Since the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Healdsburg’s local businesses have been struggling to stay on their feet. The massive decrease in revenue by the variety of stores and the two month period of no retail receipts has caused for some businesses to spend life savings and owners to question if investing in a business that will not be able to make nearly as much of a profit as pre-coronavirus times, for months to come, is a waste of time and money.
The deadly combination of coronavirus effects, as well as those of the California wildfires, has already prompted the permanent shutting down of some of Healdsburg’s beloved businesses, including The Raven Film Center.
Many generations of Healdsburgians hold the memories made at the theater close to their hearts. “I hate to see it go… It was really nice, we were happy,” Eddinger said to an interviewer for The Healdsburg Tribune.
Maggie Trebilcock, the sophomore class president at HHS, said,“I was not surprised, [that the Raven was shutting down] it makes sense because a lot of businesses are closing, but I was really sad because that was one of the only things teens can do in Healdsburg.”
Senior Vikram Johnson said, “I was pretty upset, it was a good movie theater. But I mean Corona is doing that to a lot of businesses and it's just really sad.”
How many more businesses will Healdsburg lose to the pandemic? An uncertain question, though there have been mini breakthroughs in trying to market products for Healdsburg online. A growing number of businesses have joined the website bailouthbg.com where there are links for donations to each business, and a local shopper Caroline Coady has created the shoplocalhealdsburg.com website to show listings of stores, their online websites, where they can be found, and what they offer.
To help the struggling small businesses of Healdsburg, the city also released a Small Business Sustainability (SBS) Loan Program on Friday, April 24th, which provides 0 interest loans up to $15,000 for small businesses that apply with 25 employees or less, all to be deferred until May of 2021. The loan program has aided a large number of these small Healdsburg businesses, for example, Mr. Moons, Copperfield's Books INC, Flying Goat, Noble Folk, and The Wurst, to name a few.
However, despite this generous SBS Program and the publicizing of businesses online, there are still situations where the owners are hardly staying afloat. A storekeeper on Healdsburg Avenue is currently paying 6,000 dollars a month for rent on their shop.
“We have an online store and Instagram, so we are desperately trying to make sales to pay a few small bills. We have applied for PPP, EIDL, Healdsburg Small Business Loan and every grant that has come our direction,” says the anonymous, distressed owner.
John Dayton, the owner of Dayton and Tremont Real Estate, who manages properties for a variety of landlords in downtown Healdsburg, predicts despite the support the city has been trying to give businesses, that as much as 15% of downtown businesses could be shut down because of the pandemic. The future of Healdsburg is unknown, but hopefully the unity of the town can withstand the possibly fatal blow of these unprecedented circumstances.
Healdsburg Businesses Struggle For Stability Amidst the Pandemic
By Luci Hagen
Photo by: Harrison Threlfall
Covid-19 Vaccine trial on pause
By Liz Valls
Photo by: Harrison Threlfall
The Covid-19 vaccine run by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company, has reportedly come to a halt as of Tuesday night (September 8) in the UK. This vaccine had been testing numerous people but has stopped as one person developed severe spinal cord damage.
Some people, like Dr. Amesh, a senior scholar at John Hopkins Center for Health, says we can't be sure the medical problems were caused by the vaccine. He says, “It’s possible that the volunteer’s health problem was a coincidence unrelated to the vaccine.” The National Institute of Health (NIH) is very skeptical of resuming the trials.
Health leaders are saying that Astrazencea is no longer releasing information regarding the patient, which is concerning as we have no idea what is going on behind closed doors. Dr. Avinda Nath says “Everyone’s hopes are on a vaccine, and if you have a major complication the whole thing could get derailed.”
A vaccine will have a positive impact on everyone. Without it, we will have to follow safety procedures like we have been doing for the past couple of months. Dr. Jesse Goodman, a Georgetown University professor, and physician states, “There is so much interest and potential concern about a COVID-19 vaccine that the more information that can be provided, the more reassuring that would be.”
The FDA is saying they will not speak of how long it will take to get back on track with the vaccines. The U.S. is currently running six different vaccines hoping that if the UK one fails, at least one of theirs will be up and running soon.
This can greatly affect us students at HHS. With some vaccine trials being stopped, this means we aren’t getting any closer to resuming in-person schooling. Distance Learning can take place for weeks or even months at this rate. A vaccine is very much needed and when it comes, students will most likely be one of the first groups to get it.
Social Justice Protests
By: Aniesa Vasquez
Photo credit: pixabay.com
Countries around the world have come together since July 13th to participate in social justice protests, and they’re still going on. Being created in 2013 by three African American women, after the death of Trayvon Martin, the Black Lives Matter Movement has only grown in the fight against police brutality since then.
After videos of Geroge Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, whom both died from police brutality, were uploaded, they went instantly viral as the public was outraged at the horrific incidents. From then, the BLM movement gained tons of popularity from people all around the world doing their part to spread awareness of police brutality.
The BLM movement has gained the most popularity from supporters as of 2020 then it ever has before. BLM movement supporters demand to defund the police and have funds distributed to other important fields, such as housing, education, etc.
Being that BLM supporters strive for justice for those who have died wrongly at the hands of police, they have managed to get exactly that. From the Black Lives Matter Movement, police officers have resigned from chiefs, some police officers in the cases of police brutality against POC have been arrested, statues of past historical figures with racist backgrounds have been torn down, and much more.
Posts are still constantly being spread on social media and petitions are still being signed relating to the Black Lives Matter Movement. Although not getting as much media coverage as it was in the early months of the protests, BLM supporters are still working at getting justice for POC killed by police brutality.
Even small towns are making an effort to host BLM protests to help be a part of the change. Healdsburg has had more than one protest over the past few months to help show their support for BLM. These protests were mainly held at the plaza and had mainly, very positive responses from residents.
Bryanna Gutierrez, a junior from HHS who attended one of the protests in Healdsburg states, “Everyone seemed extremely passionate about the movement. Distance rules were respected and the protest was really organized.”
Take Care Of Your Lungs; Stay Away From The Smoke!
By: Harrison Threlfall
In recent weeks, toxic levels of smoke have been seen all throughout California. This has led to cancellations of many outdoor activities, such as team sports that are beginning to practice in this time of COVID. The high amount of smoke is the result of record-high wildfires in California this year.
Although this smoke is most dangerous to sensitive populations, such as the young, elderly, or folks who have sensitive lungs as a result of a medical condition, the levels of smoke that have been seen in previous weeks are enough to cause damage to anybody.
It has been advised to stay inside because of this toxic smoke, which has been hard for many people considering that spending time outdoors has become an activity that is important during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The CDC has confirmed that the things that Wildfires burn through such as houses, cars, farms, and other personal properties can release chemicals that are toxic. Inhaling these toxic chemicals over long periods of time is really bad for your health.
Sean Gubera, a Sonoma County athlete said “The smoke has affected my training by slowing, then stopping it altogether. It has set me back several weeks but it always could've been worse so I'm grateful that it only affected my training.”
The smoke clearly has negative effects on everyone by limiting outdoor time, and athletes, in particular, will face consequences from it. This particular athlete sacrificed some training in order to stay healthy for the long term so that when it is time to train again he won’t experience any long-term effects that smoke can have on your lungs.
Emily Pile, who is a student at HHS describes her experience by saying “I've gotten some headaches from it (The smoke). I also think it’s strange to look outside and see an orange sky.” This is a good example of how smoke will not only have effects that can be painful but that it can also be distracting.
People who live in lower-income households that have worse ventilation and air filtration systems will feel these effects more than anyone else. The smoke can cause symptoms that can make it hard to focus in school, which is something that is important for teachers to recognize in these times.
The smoke started to diminish in the previous week, based on evidence from the Purple Air Map, an online tool for tracking air quality. This week in Sonoma County there has been a wind shift that is bringing some smoke back towards Healdsburg. The wind can be unpredictable and it is advised to check air quality in your area regularly during this time. Unfortunately, wildfire season is far from over, and it is likely that there is much more smoke to come. It is important to remember to stay safe and healthy by avoiding the smoke when it is at toxic levels.
Leading The Charge
By: Chase Sommer
Photos by: Harrison Threlfall
Across California and even in the community of Sonoma County, wildfires are being fought by brave firefighters. For often multiple days at a time, these firefighters are fighting fires without food, or other basic necessities. Many students and the general public wish to make a positive impact but often end up getting in the way more than helping.
This year, a gofundme was created through the sunrise rotary club in order to help feed these firefighters. With fire season still upon the state of California, it is likely that another fire could proliferate near the town of Healdsburg.
To help contribute positively, students at HHS could easily donate to this cause through the link below or could volunteer. In the event of another fire, students could volunteer by helping to coordinate a donation effort if they work at a restaurant, or advertising the gofundme with a simple share on social media.
Local restaurant owners also are making a contribution to these firefighters. One example would be Domenica Catelli who was quoted according to the Press Democrat saying “It’s what we love”. These restaurant owners want to help out and are looking for ways to donate to these firefighters and evacuees.
Firefighters as well appreciate the food, and support given through our Sonoma County businesses. They called the donations a “nice gesture” and thanked them. Volunteer work will still be required for a lot of the future classes of Healdsburg High School, so participating in something as monumental, and tangible couldn't be a better way to kickstart those hours.