From the Last Seven Days

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Ana Clara Monaco, S&G Editor

Updated CDC Guidelines 

According to recent CDC developments, fully vaccinated individuals can resume indoor activities without masks or social distancing. This update pertains to those who have received their final vaccination at least two weeks ago and has come largely as an incentive to increase the national rate of vaccination. Following weeks of over two million doses administered each day, recent data has reflected a startling drop in the vaccination rate– an indication of a new phase in which supply exceeds demand. Aside from safety concerns surrounding two of the vaccines, this decrease is the product of vaccine hesitancy; the majority of those who wish to get the vaccine already have, leaving only those who refute scientists’ claims and continue to prolong the legacy of former president Donald Trump. To stimulate vaccination around the country, the CDC is pushing for greater benefits to accompany full vaccination, although the enforcement of these guidelines is entirely dependent on individual establishments and state governments. Critics of the CDC’s update point to the lack of differentiation between vaccinated individuals and those who are not, as anyone can now choose to remove their masks without having to provide any proof of vaccination. The CDC, however, prioritized progress over clarity and chose to place responsibility back in the hands of the people– seemingly as a small reward for year-long compliance and promising data trends.


Supreme Court to Review Mississippi Abortion Law 

Following the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision, in which the court ruled that a woman has a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy in the first six months, abortion laws and restrictions have been largely dependent on individual states. A Mississippi law on the issue has recently been brought to the limelight, as the Supreme Court has said that it will review the constitutionality of abortion laws next term. The law bans most abortions after 15 weeks, significantly before fetal viability (the point at which the baby can survive outside the womb); the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked enforcement of this law, as it conflicted with Roe v. Wade. After nearly seven months, the Supreme Court has included the case in the schedule for the next term, raising the possibility of a Roe reversal. If the Court upholds this Mississippi law, therefore allowing for state restrictions on pre-viability abortions, there would be enormous consequences for the Court and its image. As the Court is now composed of a 6-3 conservative majority, where these six have taken hostile positions to abortion rights in the past, many believe it is only a matter of time before the reversal of the landmark Roe case and the subsequent debate over state powers in banning abortions.


The End of an Era with Ellen DeGeneres

Amid ongoing backlash directed at the television personality’s supposed toxic and demanding behavior, Ellen DeGeneres has announced that she is stepping away from her popular daytime talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” following the conclusion of its 18th season. Beginning in a comedy club in New Orleans, the platform has expanded, nearly two decades later, to accommodate 2.6 million viewers who delight in the interactions with celebrity guests and the playful levity. At the top of her field, she was a groundbreaker: the first female comedian and the first openly gay person to host the Academy Awards. Her expansive success, however, has been consistently derailed since 1997, most recently with allegations that have seemingly broken the camel’s back. In July of last year, BuzzFeed News reported that several staff members on the show had confronted racism, fear, and intimidation at work. Claiming that DeGeneres’ talk show mantra (“be kind”) is simply masking a toxic work culture, in which staff are fired after medical leave or bereavement days, staff must put up with consistent race comments, and in which Ellen refuses to take responsibility for the workplace environment. These claims have caused a 44% incline in viewers in one season and dethroned DeGeneres from her place at the top of her field, likely causing her decision to step down, unceremoniously ending the show that has grown into an absolute phenomenon.