our Minds In the Time of Coronavirus

It’s no easy feat to write about mental health in the midst of a global pandemic. There is fear, frustration, sadness and so many different experiences in society right now, and I cannot hope to capture them all. Every single student at Cornell has been impacted by the decision to move to online classes and evacuate campus. I am one of the few students who is staying in their dorm, and it’s been a bittersweet experience to send goodbye texts and watch friends load cars in this time of social distancing. It all feels too fast, too soon and too unreal.

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GUEST ROOM | Grading Schemes Aside, the Administration will need to make a Compromise

Cornell students have been fighting the wrong battle. Although the current conflicting discourse on opt-in and mandatory S/U grading exists between students, the actual negotiation that must occur should be between students and the University administration. Before we talk about alternative grading policies, we need to ask ourselves: what is a grade and what is its impact? Transcript grades represent a student’s understanding of their subject material with relation to their peers. At the same time, a grade bears the underlying assumption that all students in that class are given standardized learning resources and conditions.

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GHAZI | In Social Distancing, We Grieve With Distance Too

I never thought that when grief would knock on my door, I wouldn’t welcome any visitors. I never thought that when the day I lost a loved one arrived, I would stand six feet away from my Baba as he announced to me the passing of his own Baba in our hometown in Iran. I never thought that when my Baba needed me most, he would ask me to step away from him because my embrace could sentence him with the same, cruel virus that took his father. The thing about grief in the time of social distancing is that it is felt in distance too. On Tuesday morning, I woke up with a hunger for a lick-your-fingers after a peanut butter jelly sandwich kind of sweetness.

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BARAN | The Cure

In the 1950s and 60s, thousands of babies in Germany and other European countries were born with major birth defects because their mothers had taken a drug called thalidomide. Thalidomide was used to treat a variety of conditions, including nausea in pregnant women. The drug was not tested on pregnant women. In other words, officials rashly applied a treatment without considering other possible effects. Thalidomide certainly helped with nausea, but at a terrible price.

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STELLA | The Quest For Human Interaction in the Age of Coronavirus

It’s been a week and a half since I returned to The States from my shortened semester abroad. I’ve been in quarantine since stepping back inside my childhood home, not just because I was in Europe, but because the Bay Area instituted shelter in place two days after my return. The state of California followed suit a few days later, and other states such as Illinois and Pennsylvania have the same restrictions. There are now 20 countries under a Center for Disease Control level 3 warning, not including the fact that the entirety of Europe is a level 3. Additionally, the CDC has put all travel anywhere at a level 2 warning.