The Speed Read: October 2021

design: Natalia Favila Inacua

Body Boosters

With 182 million people in the United States fully vaccinated, a question arises: will one need another vaccine shot?

Many children receive a booster shot for a myriad of illnesses including chickenpox, tetanus and measles.

Biology teacher Kevin Guse explained how due to the virus mutating, a booster shot can help maintain or enhance a person’s immunity against the illness

A newly identified variant of COVID-19 referred to as “R.1” infected 45 people in a Kentucky nursing home, according to the CDC.

“Viruses have DNA or RNA just like our cells do. Replication, or copying the DNA, naturally will cause some errors to occur. Because viruses replicate and copy themselves so quickly, they go through many generations within a few days. This means the mutation rate for viruses is much quicker than humans,” Guse said.

Spikeball Superstars

From “Shark Tank”to one’s backyard, Spikeball has become a national sensation and a new club whose members hope to bring that same energy to the high school.

A competitive game involving four players, Spikeball has grown exponentially in popularity in the last couple of years.

“Spikeball is a somewhat new and rapidly growing fast paced game. It’s sort of like volleyball in the way that you only get three touches and are passing to a teammate. However, instead of hitting over a net, you have a small circular mini trampoline-like net on the ground in front of you that you are trying to hit the ball off of,” Spikeball Club president and junior Luke Border said.

The club will allow students who do not have access to a Spikeball set the chance to learn and play the game with their friends.

“We are starting Spikeball club because we enjoy playing Spikeball and want to provide an opportunity for more people to play Spikeball as well as teach people the game. It’s also fun to have new opponents and Spikeball club will make that easy for everyone,” Border said.

Members can expect to break a sweat and possibly scrape a knee while playing this competitive game at club meetings.

“For the most part at club meetings we will just play Spikeball and probably have some snacks. We might try to set up some official tournaments or even make a team to play other schools/local Spikeball teams,” Border said.

Hurricanes Heat Up

During this time of year, it seems as if news headlines are filled with a new natural disaster every week. Over 9000 fires, two hurricanes and an earthquake have occurred in just the past month.

Peak hurricane season for the Atlantic Ocean falls annually on Sept. 10. On average, four storms develop in September; this is more than any other month, according to WeatherBug.

“Hurricanes are most common during this time of the year because wind shear, wind speed and direction over a short distance—is at its lowest in September, with tropical oceans being warm as well” Environmental Club president and senior Diana Huaracha-Arellanos said.

The Dixie fire, the largest single source wildfire in California history, is one of many fires that have been devastating the US Western States this September, according to CalFire.

“Due to climate change, fires in general have become so much more common. With factors such as drier seasons, it is easy for fires to start and harder for them to be put out,” Huaracha-Arellanos said.

The Dixie fire started burning on July 13 and as Sept. 22 it is still not completely contained. Over two million acres of land has been engulfed by fires just in the state of California.

Huaracha Arellanos explained how the drought-like conditions of the Western portion of the United States makes it the perfect place for wildfires to emerge.