Northwest Missourian Opinion

The coronavirus has touched all of our lives in many different ways, forcing everyone to adapt to a new world. Some of these adaptations have been positive. 

The spread of the virus forced the scientific community to come up with a vaccine in record time; that is exactly what happened. The two main vaccines that are available to the public, Pfizer and Moderna, are both mRNA vaccinations. This technology is just a little over a decade old, making it relatively new to the scientific community. Before the coronavirus vaccine had been developed, it took at least four years to develop a new vaccine, said Harvard Health. 

This sort of scientific breakthrough would only come around in a time of crisis. This new technology can also be used to stop future viruses.   

The United States almost eradicated the flu this season; the CDC reports that the United States has distributed between 194 to 198 million flu vaccines around the country. This is the highest number of doses ever distributed during a flu season. 

During the 2019 flu season from Sept. 29 to Dec. 29, the CDC reported more than 65,000 cases throughout the nation. Over the same time period last year, the CDC only had 1,016 cases. 

This drop is an opportunity to learn from and could lead to a yearly decrease in influenza. 

The Northwest theater department has also adapted to the new world. Starting the fall of the 2020 school year, the theater department had to improvise in how it was going to show its content moving forward. 

The solution was to hold a limited in-house audience; only family members were allowed to come and watch the show live. The rest of the audience livestreamed the event. This lack of an audience has forced the theater students to adapt. Despite no more packed houses for their performances, this has benefited the theater department in a few ways.

Kaleb Cowling, a theater performance major, believes the department will see long-term benefits from livestreaming the show. He said he believes the department will have more exposure because of the livestream. 

Cowling compared the department’s livestreaming to when Hamilton was put on Disney Plus. His point was that putting shows online allows for a wider consumption of this media.

His grandma got to see him perform for the first time; she lives over three hours away and it is difficult for her to travel. Being able to livestream the show allowed her to see her grandson do what he loves.

Cory Bush, a theater minor, prefers a smaller audience. He believes they provided benefits to other actors as well.

“A smaller audience is more personalized. They feel special and invited to see a show when there’s not hundreds of them crammed into a theater; also, it helps with stage fright,” Bush said.   

Livestreaming has been such a success that the theater department plans on continuing it even when COVID-19 restrictions are over.

From vaccine development to Northwest theater, the world has had some positive changes due to COVID-19.

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