Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Process of finals adapts to hybrid learning

By Jack Xu June 3, 2021

As the school year draws to a close, finals are right around the corner. Finals will span over two weeks, from May 24 to June 3 due to the hybrid learning format. There will be adjustments to the schedule...

After months of waiting, the COVID-19 vaccine has finally been authorized by the FDA and is being distributed across the country. 

71% of Americans say they will definitely or probably get a Covid-19 vaccine and 39% said they would wait and see how initial vaccination goes before getting a vaccine themselves according to a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation. 

The release of the vaccine might placate many for the current moment, but it won’t make everything go back to normal.

Currently, the most advanced vaccines use three different approaches: viral vectors — using a harmless virus which is altered to contain part of COVID-19’s genetic code — RNA, which contains a synthetic version of part of COVID-19’s genetic code and protein subunit, which uses pieces of the COVID-19 virus, according to CDC.

The release of the COVID-19 vaccine is great news as once the majority of the public have taken the vaccine, the spread of COVID-19 will potentially reduce, according to BBC News. It will shorten the time needed for the country to go back to normal. 

However, I am skeptical about the workings of the vaccine and this is part of my concern when trying to decide if I will take the vaccine.  	

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the United States, misunderstanding of herd immunity has started to show up. Herd immunity is achieved when large percentages of a population become immune to a disease. 

Herd immunity against COVID-19 will be achieved by protecting people through vaccination, not by exposing them to the pathogen that causes the disease for developing immunity. 

In terms of COVID-19, the percentage of the population that needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity is estimated to be between 70% and 90%, according to David G. Hill, a member of the Lung Associations National Board of Directors.

Although vaccines have helped the world get rid of deadly diseases such as fever and smallpox, the process always takes time and there are no guarantees ensuring the results of the COVID-19 vaccine will be positive. 

At this point, being vaccinated doesnt mean the full development of the immune system and one can still be exposed in crowded areas with no prevention, such as masks. 

The current coronavirus vaccine is 95% effective and has no serious side effects from the first set of complete results of a late-stage vaccine trial, according to Pfizer. This means out of 100 people, there would still be five people where the vaccine doesnt work.

The vaccine should definitely be taken once the distribution has started, but just because the vaccine is here doesnt mean we shouldnt maintain precautionary measures. 

I hope the vaccines will eventually help bring the spreading of COVID-19 under control, but before that, the usage of masks in public areas and social distancing should be continued.

COVID-19 vaccine won’t take us to the past

By Jack Xu March 19, 2021

After months of waiting, the COVID-19 vaccine has finally been authorized by the FDA and is being distributed across the country.  71% of Americans say they will "definitely or probably" get the vaccine...

 The unexpected events of 2020 serve as a reminder that phrases like “new year, new me” cannot determine the outcome of a year and it is important to adapt

New year, same me

By Saanvi Thakur February 15, 2021

January is frequently seen as the time to set goals, and I used to believe that it gave me an opportunity to start fresh and become a better version of myself. But after years of far fetched goals and...

HHS students were surveyed about their thoughts on the COVID-19 Vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccine brings schools one step closer to re-opening

By Amber Birrell February 8, 2021

With the new development of a vaccine, many questions arise as to what this means for students. California is currently in the first tier of vaccine distribution. It is expected by the summer of 2021,...

Approaching the one year mark of the virus, cooperation with guidelines is becoming more and more rare.

Holiday season brings surge of COVID-19 cases

By Christine Kim December 6, 2020

In an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, a state-ordered curfew was recently enforced.  Since the start of the pandemic California experienced the fastest rate of increase in cases, 51.3%, after...

With the help of a designer, his partner and good old fashioned hard work, English teacher James Ratti has turned a vision into reality.

James Ratti: world traveler to landscape artist

By Bobby Gorelick November 10, 2020

James Ratti is a world literature and AVID teacher who has taught at HHS for 13 years and is passionate about the environment, social justice and traveling.  When the pandemic began, similar to many...

LOOKING BEYOND OURSELVES: It takes a global pandemic for us to start taking initiative and reexamine our empathy toward the homeless.

It’s time to start caring more about the homeless than ourselves

By Shreya Partha April 25, 2020

As the novel COVID-19 outbreak continues, the challenges homeless people face are becoming increasingly worse. Shelters are either full, closed or replete with the risk of coronavirus to even consider...

Both before and during the rapid developments of the pandemic, the school has prepared for online classes through technology assistance and cooperation with staff and students.

Transition into online classes increases communication, possible loss of educational experience

By Dexter Tatsukawa April 5, 2020

Ten days after a complete school shutdown was announced, classes sprang back to life online. During that 10-day period, the staff spent time preparing for the massive amount of resources the transition...

Spread of COVID-19 results in school closures, local state of emergency

Spread of COVID-19 results in school closures, local state of emergency

By Shruti Magesh March 21, 2020

Santa Clara County faces an increasing number of COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases each day, with a confirmed 196 cases and eight deaths as of March 19, according to Santa Clara County Public Health. To slow...

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