How Does Population Affect the Spread of Covid-19?

In a March 29, 2021 press meeting CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky warned of an impending doom that would soon strike Americans if they continued to drop coronavirus precautions. Along with sharing her fears about the sudden rise in infections, she urged citizens to “hold on” until getting their vaccine to lower the risk of spread. These fears shared among her and her peers reflect an unsettling statistic from John Hopkins University that new Covid-19 cases are on a 16% rise.

While Ohio may not be at the forefront of new case records compared to other states, it still boats a 19% 14-day case increase as of April 9. With the knowledge that cases are on the rise, it is essential to identify what factors can play a larger role in the spread of the disease. One such factor is population size.

The logic is simple: more people means more opportunities for person-to-person contact and subsequent spread. But how accurate is that logic in reality? Using data from The New York Times, the graph below depicts the weekly average of Covid-19 cases taken over a 10 month span for the 10 most populated counties in Ohio.

The graph’s general trend shows counties that have the highest case count are also the ones with the highest population. Counties that have larger populations can contribute to the spread of Covid-19 in various ways. High population counties often correlate with high population densities, increasing the potential for closer contact. Additionally and most notably, they often have large cities that serve as infectious hotspots. Take for instance Cleveland, the largest city in Cuyahoga County. In its downtown area alone there are over 200 dining options, allowing for spread via indoor eating and drinking.

How do we use this information? Despite the warnings of health professionals and public figures alike, people are still going to travel and interact with others regardless of vaccination status. Knowing that higher populated areas are more at risk can influence where we pick and choose to go. If someone finds themself in a position to domestically travel, they can choose a more remote location.

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History of the 26th Amendment

As humans grow throughout the years, there are various milestones associated with certain ages. When you turn 13 you are officially a teenager, when you turn 16 you can get your driver’s license and when you turn 21 you can legally consume alcohol. One particular milestone comes with turning 18; 18 acts as the minimum voting age for all local, state and federal elections. But this was not always the case. In fact, the minimum voting age used to be 21 years old. It was not until the passage of the 26th Amendment that the voting age was lowered to 18. This piece of legislation is incredibly important because without it, many college students like myself would not be able to engage in the political process. While the 18-24 age bloc was not the highest turnout in the 2020 election, they proved to be a key success to Joe Biden’s victory in battleground states, thereby exemplifying the importance of young voters and the 26th Amendment.

March 23rd marks the 50th anniversary of Congress passing the 26th Amendment. Read below to follow the history of this historic document!

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The Resurgence of Chess

If there was one thing that quarantine gave us, it was a lot of down time. Some used it to indulge in a newly found interest or hobby, while others simply furthered their television addiction. Some did both with the help of Netflix’s new show “The Queen’s Gambit.” The limited series was released in October 2020 and has since become the streaming site’s biggest limited scripted series ever. With that popularity came a resurgence in the game of chess itself, with Netflix reporting that Google searches for “how to play chess” have hit a nine-year peak and inquiries for chess sets on eBay have increased 250 percent.

With a rich history more than a thousand years old, chess is a game that can be enjoyed by grandmasters and novice players alike. Click on the icons below to learn the basics of the chess board as well as extra videos and informative articles on the history and recent popularity of chess.

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 photo credit: Sophia Walcher

The Lathrop House: Sylvania’s Historic Gem

The town of Sylvania, Ohio is unassuming upon first glance. Known by locals as the “city of trees,” the Toledo suburb rests just below the Michigan state line and plays host to a variety of events including farmer’s markets, fall festivals and art walks. While it may be perceived as merely a small town it has a unique feature which illuminates its historic past.

The Lathrop House is located in Sylvania’s downtown area and once served as a spot on the Underground Railroad. It was owned by Lucian and Larissa Lathrop, who helped those escaping slavery flee north into Canada. The house serves as a reminder of the trials of slavery and is currently used to host educational programs and tours.

In 2004 the Lathrop House was moved from its original foundation to a plot of land in Harroun Park. The image showcases the house being moved to its final location, where it remains to this day.

More information can be found about the Lathrop House here.

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Spotlight: Robert W. and Patricia A. Mauer Business Center

The building previously referred to as Hanna Hall is now finishing up renovations to become the latest building to house BGSU’s College of Business. The newly renamed Mauer center was updated with helpful donations from Robert W. and Patricia A. Mauer and should be ready for use for the upcoming Fall Semester 2020.

Teenage Suburbia: Covid-19

The state of lockdown that the United States has been put in during the threat of the novel coronavirus has been particular challenging to navigate. One group struggling to come to terms with this new way of isolating living is the younger generation, who has never experiencing anything to this scale in their lifetime. Through the slideshow entitled “Teenage Suburbia: Covid-19” the day-to-day activities of teenagers are shown. Click here to watch.

Faces of BG Interview

In an audio interview, I speak with Patti Barnes. As a past BGSU student, she discusses her memories of BGSU through theatre and greek life. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, she also discusses a public health crises she faced while on campus.