Sparrow & MSU, front-line looks at vaccine distribution

As of March 22, Sparrow Hospital widened its vaccination criteria to those who are ages 50 and up, as well as people with medical conditions who are ages 16 and up and their caregiver family members and guardians. “It’s been an extremely busy and hectic time, but it’s been a really fun assignment,” said Sparrow Laboratories Manager Elizabeth Reust. “People are excited to get the vaccine, and we’re super pleased to be able to provide it to them.”

Following Ingham County’s March 15 COVID-19 update, we can see that COVID cases and hospitalizations are jumping up and down weekly, with an overall decline. The drive-thru at Sparrow began as a COVID-testing facility (previously a Sears Auto Center), in January of this year and morphed into a place for rapid-vaccination. This model allows for up to 1,000 vaccinations a day.

Sparty wearing a mask from @michiganstateu Instagram.

Incoming and current freshmen at Michigan State University are eager for in-person classes

On March 5, Michigan State University President Samuel L. Stanley announced in an email that 75% of undergraduate classes would be offered in-person for the fall of 2021. 

Stanley wrote, “Classes will be offered in multiple scenarios — in person, hybrid and some still online, especially those that would traditionally fill large lecture halls. We expect that routine mitigation testing and other public health policies will continue at some level in the fall, and all of us will need to adhere to these policies and engage in the actions and behaviors that have kept us safe and healthy.”

A survey was sent out to the classes of 2024 and 2025 official Facebook pages to get a better understanding of the types of classes and living arrangements incoming and current Spartans will be selecting. 

The survey received 39 responses, and most said students will be choosing courses taught in-person. 

The survey results in Figure 1 show 43% of students plan to choose in-person classes and 24% will choose majority in-person classes with some online classes. 

Figure 1 shows the type of classes incoming and current freshmen students will be scheduling for the Fall 2021 semester. Many will schedule in-person and majority in-person with some online classes. Zoe Pozios, freshman at Michigan State said, she will try to find mostly in-person classes. As a STEM major, it is hard for Pozios to do online labs.

“That smile of his.”

MSU Sophomore Michael Zyrek is loved around East Lansing. He’s the President of Sigma Nu and impacted a lot of Spartan lives throughout his two years. But during a workout with one of his close friends mid-February, he began having a raging headache and texted his girlfriend saying something just felt off. It was then a split-second decision by her to leave a Zoom class, not even wearing shoes, and rush him to Sparrow Hospital. Just seconds after walking through the automatic doors, he collapsed unconscious.

WATCH: Focal Point News 3-12-2021

In this edition of Focal Point, we’ll a visit a comedy club with a cause; take a look at a rally to reopen schools at the Michigan State Capitol; get a sneak peek inside the MSU greenhouses on campus. In entertainment, we’ll take a look at a new movie to hit the digital movie market. In sports, take a look at highlights from both men and women’s hoops, as well as soccer from DeMartin Stadium. This week’s weather might require you to bring out your snow shovel again. Here’s a look at your 7-Day forecast:

Weather graphics by Connie Rahbany and Collin Membiela.

Cornel West

“Extraordinary dialogue happening in extraordinary times:” MSU community members discuss Cornel West’s recent event

Dr. Cornel West has held many roles throughout his career: Harvard professor, political commentator, social justice advocate, author, musician, two-time actor in The Matrix series, among many others. On Feb. 25, West spoke as part of Michigan State University’s annual lecture series through the College of Osteopathic Medicine, while professors and student organizers alike praised his knowledge on social and historical topics. The yearly tradition, titled the “Dr. William G. Anderson Lecture Series, Slavery to Freedom,” took place for the 21st time this year with three virtual speakers and around 800 attendees per event. The first speaker was Dr. Monique Morris, executive producer and co-writer for “PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools,” a 2019 documentary that discusses the way in which Black girls are more harshly disciplined in schools than their peers.

Michigan State Theatre Department returns to in-person learning

The Theatre Department at Michigan State has allowed classes to return to in-person learning with COVID-19 safety measures in place. Theatre isn’t the only department to bring students back into classrooms, but with acting, singing and dance classes, it makes sense that it would be one of the first departments to do this. Normally, drama and singing classes would take place in the MSU Auditorium, but the Wharton Center for Performing Arts is allowing students to do their theatrics in its various theaters and spaces this semester. While the Wharton isn’t the typical classroom for the students, they were excited to be able to practice on stages that professional actors normally use. Students with in-person classes are required to participate in the Michigan State “COVID-19 Early Detection Program” and fill out a health screening prior to vising campus.

Professor inspects black tubing running into a machine.

MSU professor aims to turn wastewater into drinkable water

 A new water treatment facility is coming to East Lansing. The project, spearheaded by Michigan State University professor Dr. Wei Liao will be just south of 1855 Place on campus. The goal of the plant, according to Liao, is to turn wastewater into drinkable water. However, Liao says that goal is not attainable at this moment due to regulations. For now, Liao is focusing on turning sewage water and wastewater into renewable energy by extracting nutrients from food waste and sewage water and converting them into energy.

COVID-19 creates further financial burden: Will relief come?

While Congress and the White House put overturning the election ahead of COVID-19 relief, college students against across the country are waiting and struggling.

What would they do withe the money? Pay rent, pay down bills, be able to pay tuition to stay in school or get career-related exoerience.

Watch Focal Point: COVID-19 and the Economy of East Lansing

On this special edition of Focal Point, a look COVID-19’s impact on East Lansing’s economy. We take you to local businesses using new technology and old-fashioned customer service to adapting to stay open. We also meet MSU students out of work because of the pandemic, and some entering the job market in an unprecedented time. Those stories and more on this Focal Point Special Report.