Covid-19

How America Lost 200,000+ Lives to Covid-19

The United States has been preparing for a pandemic like Covid-19 for 15 years. The U.S. wrote the global pandemic playbook that lays out instructions for testing, contact tracing, masks, social distancing and communications. So how is it that the United States, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and seemingly the most prepared, accounts for 20% of Covid-19 deaths while having only 4% of the global population?

The New York Times took a deep dive into the data and the 15 year timeline to examine why we’ve wound up with so many preventable deaths. They share what they found in this video, America Wrote the Pandemic Playbook, Then Ignored It.

Six-Word Memoirs

Can a story be told in only six words? Consider these six. “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” This story has been attributed to Ernest Hemingway who it is said made a bet with friends that he could write a story using only six words. It is also said that he won that bet. There is considerable doubt as to the veracity of this Hemingway attribution, but nonetheless, it is indeed a very moving story –and very short story. 

Recently, The New York Times has been asking people to write their own really short stories, or six-word memoirs, about their experiences during COVID and quarantine. In only six words, people have managed to depict our times and tell the story of the pandemic. Here are a few that they’ve collected:

  • Cleaned Lysol container with Lysol wipe. 
  • Fall wardrobe refresh — three new masks. 
  • Tired of hearing, “Mark, you’re muted.” 
  • My dog loves having us home.
  • Freedom comes through following the rules.
  • Same earrings, six months, why change
  • Apparently, rock bottom has a basement.
  • I am smiling under this mask.
  • Working from home. Bored. Lonely. Lucky.
  • Stayed in, needed less, valued more.

What about you? If you were to write your six-word memoir right now, what would it be? Send an email to handk3@morainevalley.edu, or comment if you are seeing this on social media, and I’ll share our MVCC memoirs in a future post. Here’s one that is a variation of a t-shirt that I bought for my son.

2020: less toilet paper, more Zoom

History, Epidemics, and How Governments Respond (video)

With concern over the Covid-19 Pandemic dominating all aspects of society, join political science and history faculty members Kevin Navratil, Jim McIntyre and Josh Fulton for a discussion of how the United States has grappled with disease outbreaks in the past. From Yellow Fever to Spanish Flu, come understand how Americans coped and how governments sought to combat the threats of disease.

“How do I _____ at the Library?”: A Library Choose Your Own Adventure

Using the library can be an adventure, especially with so many recent changes. Follow the steps in this guide to find the information you need to be successful this semester. Choose a “character” to get started on your library adventure!

First, Choose Your Character:

You’ve Chosen Student!

Students can find all sorts of help at the library, including research and citation guidance, technology to borrow, and of course books! What will you do next?

Next, Choose Your Action:

You’ve Chosen Staff or Faculty Member!

Staff and Faculty are the backbone of education! The library wants to support you in your work by providing several services. Which one will you choose?

Next, Choose Your Action:

You’ve Chosen Member of the Community!

Members of the community are still welcome in the library and we have several services available to you. Which will you choose?

Next, Choose Your Action:

You’ve Chosen Research!

Research projects can be overwhelming, but the library has so many ways to learn what you need to be successful! Where will you start?

You’ve Chosen Visiting the Library!

The library is excited to welcome visitors back into the building, but there are some new things to know about using the space. What would you like to know?

You’ve Chosen Help with a Nursing Assignment!

Nursing assignments can be tough, but the library is ready to support you. What’s your next move?

Self Care and Mental Health Resources at MVCC Library

Times are tough, stress is high, changes are happening rapidly. With everything that’s going on, it’s important to keep taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. In case you’re not sure how exactly to go about those last two, the library has collected books, e-books, and e-audio books to help. Included in the collection are videos of two panel discussions with MVCC Councilors about mental health in social isolation.

If you would like help with these resources, or would like to explore what else the library has available, please Ask a Librarian.

Click on the image below to see the collection:

Self Care and Mental Health Resources at MVCC Library

Drive-In Movie Theaters

An old form of entertainment is back. Two drive-in movie theaters are opening in the Chicago-land area this weekend. Many people may not be familiar with this form of movie watching, but you may find this “blast from the past” an interesting way to view movies. In March, the coronavirus restrictions forced movie theaters to shut their doors. This is not the first time that Hollywood has faced a crisis. The movie industry was threatened by television in the 1950s and 1960s, new technology in the later decades, and the latest assault, streaming. However,the industry has always reinvented itself and survived the attacks. Ironically, it is using an outdated method to lure viewers back.

The future of movie theaters is evolving. It will be interesting to see how the social distancing movement will affect the industry.

Technology to the Rescue

The role of technology in the 2020 pandemic will be dissected and discussed for decades. The part that technology has played to combat the COVID-19 is amazing. “Tools such as supercomputers, software apps, virtual reality, big data and algorithms are now in play.” This technology is on a seek and destroy mission to eradicate the virus as quickly as possible.

“Today we want everything yesterday, and technology has complied.” Unfortunately, that is not happening with this virus. The medical field is learning quickly that the old ways of handling epidemics or pandemics do not work. There may not be a cure yet, but the scientific community has been able to quickly use some older technology and adapt it to control the virus. The “new” containment tools are proving extremely effective. Telemedicine, for example, is able to keep patients in their homes, enables doctors to communicate with their patients, and keeps the virus from spreading in medical offices or hospitals. “The COVID-19 pandemic may be the trial by fire that telemedicine finally needs to prove its worth, especially in the U.S. Despite the fact that apps and technology for virtual health visits have existed for several decades, uptake in the country has been slow.”

Silcon Valley has also joined in to help stem the spread of the virus. Apple and Google are working to help track the advance of Covid-19. Some people are concerned on how “this may impact user privacy.” For now, most people would probably agree that surveillance may be a necessary evil.


Hopefully, the combination of technology, scientists, and governments will work together and find a vaccine.

New Free Release from J.K. Rowling

J.K Rowling has a new children’s book to share called The Ickabog. It’s not Harry Potter and it’s not about magic. It’s something entirely different. She wrote it years ago and read it her children as she was working on it. She had intended to publish it after the Harry Potter series, but decided to do some writing for adults instead. The Ickabog went up to the attic.

Then the pandemic happened. Wanting to do something special for children everywhere, she dusted the book off and gave it another read. She made some changes, re-read it to her now much older children, and then put some things back they way her children had remembered and loved them from before. The Ickabog will be released in print this coming November. But before that, starting today, she is releasing the book online for free. She will release a chapter or two at a time over the next 7 weeks.

In addition to sharing the book with everyone, she’s also encouraging children to send in illustrations for the book. The selected ones will appear in the print version when it is published.

Read all the details, and of course The Ickabog, at the official website for the book. theickabog.com

You can also read more about the Harry Potter series and J.K. Rowling herself in the library collection.

How This Pandemic Will Go Down in History

From the Library of Congress: “As part of our “National Book Festival Presents” series, Jill Lepore (bestselling historian and Harvard professor) and John Haskell (director of the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress) discuss how the current pandemic, its effects and our reaction to them say something very real about America in this moment and in the historical record that will emerge from it.”

Scooby-Doo Because RFK?

Movies theaters have been closed for some time now. Many movie release dates have been delayed until audiences can once again gather in great numbers. But some productions have taken a different route and are bypassing the theater altogether, going straight to on-demand. This strategy proved quite successful for the recent on-demand release of the movie Trolls World Tour. The sequel made more money in 3 weeks on digital than the first Trolls movie made in 5 months in theaters. And I gotta say, I’m pretty excited about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s announcement this week that the Hamilton movie, originally scheduled for theatrical release in October of 2021, will be streaming on Disney+ this July 3rd!

Another movie going straight to on-demand tomorrow is Scoob!, the newest CGI feature film starring Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang. Scooby-Doo has been enjoyed for generations in 16 television series, 2 live-action films, 35 direct-to-DVD movies, 20 video games, 13 comic book series and 5 stage shows. That’s quite a run. How this all began is pretty interesting.

In the 1960’s, children’s cartoons were becoming increasingly action-packed and violent. Society was becoming more and more concerned about the effects of media violence on children. Robert F. Kennedy, father of 11, had always been a champion of children’s causes. As Attorney General, he worked with the FCC to improve children’s programming. It was his assassination in June of 1968 that led to real change and to the creation of Scooby-Doo itself.

Hours after Kennedy was shot, President Johnson announced the formation of the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence. One of the things that came out of this was demand from groups all over the country to curb media violence. Looking out for children became a sort of tribute to Kennedy. This sent the creators of Saturday morning cartoons into a tailspin. In response to public demand, they suddenly had to move away from the scary, violent shows that had become their staple.

Hanna-Barbera, the largest children’s television animator at the time, answered this call with Scooby-Doo. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? premiered on CBS on Sept. 13, 1969. The goofy talking Great Dane with his equally goofy best bud Shaggy, along with Daphne, Fred and Velma, stumbled upon adventures but they were never really in danger. The villains always turned out to be, not monsters, but regular humans in disguise. It was just what audiences needed at the time. The shows have kept this formula for decades and the gang has been solving mysteries in their groovy van ever since.

You can read more about children’s television, Robert F. Kennedy, and enjoy some Scooby-Doo comics in the MVCC Library resources.

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