Things That Matter

This Video Was Meant To Showcase Schools Reopening But Instead People Are Calling It ‘Depressing’ And ‘Apocalyptic’

Despite the fact that the U.S. is still in the grips of a full-fledged pandemic, schools across the country are starting to reopen. And with that come a lot of parents who are still incredibly nervous about all of it. Many parents are worried about possible outbreaks and that their kids are being put at risk of getting the virus or of them brining it home and infecting an at-risk family member.

Schools have tried to be reassuring, and are letting parents know that they are going to be doing everything they can to make sure the environment is safe and that they are following all mandates.

One of the ways they are doing this is by releasing educational videos that show parents and students just how a typical day at school may look. One school district in Florida may have had good intentions with their video, but it just ended up terrifying everyone.

A Florida school district released a promotional video on how they’re safely reopening schools, but it didn’t go as planned.

According to BuzzFeedNews, one promotional video put out by a Florida school district is receiving headlines for all the wrong reasons. One parent uploaded the video to TikTok and it’s since gone viral as people compare it to a “prison for kids” and others saying it looks like a scene from “an M. Night Shyamalan movie.” If you have ever seen one of his movies, you know that this is not the type of movie you want to be in.

A video shared by a Florida school district showing examples of what reopening its schools will look has gone viral on TikTok and other social media, with parents and critics decrying it as a “heartbreaking” viewing experience.

The two-minute clip, shared by the School District of Manatee County, is being called ‘heartbreaking’ as it shows students wearing masks and social distancing in classrooms, lunch lines and cafeteria spaces as a protective measure against COVID-19.

The video also shows teachers wearing protective face masks and shields, as well as lab coats, while working with students. Other measures, such as temperature checks and pre-bagged lunches, were also shown in the video. Another poignant moment from the video shows kids sitting alone at lunch tables in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

A representative from the Manatee County school district explained in a Facebook comment the day the video started to go viral, that the examples in the “video are intended to show examples of the new procedures in place” but will not be the case for every school in the district.

The video quickly went viral on TikTok for being way too depressing.

The video was originally uploaded to TikTok by a mom in a nearby school district. Her clip has since amassed 3 million views and over 50,000 comments, with many expressing concern about how unnerving the back-to-school experience shown in the video appears. 

“I’m not gonna lie, it looks a little apocalyptic-y. A little ‘Hunger Games’-y,” she said in the video, a reference to the best-selling dystopian books and films. Jenkins told BuzzFeed News that watching it was “heartbreaking.”

“It feels like a punishment for the kids,” she told BuzzFeed News. “That makes me sad. The kids are kids.”

Nevertheless, the negative response to the viral video may not be mirrored by parents in the district. A survey conducted by the Manatee County school district, per WWSB-TV in Sarasota, Florida, shows that an overwhelming majority of parents surveyed prefer full-time in-person learning or a hybrid model. Across school levels, only 20 to 30 percent of parents — with few outliers — want their kids to be e-learning full-time, according to the survey published Tuesday.

Florida is the new epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S. and many are blasting the state’s reopening plans.

Since July, Florida has emerged as the latest epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S. As of August 5, the state has seen nearly half a million confirmed cases and 7,401 deaths.

As COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise rapidly in Florida, concerns raised by some school officials and teachers stand in stark opposition from a push to reopen schools by Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Gov. Ron DeSantis and President Trump.

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This TikTok User Went Viral For Making a Video About What a Latino Character in the Harry Potter Universe Would Look Like

Entertainment

This TikTok User Went Viral For Making a Video About What a Latino Character in the Harry Potter Universe Would Look Like

Recently, a TikTok video went viral for spoofing what a Latino character would look like if he or she were written by JK Rowling. 

The minute-long video, entitled “If JK Rowling wrote a Latino character”, was created by TikTok user @Munchy_Monk, who also goes by the name “Louie”.

The video (which has now been viewed over 2 million times), starts with Munchy_Monk reading a “script” that JK Rowling sent him.

“Um, Ms. Rowling, I’m not really sure about this character,” he says, his voice full of trepidation. In the video, the imaginary “Ms. Rowling” responds by telling him to “read the bloody script before I call immigration.”

The video continues to be more outrageous from there. His tongue firmly in his cheek, Munchy_Monk runs through the gambit of stereotypes that the media typically portrays Latinos as doing.

With an exaggerated semi-Spanish-sounding accent (one that is all-too familiar for people who watch TV), the TikTok star pretends to be a gardener (“I’m-gardening-leviosa”), a line-cook (“Accio tacos and burritos!”), and a trouble-making student (“I ain’t take no potions. I ain’t even in potions class, foo.”). 

The video is also littered with punny jokes that play on Rowling’s whimsical word-choice. For example, Munchy_Monk pronounces the spell “stupify” as “estupify” and claims he comes from the Hogwarts house “Gryffindor-a the Explor-a”. 

via munchy_monks/TikTok

The TikTok video perfectly illustrates the way Rowling has depicted BIPOC characters in the past, as well as how the media generally portrays characters who have identities outside of what the media considers to be “standard” (i.e. white and straight). 

For a few years now, there have been subsets of the internet who have taken issue with Rowling’s portrayals of BIPOC and queer characters in the the Harry Potter universe. Many consider these characters to be tokenized depictions of what real non-white, non-straight people are actually like. 

Some fans have also grown frustrated to her public statement about Harry Potter characters–specifically how she publicly and retroactively “changedtheir backstories to “gain inclusivity points” without doing the the more meaningful work of writing inclusive characters in the first place. 

Although some fans celebrate Rowling’s fluid approach to the culture and identity of her characters, some claim that the post-publication changes feel inauthentic.

“The problem is we never see those elements of characterisation in the books themselves,” writer Kayleigh Anne wrote in The Independent. “The faith, race and sexuality of her characters has been shoe-horned in retroactively, and it can’t help but ring hollow.”

Of course, the icing on the problematic cake has been the recent transphobic comments and forthcoming book JK Rowling has made about and against trans people. All of these circumstances put into question JK Rowling’s status as an ally to queer and BIPOC people–if she ever was one in the first place.

But one thing is worth admitting: all of the above make Munchy_Monk’s TikTok video especially poignant and darkly hilarious.

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Peru’s Indigenous Are Turning To Ancestral Medicines To Fight The Coronavirus

Culture

Peru’s Indigenous Are Turning To Ancestral Medicines To Fight The Coronavirus

Joao Laet / Getty Images

With news headlines like “How Covid-19 could destroy indigenous communities”, it’s hard to understate the affect that the Coronavirus has had on Indigenous communities across the world.

Even before the pandemic hit, native populations were already at increased risk of health complications, poor access to medical care, lack of proper education, and even premature death. The pandemic has only exacerbated these issues as government programs and NGOs who delivered aid to far flung communities have grind to a halt.

However, many communities have started taking the matter into their own hands by creating their own impromptu healthcare systems based on ancestral techniques and others have barricaded off their villages from the outside world in an effort to stem the flow of the virus.

In Peru, many Indigenous communities are turning to centuries-old medicines to fight back against the Coronavirus.

The Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on Peru – the country with the world’s highest per capita Covid-19 mortality rate. At particular risk is the nation’s large Indigenous community, who often lack proper access to education efforts and medical care. This has forced many Indigenous groups to find their own remedies.

In the Ucayali region, government rapid response teams deployed to a handful of Indigenous communities have found infection rates as high as 80% through antibody testing. Food and medicine donations have reached only a fraction of the population. Many say the only state presence they have seen is from a group responsible for collecting bodies of the dead.

At least one community, the Indigenous Shipibo from Peru’s Amazon region, have decided to rely on the wisdom of their ancestors. With hospitals far away, doctors stretch too thin and a lack of beds, many have accepted the alternative medicine.

In a report by the Associated Press, one villager, Mery Fasabi, speaks about gathering herbs, steeping them in boiling water and instructing her loved ones to breathe in the vapors. She also makes syrups of onion and ginger to help clear congested airways.

“We had knowledge about these plants, but we didn’t know if they’d really help treat COVID,” the teacher told the AP. “With the pandemic we are discovering new things.”

One of the plants the Shipibo are using is known locally as ‘matico.’ The plant has green leaves and brightly colored flowers. And although Fasabi admits that these ancestral remedies are by no means a cure, the holistic approach is proving successful. She says that “We are giving tranquility to our patients,” through words of encouragement and physical touch.

Even before the Coronavirus, Indigenous communities were at a greater risk for infectious diseases.

Indigenous peoples around the globe tend to be at higher risk from emerging infectious diseases compared to other populations. During the H1N1 pandemic in Canada in 2009, for example, aboriginal Canadians made up 16% of admissions to hospital, despite making up 3.4% of the population.

Covid-19 is no exception. In the US, one in every 2,300 indigenous Americans has died, compared to one in 3,600 white Americans.

Indigenous groups are particularly vulnerable to dying from Covid-19 because they often live days away from professional medical help. As of July 28, the disease had killed 1,108 indigenous people and there had been 27,517 recorded cases, with the majority in Brazil, according to data published by Red Eclesial Panamazonia (Repam).

Some communities are turning inward to survive COVID-19, barricading villages and growing their own food.

Despite the immense threat they face, Indigenous communities are fighting back.

“I am amazed to see the ways that indigenous peoples are stepping up to provide support where governments have not,” Tauli-Corpuz, a teacher at Mexico’s UNAM, told The Conversation. “They are providing PPE and sanitation, making their own masks, and ensuring that information on Covid-19 is available in local languages, and are distributing food and other necessities.”

They are also choosing to isolate. In Ecuador’s Siekopai nation, about 45 Indigenous elders, adults and children traveled deep into the forest to their ancestral heartland of Lagartococha to escape exposure to the Coronavirus, says the nation’s president Justino Piaguaje.

Despite their best efforts, many experts are extremely concerned for the survival of many Indigenous communities.

Credit: Ginebra Peña / Amazonian Alliance

They are already facing the ‘tipping point’ of ecological collapse due to increased threats of deforestation, fires, industrial extraction, agribusiness expansion and climate change,” Amazon Watch executive director Leila Salazar-Lopez told UNESCO of Amazonian Indigenous groups.

“Now, the pandemic has created one more crisis, and as each day passes, the risk of ethnocide becomes more real.”

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