Image c/o NBC / Yousef Murad / AP
Libya has experienced record-breaking floods and catastrophic loss of life caused by Storm Daniel combined with crumbling infrastructure. Storm Daniel ravaged through several countries in the Middle East including Libya, which was the most affected country, as well as Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria. Storm Daniel brought approximately sixteen inches of rain in a 24-hour period to Libya.
Derna, a rural city of about 100,000 citizens, was the most affected by Storm Daniel. Roads are destroyed and several bridges have collapsed, making it difficult for aid to arrive as the damage to the city infrastructure is severe.
Two dams in the outskirts of Derna collapsed on September 11th and sent a seven-meter-high wave towards the city, destroying about 25% of the city. The dams had a combined capacity of 4.76 billion gallons.
As of September 19th, the death toll is 11,300, but it is expected to continue rising as thousands remain missing.
Aid has slowly been arriving to Derna, but United Nations officials say that at least $71.4 million is needed to provide relief to the 250,000 people impacted by the disastrous floods in five different provinces over the next three months.
The dams were constructed in the 1970s with the intention to provide an added layer of protection from flash flooding to Derna. Concerns about the structural integrity of the dams were questioned in 2007. Work was completed in November of 2017, according to the Arsel Construction Company Ltd, who built an additional dam in between of the two existing dams as an added safety precaution. The integrity of the construction firm has been questioned as the third dam is not present in satellite imagery.
In 2022, Abdelwanees Ashoor, a professor of civil engineering published a warning in the Sabha University Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences stating, “In the event of a big flood, the consequences will be disastrous for the residents of the valley and the city.”
Climate scientists at the World Weather Attribution group found that climate change made the devastating storm up to ten times more likely and made it possible for 40% more rainfall.
“Storm Daniel was a low-pressure weather system, as we usually have in the Mediterranean, it was not very deep- but it was very early in the season and it was stagnant and stayed over the south Ionian Sea for four, five days.” Said Kostas Lagouvardos, at the National Observatory of Athens.
The sea temperatures in Libya were two to three degrees above average, causing Storm Daniel to draw additional energy and give it capacity to hold more moisture. A storm of this intensity is only expected every 300 to 600 years.
Image c/o CNBC
By Jenevieve Monroe
According to Fulton County Jail Records, former president Donald J. Trump was booked late evening of August 24, 2023. The state of Georgia is suing the former president along with 18 co-defendants in their conspiracy to overturn the state’s results in the 2020 presidential election. The former president is facing a total of four indictments, with Georgia’s Superior Court of Fulton County charging thirteen felonies against Trump. In total, the former president and co-defendants face forty one counts by a Grand Jury in Georgia. In their surrender, the following charges include: Conspiracy To Commit False Statements and Writings (2 counts); Conspiracy To Commit Filing False Documents; Conspiracy To Commit Forgery in the First Degree (2 counts); Conspiracy To Commit Impersonating a Public Officer; False Statements and Writings (2 counts); Filing False Documents; Solicitation of Violation of Oath by Public Officer (3 counts); and Violation of the Georgia Rico (Racketeer Influenced And Corrupt Organizations) Act.
According to the legal indictment presented, over 161 Acts of racketeering and overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy are listed as evidence for the charges. Racketeering is the act of dishonest and fraudulent business dealings. This type of organized crime involves coercion, extortionary, or illegal schemes to make money. The majority of the Acts presented surrounding the case were focused on social media and phone call interactions with Trump, co-defendants, and fellow politicians. These allegations come following a leaked phone call between the former president and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. In this phone call, the former president pressures Raffensperger to overturn the state of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election, to which Trump states, “they are removing machinery and they’re moving it as fast as they can, both of which are criminal finds. And you can’t let it happen and you are letting it happen… So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state,” (New York Times). In the recording, Ryan Germany, the lawyer for Georgia’s Secretary of State’s office, repeatedly denied the removal of machinery and the shredding of ballots, yet the former president dismissed such claims. Raffensperger concluded the conversation by stating, “We have to stand by our numbers. We believe our numbers are right,” (New York Times).
Georgia’s indictment addresses several situations where Trump pressured conspiratorial actions like this in private. One example presented by the lawsuit involved a Fulton County election worker named Ruby Freeman. Freeman volunteered with her daughter, Shaye Moss, to serve Fulton County on election day. In the indictment, both the mother and daughter are victims. While serving their community, these two women were falsely accused to be seen in a surveillance video of workers demanding Republicans leave the ballot room while suitcases of illegal ballots were secretly added. Giuliani publicly targeted these women by name, stating that they were “passing around USB ports as if they are vials of heroin or cocaine”. The indictment also mentioned, “in furtherance of this scheme, members of the enterprise [the defendants] traveled from out of state to harass Freeman, intimidate her, and solicit her to falsely confess to election crimes that she did not commit,” (Fulton County Superior Court of Georgia). Stephen Cliffgard Lee was one of the co-defendants that harassed Freeman; not only did he visit her home on December 15, 2020, but Freeman had to call 911 on three different occasions because of his harassment. Trevian Kutti, former publicist for Ye and a co-defendant in this case, also reached out to Freeman at her home. Kutti threatened Freeman to comply with their election goals, implying that she had 48 hours before Freeman’s “freedom” and the freedom of one or more of her family members would be “disrupted” (Huffpost).
The president’s stay at Fulton County Jail was a little over 20 minutes long; however, Atlanta criminal defense attorney Erin King commented on how most people booked in Fulton County don’t get such a luxury (NPR). Trump’s 20 minute surrender took place in the same county jail where Lashawn Thompson, 35, died in custody last September due to a bedbug infested cell. King noted how most of the inmates in Fulton County Jail were booked, not convicted, and still awaiting trial (NPR). Trump was released on the same day, with a $200,000 bail to evade Fulton County jail. The bail listed six conditions he must comply with. The fourth order of the Consent Bond Order document states, “the Defendant shall perform no act to intimidate any person known to him or her to be a codependent or witness in this case or to otherwise obstruct the administration of justice,” (Fulton County Superior Court of Georgia).
Trump has been called into question for violating previous Bail terms from his three additional cases in Washington, D.C., Florida, and New York. Following his Washington case in which Trump was also charged with election subversion, several prosecutors came forward to express concern regarding a social media post Trump made, stating, “If you go after me, I’m coming after you!” (Reuters). The media post was written in all caps on a site he co-owns, called Truth Social (Politico). Unlike his other indictments, the Georgia agreement is the first to explicitly restrict “posts on social media or reposts”.
Trump’s Georgia indictment sheds light on the personal toll his actions have taken on victims listed like Ruby Freeman, her daughter Shaye Moss, as well as elected state leadership like Brad Raffensperger. The former president’s brief stint in Fulton County Jail also highlights the wealth disparities within Georgia’s justice system and the overall complexity of this case.
Trump has pleaded not guilty of the crimes accused.
Trump's 4 indictments in detail: A quick-look guide to charges, trial dates and key players for each case - CBS News
Trump arrest full recap: Mugshot, surrender, what’s next in Georgia election case (cnbc.com)
INMATE SEARCH – FULTON COUNTY (fcsoga.org)
Trump and co-defendants in Georgia election case will be arraigned Sept. 6 (nbcnews.com)
Donald Trump's mug shot released following his Georgia surrender: live updates | NPR
Trump's bond in Georgia election case: No threats, no jail | Reuters
Highlights of Trump’s Call With the Georgia Secretary of State - The New York Times (nytimes.com)
Read the full text of the Georgia Trump indictment document to learn more about the charges and co-conspirators - CBS News
By Edith Cuevas
A tenured communications professor and former track coach at Diablo Valley College (DVC) is now facing multiple felony charges after being arrested in connection to two cases of human trafficking. The charges include two counts of human trafficking, two counts of pandering, one count of pimping, and four counts of forcible sexual penetration by a foreign object.
Kyle Lee Whitemore, 39, of Crockett is now being held without bond at the Contra Costa County jail in Martinez, after being arrested on September 7th. The arrest was prompted by a report made to DVC campus police, who then alerted the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office.
A spokesperson for the Contra Costa Community College District said in a statement that the faculty member was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
“The District is grateful to staff who, through proper training, were able to identify a serious situation and quickly report it to our Police Services, who subsequently communicated with the Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney,” said the district’s statement.
“The District is devastated by the seriousness of the allegations that have been raised thus far. The safety of our students and staff is our main priority. We take seriously any accusations of inappropriate behavior by our employees and honor the expectation that our students, staff, and visitors have to be safe when they visit our campuses.” the statement said.
Whitemore was arraigned in court on September 12th but did not enter a plea.
A look into San Francisco’s recent retail exodus.
image c/o Lea Suzuki/The SF Chronicle
By Anthony Romero
The retail exodus of San Francisco's downtown continues as businesses continue to announce their closings in the coming year. The Westfield Mall, a staple of the city for over 20 years, is among one of the most significant losses to the once-bustling shopping hub following its owner’s announcement to return the property to its lenders this past June. This decision follows the closure of the mall’s flagship Nordstrom store, which shuttered the doors of its Westfield location and its Rack store in late August. This worrisome trend does not seem to be stalling, as the likes of Old Navy, Whole Foods, and Anthropologie have joined the slew of businesses leaving the city.
With the rapid closures of such prolific SF business fixtures, the city’s retail future looks bleak. A study by the University of Toronto saw San Francisco ranked last on a list of 62 cities, being reported to have received about 32% of a return to pre-pandemic levels of business (AP, 2023). The Los Angeles Times cited a Cushman & Wakefield study that saw San Francisco’s retail vacancy rate increasing to about 6% since the beginning of 2023, the highest it has been since 2006; Union Square has also reflected record-breaking vacancies in the first quarter of 2023, rising to a 15.5% rate in comparison to the previous year’s report of 14.2% in its last quarter (LA Times, 2023). On the ground, this translates to downtown San Francisco losing almost half of its businesses, and only 53% of the surrounding stores remain as of May 2023. This mass retail exodus, combined with the city’s increasing criminal element and the shrinking presence of large tech companies has led many to ponder whether the city of San Francisco is poised to remain in a “doom loop” that will hinder its growth.
With the COVID-19 pandemic proving to be a prominent factor in San Francisco’s downtown decline, a common pattern in retail executives’ closure announcements is the implication that the city’s rising property crime and homelessness crisis has severely deterred foot traffic. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Whole Foods Market’s case, which despite opening in the hopes of catering to tech employees, was instead a constant figure on local news outlets chronicling its numerous cases of shoplifting and property damage. After only a year of operation, Whole Foods announced its closure in mid-April over concerns for the safety of its employees; this mirrors Nordstrom’s decision to shut its doors, describing "unsafe conditions for customers, retailers, and employees" in the downtown area. In an NRF survey held in May of this year, 53% of consumers reported feeling that violent cases of looting and shoplifting have increased since the pandemic (Forbes, 2023).
This widespread loss has sparked a greater conversation by city officials about San Francisco’s role in policing and public safety, with Mayor London Breed responding to these concerns by increasing the presence of police and civilian ambassadors at the city’s larger retail centers (Wall Street Journal, 2023). Crime is not the sole factor for this exodus, as it is apparent that mass layoffs at corporate giants like Twitter, Google, and Salesforce and the increase of work-from-home employees have significantly cut down SF’s expected customer base. The lack of office commuters during prime hours of operation has essentially turned downtown into a ghost town, expediting the perception of the city being overrun by the homeless and open-air drug use. Most retailers are now transitioning away from the city to the greater Bay Area, with the Silicon Valley region being a safe haven for companies like Nordstrom to restart. “[ ]... the downtown San Francisco market has changed dramatically over the past several years, impacting customer foot traffic to our stores and our ability to operate successfully,” chief stores officer Jamie Nordstrom commented, “With both leases set to expire… we believe we can better serve our customers there by focusing on our 16 nearby Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack locations, as well as online.” This is reflected in Nordstrom’s current plan to remain in the region but away from the San Francisco downtown, with a prominent store being located at the Westfield Valley Fair Mall in San Jose.
With these problems remaining central to San Francisco’s struggle to recover its pre-pandemic growth and opportunity, city leaders look towards potential solutions. According to the Associated Press (2023), city supervisors aim to restructure downtown zoning rules to promote mixed-use spaces in the city’s empty storefronts, including office-to-housing projects. Economist Ted Egan outright denies the doom loop narrative, providing sound data that recorded improvements to in-person sales, as well as a progressive 23% rise in the sales tax revenues of San Francisco restaurants and a 7.3% rise in sales at Union Square (ABC News, 2023). As of a report in May, Mayor Breed has also proposed a $6-million investment to restore the strip on Powell Street that has seen the most retail departures.
Although things look dire from the “doom loop” perspective, it remains to be seen whether San Francisco city officials will begin to provide solid results that allow the city and its residents to see the light outside of the tunnel. As of now, San Francisco faces significant pressure to adapt to the growing exodus of retail stores and companies, but only time will tell if the city can restore its economic center.
LA Times https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-05-29/san-francisco-business-closures-openings-downtown-union-square
Wall Street Journal https://www.wsj.com/articles/san-francisco-centre-mall-turned-over-to-lender-482bb4bf
The SF Standard
The NY Times https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/30/us/san-francisco-whole-foods-crime-economy.html?searchResultPosition=3
Time for president number thirty-one!
By Kiera O'Hara-Heinz
Two years into Saint Mary’s thirtieth presidency, and it is time for another one. Just one short year after his campus-wide inauguration, Saint Mary’s President Richard Plumb announced that he would be stepping down from his role.
On March 30th, Plumb sent an email titled “My Departure” to the campus community. In this email, he said that after a discussion with his family and the Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees, he had decided to step down.
He credits his proudest accomplishments in his role as president as; establishing a new senior leadership team, helping to guide the school through the coronavirus pandemic, working with facilities and the board of trustees to modernize the buildings and grounds, working with Enrollment Management to increase applications for the 2023-24 school year, and collaborating with the Faculty Senate to increase communication between faculty and staff.
Some Saint Mary’s community members have expressed a desire for the school to include more diversity initiatives in the search for a new president. Plumb declined to comment on the search or efforts to recruit a successor. Santa Clara University, a similar private Catholic college inaugurated its first female layperson as President last year. A 2017 National Catholic Recorder article, found that at the time, out of the 220 Catholic colleges in the U.S., 46 had female lay presidents, a 137 percent increase since 2000, with male lay leadership increasing 38 percent over the same time period.
According to the Saint Mary’s website, the Board of Trustees will announce its Interim President in the near future. The Board says it “plans to launch a national search for the College’s next President and form a search committee that will include trustees, Christian Brothers, faculty, staff, and student advisors.”
In a statement on the college communications website, Chair of the Board of Trustees Eric Flowers praised Plumb for his leadership during the pandemic saying, “While higher education struggled through a pandemic that took a toll on faculty and students, we’re grateful that President Plumb guided the College in substantive ways.” Flowers went on to wish both Plumb and his wife Mary, the best in the new chapter of their lives.
Plumb became the 30th president of Saint Mary’s College in July 2021. He previously served as executive vice president and provost at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and nine years as a dean at Loyola Marymount. Before his role as an administrator, Plumb was a professor of engineering and Computer science.
President Plumb will be stepping down as President of the College on June 30, 2023. Reflecting on his time as President, he describes the two years as some of the most enriching and rewarding experiences of his life. He also expressed gratitude for the community he found on campus, saying simply, “I feel deeply indebted to so many of you for making my and Mary’s time at Saint Mary’s full of joy and love.”
By Vivian Hill
Chronic board game gambler
The new and amazing on-campus casino is set to be a smashing success. It includes Uno, Monopoly, Go Fish, and many more popular games. However, it feels as though something else is lurking behind the tables and fun snacks from the early 2000s. So the Collegian went undercover to see what this new casino was really like.
When you first walk in, you see all the bright tables and a place to purchase your chips. People were lined up for a chance to play one on one Jenga for a grand prize. The prize is the chance of lower tuition, so students were desperate to win. Intrigued by this, the Collegian decided to take a closer look, only to discover that there was going to be no real prize. Players were getting their hopes up for nothing. The next table, well that was more horrifying than the last.
The next table was a group game called Settlers of Catan. This table was becoming extreme and aggressive. Everyone in the room could tell that a fight was about to erupt at any moment. When the volcano did burst, it was a mess. Public Safety was called in to break up the fight and everyone involved was thrown out.
Diving further into the web of lies that was this casino, there was a man standing suspiciously in a corner. In hearing passing conversations, he knew a path that led right to the catacombs. This information could only mean one thing, that the Fight Club was still in action.
Although it was not as big as some of the other main events of the casino, this next game did draw in a crowd. The biggest event of the night was the 12-person Uno game. This was the match where no rules applied. There was double stacking, card counting, double skipping and so much more. It was total anarchy, and the crowd was going crazy for it. The player with the least losses managed to only lose about 100 dollars at the Go Fish and Candyland tables. Even though that was a rough night, it’s safe to say that the new Gael’s casino will be a whopping success.
HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY FROM THE COLLEGIAN STAFF!
How an econ group project accidentally led to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank!
C/O Yahoo Finance
By Kiera O’Hara-Heinz
Chief Conspiracy Theorist
The Saint Mary’s Community and the United States Federal Reserve, may be equally surprised and disturbed to hear that the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the largest bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis, was actually the handiwork of a group of SMC economics students.
On March 10, 2023, Silicon Valley Bank, based in Santa Clara CA, collapsed after announcing an alarming $1.8 billion in losses. Two days later, came the fall of Signature Bank, the nation’s 29th largest bank, suggesting a larger banking crisis at place. The story however starts a year earlier, when a group of three inexperienced SMC students were given an irresponsible degree of responsibility at the institution.
In Spring of 2022, three SMC students Jeremy Kitchener ‘22, Melody Wash ‘23, and Trevor Smith ‘23, were assigned a group project partnership with Silicon Valley Bank as a final project for their Economic Theory course. These students were tasked with coming up with business plan proposals for the bank, though the proposals were the purely theoretical musings of a group of young students.
Kitchener described the group’s proposal simply, “We heard that U.S. Treasury bonds were safe so we figured what could be safer than putting all your money into them.”
Smith agreed, saying, “All or nothing baby! That’s what we say!”
The proposal was apparently popular with the higher ups in the company, who seemingly applied it blindly.
Silicon Valley Bank’s deposit bank was based heavily in tech startups, and the deposit amount more than tripled during the pandemic. Instead of investing most of the deposits into other startups or venture firms, the bank instead placed a large share of the funds into long-term Treasury bonds and mortgage bonds. These bonds usually deliver small but rather reliable returns. These bonds however lost significant value over the previous year due to an aggressive series of interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.
This plan however was largely unsuccessful, and in response, the U.S. government was forced to take rapid and extraordinary steps to protect the American financial system.
When asked whether they were proud of their project and the subsequent financial crisis it caused, Wash celebrated the collapse saying, “I’m a communist, anything I can do to take down rampant irresponsible capitalism is a win to me.”
President Plumb and the SMC Economics department have declined to comment on the issue.
HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY FROM THE COLLEGIAN STAFF!
President Plumb is amongst us. All of us. And you may not even realize it.
C/O Kiera O'Hara-Heinz, Collegian Staff
By Lillian LaSalle, Especially Skeptical
This man can blend in anywhere on this relaxed college campus with his different shades of navy blue blazers and slacks. It is no surprise that he is commonly spotted by families on the admissions tours, and parents ask how the students can be so well dressed! President Plumb pops up everywhere, from the dining hall on a busy Thursday afternoon to a random spotting in the quad. The Collegian is here to share some of the most riveting Plumb sightings on campus, and they will leave you wondering where he will pop up next!
Random hallway encounters: Almost all of us have had a random Plumb sighting in the hallway. We see him approaching from one side of the hall and get ready to give him our best SMC smile out of intimidation and confusion that this man actually walks around where we do. Luckily though, as nervous as you are to smile at him, President Plumb is just as nervous as you. Although he may seem tough in his khaki pants and SMC polo, President Plumb is too busy worrying about whether the dining hall chicken will be dry or not to focus on anyone he passes in the hallway. So next time you panic about saying hello to Plumb, never fear as he’s probably thinking about if the dining hall has any more green boxes just like you.
Rec center: For the lucky few who have brushed elbows with President Plumb in the free weight section, we salute you. His presence pushes the students to bump up the weight and reps of their workouts –they gotta keep up with Plumb when he’s pumping iron. This man is an absolute menace in the gym, entering his very own Villain era, so he can intimidate the Brothers at the monthly luncheons. Catch him on the elliptical and you'll be surprised this man didn’t pursue a track star career in the big leagues instead of being a College president.
Dining Hall: After the rec center, President Plumb of course needs to get his daily protein to fuel his academic PowerPoint presentations. He’ll of course hit up the chicken station (fingers crossed it's not too dry) and he’ll head over to the salad bar right after. Talk about consistency. We may complain about dining hall food, but President Plumb is a real one. He’s lived over 40+ years and willingly came back to eat at a college dining hall. If that alone doesn't give you enough context as to why he is the way he is, I don't know what will.
All in all, these are just a few of the many places we have spotted President Plumb puttering around, and we look forward to seeing where he could possibly pop up next!
HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY FROM THE COLLEGIAN STAFF!
Racoons are the dogs of the future.
C/O Animals of SMC
By Andrew Martinez Cabrera
Visiting Raccoon Expert, Ph.D.
“When I embarked on this journey, I really wanted a challenge,” said Alan Meta Trolley, a third-year Biology Major at Saint Mary’s, who competes in dog shows all over the Bay Area in his free time. Trolley has become distinguished in the dog showmanship community, being an award recipient of over a dozen shows in California. He also trains 43 different recorded dog breeds and 14 not-yet discovered by the modern scientific community.
“I see my time at Saint Mary’s as an extension of my passion. A lot of my learning and time on campus informs my sport,” said Trolley.
One night, Trolley was leaving his dorm when suddenly, he spotted an albino raccoon scavenging for food. “We made eye contact, which was like first love,” recalled Trolley. “The best way I can describe it was like Hiccup and Toothless from ‘How to Train Your Dragon.’ So I reached out my hand and we just immediately connected – teeth to the skin, my blood coloring his white fur to a cherry red. Foam exited from the little guy’s mouth as he bit harder. I have never felt more connected with another animal before.”
After being treated for rabies at Kaiser Permanente, he decided that the bond was too strong to be ignored. In his moment of recovery, Trolley was inspired to train one of the most iconic animals on campus in the hopes of winning a dog showmanship competition.
Although ferocious, he knew his conventions would still help domesticate the raccoon, even if some viewed it as unorthodox.
“Not only is it unorthodox, but it is also a complete disrespect to these animals,” said an East Bay Regional Parks District representative. “It is ill-advised to directly touch these animals, let alone approach them while scavenging for food. To try to domesticate these gentle animals is a great disservice to our preservation efforts.”
When asked about this comment, Trolley replied: “They just don’t get it. I am an artist at work, and the albino raccoon is my blank canvas. They made fun of Van Gogh, and look at him now.”
Once Trolley was able to successfully capture the albino raccoon and relocate him to his dorm, training could start. His roommates had to vacate the premises as soon as the raccoon moved in, giving Trolley the proper space to begin the training sessions. It was during this time that he decided to give the raccoon a name: Toothless.
“The regiment I applied to train Toothless was no different than training any of the dogs I’ve prepared for competition in the past,” Trolley explained. “There are two extremes with these animals: aggressiveness and timidness, and I had to make sure that Toothless lived up to his namesake because I only have so many bandages.”
Coinciding with Trolley’s training, SMC’s Men’s Basketball team began competing in the NCAA tournament until their loss against UConn’s team during the second-round playoffs. Trolley, an avid sports fan, decided that the spirit of competition felt around campus during those first two weeks could be allocated to a new sport.
“I want the Gaels to be proud of our accomplishments. And I thought that people’s fervor for the sport was so strong that I began to think that those feelings shouldn’t go to waste. That is why I’m happy to announce that I am officially Saint Mary’s Gael Dog Showman, with our first show scheduled for April 1st. Be there or be square! Go Gaels!”
When asked for comment, Saint Mary’s Athletic Department told The Collegian that no such team or affiliation existed. The only thing they had on record was a mysterious manilla folder left at the entrance of the UCU Pavilion, the contents of which included a DIY logo for the fake team. The folder was acquired by Public Safety and promptly thrown away.
HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY FROM THE COLLEGIAN STAFF!
By Jenevieve Monroe
Earlier this week, the Center for Disease Control released a statement concerning an emerging fungus described to be a “serious global health threat.” Known as Candida auris or C. auris, the fungus is reported to be multidrug resistant, highly infectious, and difficult to test for in standard laboratories. C. auris is a yeast that doesn’t always cause symptoms; however, the fungus can lead to blood infections, wound infections, and ear infections in patients with weak immune systems.
In less than a year, infections of this yeast have nearly doubled across the United States (CDC). The CDC has documented a mortality rate in the U.S. to be between 30 to 60 percent in many immunocompromised patients. Similar rates have been documented on a global level. According to Ronald Rhodes, a clinical laboratory science professor at Texas State University, the fungus has spread to over 30 different countries. The European Center for Disease Control has been monitoring their cases closely; over the span of 2013 to 2022, they have conducted several surveys to determine the control efforts and preparedness of their healthcare facilities. The study showed that C. auris has been steadily increasing in the EU/EEA since 2020, leaving many health facilities unprepared in controlling outbreaks. Germany and Denmark were countries that opposed this trend and were able to detain the fungus from further transmission. Overall, the study emphasizes a need for continued research of antimicrobial transmissions and multidrug resistant fungal infections.
The transmission rates of C. auris have alarmed many global health agencies. As we still experience the COVID-19 Pandemic, international economies are shifting their fear towards a potentially new threat. Germany’s largest bank, known as Deutsche Bank, dropped in shares by 11 percent yesterday (WSJ). The credit portfolio manager of Deutsche Bank commented on the sudden withdrawal of investors, saying “People want to avoid anything that could come under focus.” The Wall Street Journal has speculated that the German stock market has stumbled due to global contagion fears. Since Deutsche Bank is vital to both Wall Street and the global economy, investors are left wondering whether their investments are safe anymore.
According to the International Monetary Fund, some key warning signs that an epidemic may negatively impact an economy are: the disruption of product and supply chains, the decline in consumer spending and investment, increase in healthcare costs, and the disruption of financial markets. One example of this disruption was during the SARs outbreak; stock markets in countries affected by the virus experienced significant declines “due to fears of the economic impact” (IMF).
Although concerns are being voiced across the United States, statistics on local medical cases are limited. The Saint Mary’s Health and Wellness Center has yet to report on the emerging pathogen, but ABC 7 Bay Area news reporter Mary Kekatos has covered some key points regarding the spread. According to Kekatos, “there’s not much that can be done on an individual level to stop the spread of the fungus, but the experts recommend avoiding patients with C. auris infections and that people practice proper hand hygiene when visiting at-risk populations.”
Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.
General Information about Candida auris | Candida auris | Fungal Diseases | CDC
Why Deadly Candida Auris Fungus Is Spreading So Fast Across the U.S. (msn.com)
Eurosurveillance | Increasing number of cases and outbreaks caused by Candida auris in the EU/EEA, 2020 to 2021
The Economic Risks and Impacts of Epidemics - IMF F&D Magazine - June 2018 | Volume 55 | Number 2
What is Candida auris? Potentially deadly fungus spreading in the US: Everything you need to know - ABC7 San Francisco (abc7news.com)
Madison Sciba '24,