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Posts published in “Issue 4: December 2020”

I have never heard of Rochelle Walensky

Have you? If you don’t work in the world of infectious disease my guess is, “no,” but you probably hadn’t heard of Anthony Fauci a year ago either. Global Pandemics will make celebrities of the most unexpected faces.

Walensky, who was recently tabbed by President-Elect Joe Biden to lead the CDC under his administration, seems to be quite the source of relief to many epidemiological experts. When announced, her appointment was celebrated by many in the field, whom, I must assume, were disappointed her predecessor provided only the C. Everett Koop beard without the super fun name.

Of course, Walensky has a reasonably normal name and no facial hair.…

Micro-lessons for your family’s not-so-micro holiday aggressions

No number of vaccine tweets can stop the inevitable: we’ll be riding out 2020 in a pandemic. And now, in early December, the cruel and unusual twists of COVID-19 are on a crash course with more routine holiday traditions: cooked birds, kitschy gifts, and squabbling with relatives over politics. Even in the best of times, we all know to expect the occasional screaming match between the navy blue and burgundy red branches of our family tree. The toll of the virus is likely to make the usual suspects even more… spicy? 

Rest assured! Here are a few tips from the Oppy for how to approach those potentially table-clearing debates.…

SGov Social Distanced Fall Events Recap

By Kaori Yamaguchi

Stern Safari (Zoo) : On November 20th and 21st, 36 Stern students went on an adventure to the Bronx Zoo. There were 30 minute private sessions with an animal of their choice: sloth, penguins, giraffes, fennec fox, or 3-4 surprise animals based on zookeeper choices. We were divided into groups of 6 according to our animal choice. We were delighted to pet adorable animals during the sessions. We also fed the animals some food and enjoyed taking a lot of pictures. After the private sessions, we saw more animals in the zoo, which was also a great opportunity to catch up with classmates.…

White Fragility

To continue The Oppy’s active discussion on racism and white privilege, I wanted to focus on the concept of “white fragility” in this issue, from the perspective of a white female, and how it slows meaningful discussions, prevents our understanding of POC’s (people of color) experiences with racism, and is detrimental in social progress towards equality.

White fragility, a term coined by Robin DiAngelo, is a state where even a minimum of  racial stress becomes intolerable for a white person and therefore, triggers defensive reactions ranging from seemingly well-meaning to blatantly vicious behavior. Unfortunately, it is a common theme in our society, and it runs deep.…

The Coming of the DevitoGate

On a hot summer day in June, my partner Tess was on the phone while I was downstairs in the basement (what I call my “command center”), still working as we approached the end of the day. Astoundingly calm, I could hear Tess ask her friend to hold and then proclaimed down the basement stairs: “Dave, there’s a man in the backyard, looks like he’s trying to steal something”.

Naturally, I ran up the stairs, probably in about 4 leaps total, and came upon my living room, which has a transparent sliding glass door. The curtains were already pulled back, and Tess’s account was scarily accurate.…

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