W-O's Student Newspaper


Hello Everyone,

It’s Ally here, the W-O Say-So Head for the 2019-2020 school year, putting out a final piece before the year draws to a close. This school year has been a strange and unpredictable one, but I’m so proud of how resilient our readers and writers have been. We recently published our 75th article, which is a big milestone for a student-run newspaper that’s only two years old! I’m excited to announce that Delaney Regehr will be taking over as head of the paper next year on account of me graduating. Before leaving, I want to say a couple of Thank-Yous to those who made the Say-So as successful as it has been over the past year. Thank you, readers, for checking in on our site, reading our articles, and giving us wonderful feedback. Thank you, writers, for joining us, submitting articles, and sharing some laughs. Your hard work over the past year has paid off. We are now one of the most active student-run newspapers in the WRDSB because of you. Finally, I want to say a big Thank-You to Mr. Cvetich for being our teacher representative and editor-in-chief. Thank you for always being willing to check over our articles and opening your (physical and virtual) classroom to us. I’m so proud of how far the Say-So has come, and I’m so excited to see what the future of the Say-So holds.

Signing off,

Ally Krueger-Kischak

It Could be Worse – 5 Weird Disasters that were Probably Worse than Covid-19

By Delaney Regehr

With everything going on right now it’s easy to feel like it can’t get any worse. That we’re stuck in the middle of a once-in-a-lifetime disaster that nobody else in human history has ever endured. Why did it happen to us? What are the chances that it had to happen right now? And although I like to think that the probability of experiencing a global pandemic is quite low, the probability of some sort of disaster happening in our lifetime is quite high. In fact, I’m sure generations of people before us asked the very same questions. Why did it happen to us? What are the chances that it had to happen right now? Because to be entirely honest, it could be worse. History is riddled with thousands of strange and unpredictable disasters, many of which I hadn’t even heard of before starting this article. So I thought I’d share them with you. Some weird disasters that, when they happened, people probably thought no one would ever forget. But here we are,

The Tunguska Event – June 30, 1908

I guess it was pure luck that it didn’t happen anywhere else, because when a 220 million pound meteor exploded over a remote forest in Siberia, the only casualties were reindeer. The blast was so large that people 60km away were blown off their feet and vibrations were detected as far away as England. 

The shockwave flattened hundreds of kilometers of forest with an estimated force equivalent to 185 atomic bombs, and in the sky, clouds formed by the explosion reflected enough light that people in Asia reported that they could read a newspaper outside in the middle of the night. 

Nothing like it had happened before, and nobody really knew how it had happened. Some locals believed that the explosion was a curse sent by Ogdy, the god of thunder, but many scientists theorized that a meteor had hit the Earth. This, however, would not be confirmed for quite some time, since the harsh weather conditions of Siberia prevented people from visiting the site of the ‘collision’ and it wasn’t at the top of the Russian government’s to-do list. But when scientists finally found their way to the area in 1927, they discovered that there might not have been a collision after all, since no crater was ever found. Instead they thought that the meteor exploded into a 50-100 foot fireball, 5-10 km above the surface of the Earth. 

To this day, the Tunguska Event remains a topic of fear and interest, and researchers say that a similar event would only occur every 200-300 years (and likely not near a large human population). but you can imagine the damage it could have caused.

The Locust Plague – 1874

In 1874, life on the American frontier was booming. Thousands of people had traveled west with the promise of free land (or in hindsight, stolen land), the chance for prosperity, and a dream – The American Dream. Many got none of this, however, and life on the great plains was riddled with disaster and tragedy. The Locust Plague of 1874 fit nicely into both these categories. 

It was not unusual for insects such as locusts or grasshoppers to eat crops, in fact, similar plagues of a smaller magnitude had been taking place throughout the past decades, but nobody was prepared for the summer of 1874. Previous years of drought had caused increased breeding of the Rocky Mountain Locust, a species of insect known for gathering in large swarms. The next summer, clouds of these locusts descended over the prairies, blocking out the sun for hours at a time and covering every square inch of land in sight. And they ate everything – literally everything. 

Desperate farmers tried to save their crops by setting fires and covering their fields with potato sacks, but the masses of locusts were so large that they put out the fires and ate through any organic material. The crops were devoured immediately, along with every other plant in sight. The locusts ate the wool off sheep and the clothes off peoples’ backs. They chewed through harnesses, paint, wood, and when they were done with that, they crawled into houses and ate everything there too. People compared the phenomenon to a snowstorm of insects, or the beating of locusts like rain on the roofs of their houses. Crushed locusts accumulated on railways, and trains became difficult to operate. Accounts of this atrocious event can even be found in the popular children’s series, Little House on the Prairie, where Laura Ingalls recounts sweeping the locusts off the floor and shoveling them into the stove. 

And then, as suddenly as the disaster started, it ended. The Rocky Mountain Locust mysteriously went extinct, and was never seen again, although this isn’t quite a fairy tale ending. In total, $200 million worth of crops were eaten, many people went bankrupt, and some were even starved to death because of the food shortage. Among farmers a common saying was developed that summarizes the disaster quite nicely: “They ate everything but the mortgage.”

The Year Without a Summer – 1816

As Canadians, it’s easy to think that we’re pretty familiar with winter. Snow in May? No big deal. There’s always those two months of warm weather to look forward to. Until there isn’t.

April 10, 1815, marked the date of the largest recorded volcanic eruption in human history. It took place on the island of Sumbawa, located in modern day Indonesia, and caused a tragic total of over 70 000 fatalities. The explosion was so large that it released approximately 150 cubic kilometers of ash and rock, which covered hundreds of kilometers of land. The immediate impact was impressively disastrous, but the lasting impact was one that nobody was prepared for.

After the eruption, large amounts of sulfur dioxide were released into the air, reflecting sunlight and causing a 3 degree drop in global temperature. Now 3 degree doesn’t really seem like a lot, but on a global scale it made all the difference. All over the world people experienced what seemed to be an eternal winter.

England reported snowfall throughout June and July, the frost lasting for the remainder of August. Most of Europe experienced cold and dreary weather, and frequent storms and increased rainfall resulted in failed harvests and crop shortages. Food prices went through the roof, and poverty was on the rise. Riots and protests broke out all over the continent, ones that were said to be worse than the French Revolution.. 

Asia experienced massive floods that obliterated the majority of crops. Famine swept across this continent as well, and disease such as cholera was rampant. 

America faced different issues, as the eastern states experienced drought, and a strange recurring red fog, along with the shockingly cold weather and summer snow. In Canada, southern Ontario reported snowfall in June, and many provinces faced severe food shortage as well. This was especially prevalent in Quebec, which reportedly ran out of both bread and milk. Producers were banned from exporting goods, as everything had to be conserved for the country’s own inhabitants, and people were not allowed to enter the country.

But there was a bit of good that came out of it, the dreary weather inspired the mood of Mary Shelley’s iconic Frankenstein.

The Great Molasses Flood – January 15, 1919

Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. I know at first it might seem a bit ridiculous, but with a little research it’s easy to see how disastrous this event really was.

It happened midday on January 15 in the north end of Boston. A massive tank, containing over 2 million gallons of molasses, suddenly burst open, flooding the city with the force of a small tsunami about 12m high and 50m wide. The wave was so strong that it knocked over buildings and trapped people and horses beneath the rubble. The colder temperature made the substance particularly vicious, which might have been the reason this flood was so deadly. In total there were 21 fatalities and over 150 people were injured. The wreckage was immense, the recovery lasted for weeks, and to add to it all, the scent of molasses would remain for years after the disaster.

Nicole Sharp, an aerospace engineer from Denver was particularly fascinated by the physics of the phenomenon, and after building a model of the event, anticipates that the molasses could have been moving at a speed of 55km/h, surprisingly fast for a notoriously slow-flowing substance. 

There was an immediate dispute over the cause of the event, but it was mostly attributed to the poor structural design of the tank. The tank was hastily built the year of 1915, in an attempt to meet the increasing demand for industrial alcohol (made from the molasses), which could be used to manufacture explosives for the war effort. Unfortunately, the steel the tank was made from was too thin to actually support a full tank of molasses, and was even cracked in some places. You would think that this would have raised some concern, but apparently it didn’t. 

Eventually responsibility for the event was pinned on U.S. Industrial Alcohol, the company with ownership of the tank, although it was never really clear who should have received the blame. 

The Great Smog – December, 1952

December 5, 1952 was a foggy day in London, England. This was not unusual for a city like London, known for its rainy and dreary weather, but it didn’t take very long for the fog to develop into something different entirely.

The fog started to take on a brownish-yellow tinge, and had the nauseating scent of rotten eggs. In some parts of the city it grew thick enough that people could not even see the sidewalk in front of them. Most Londoners on their way to work were forced to abandon their cars due to poor visibility, and it was recommended that children be kept home from school. To make matters worse, the smog coated everything in a greasy black residue, causing people to return home, faces covered with a soot-like substance.

The cause? A combination of the air pollution and temperature inversion. The harmful pollutants produced by London’s many industrial factories were unable to rise due to the temperature inversion, and there was no wind to diffuse the smog, causing it to hang in the air for a total of five days.

The health complications were extremely severe, especially for those with compromised respiratory systems, which was even more common in those days since smoking was a common habit. Seniors and young children were also among those who were most at risk, and unfortunately the Great Smog claimed many of their lives. It is estimated that this tragic event caused between 8000 and 12000 fatalities, and deaths related to bronchitis and pneumonia in London increased seven times over.

The fog finally lifted on December 9, when the wind picked up from the south, and London was returned to its normal state. This, however, was an eye-opening and historical moment that would cause people to examine the fundamental effects of toxic pollutants on human health and the environment. It also led to the Clean Air Act of 1956, and the transition from burning coal, to using electricity, oil, and gas, as alternative fuels. To summarize, this event made it blatantly obvious that industrial pollution has negative repercussions, just in case we needed to clear the air.
















The Dangers Of White Slacktivism

By Ally Krueger-Kischak

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, I think we’ve all seen these images thrown around people’s Instagram stories:

Part of me is overjoyed that white teenagers in semi-rural Ontario are finally becoming aware of the gross injustice that has been, and is being, perpetrated against people of colour, and are finally using their platforms to share their feelings surrounding the murder of George Floyd. I’m glad that people are taking this moment to mention on their social media that white privilege exists. I’m glad that there’s some form of general knowledge in our generation now that a man named George Floyd was murdered by a police officer and that that’s a bad thing. 

That’s good.

Here’s my problem, though:

This is a routine for us. Another innocent black man is murdered through police brutality. We share how “shocked and saddened” we are, post “#blacklivesmatter”, and move on with our day feeling like a better person. Posting about it automatically makes us allies, right? Wait six months, and another death gets coverage. We do it all over again. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Tamir Rice. George Floyd. Still shocked, still saddened.

We shouldn’t be shocked. We shouldn’t be saddened. We should be outraged, and we should do something.

Our thoughts and prayers can be with these men’s families, but thoughts and prayers won’t stop this from happening again, and again, and again. 

Simply posting that this makes us angry and sad isn’t enough – and it happens so often that it’s gained a name for itself; Slacktivism, meaning the support of a social justice initiative (in this case, ending police brutality) through social media or online petitions that involve minimal investment.

So what I’m saying is that right now, slacktivism is rampant. People are posting these stories being sad about the death, but there’s no follow up action. I know there’s the argument that it’s spreading awareness, but just spreading awareness isn’t enough. We need real action. So, how do we turn slacktivism into activism? How do we turn minimal investment into real investment in the cause? Here are four ways to do that:

1. Stay informed and educate yourself.

Learn Black History outside of Black History Month. Stay tuned into the news. Read books like Me And White Supremacy by Layla Saad and How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram Kendi. Ask yourself questions like: When did you hear about George Floyd’s murder? How did you hear about George Floyd’s murder? Had it not been posted about by one of your friends on social media, would you have ever known? Now think about all of the deaths that have gone without news coverage. Did you know that an innocent black woman, Breonna Taylor, was killed by police officers in March? Did you know that another innocent black man, Tony McDade, was killed by police officers just two days after George Floyd? 

2. Engage with the racist people you know and your friends that are silent right now.

This means more than just not engaging with your uncle’s Facebook post about Blue Lives Matter. To truly be part of the cause you must be willing to have those dialogues with your friends and family when they say or do things that show prejudice. Talk to your grandparents about the ways in which they speak about their neighbours of colour. Talk to your friend, who says the n-word when singing along to rap music. Opening those dialogues is essential and something that you can do that will make a difference.

3. Take your actions offline. 

What are you doing to actively be anti-racist that cannot be seen on social media? I think in quarantine that we all feel the urge to exhibit performative activism because it feels like we can do little else, but this could not be further from the truth. Many of us have more time on our hands than ever before. There’s little room to say that you’re “too busy” to email local politicians, call our crown attorneys, contact our local police chief and advocate for increased anti-racism training and body cameras when officers respond to a call (contact here). Donate to anti-racist initiatives that are working on the ground both in Minneapolis and locally. Support local anti-racism initiatives like the Waterloo chapter of Black Lives Matter (linked here). There are hundreds of suggestions on concrete, non-performative ways to support the movement within your grasp if you just search on google, and I’ve linked some lists of suggestions below:

4. Keep supporting after the news stops its coverage.

It shouldn’t require a viral act of police brutality for you to suddenly show your support of the movement. Continue checking the news, supporting black media, and continuing those conversations. We all must continue this momentum that we have started in order to make real and systemic change.

I hope that you take some of these suggestions to heart, or take five minutes out of your day to sign a petition or contact an attorney or donate. I believe that in this moment we are taking small steps in the right direction and that we have the ability to take bigger steps towards making substantive change. I believe that we can do this, and I ask all readers to seriously consider how you can contribute to this movement today. Thank you.

22 Television Shows You NEED To Watch During Quarantine

By Madison Russell 

1. Stranger Things: This thrilling Netflix original drama stars Golden Globe-winning actress Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, who lives in a small Indiana town in 1983 – inspired by a time when tales of science fiction captivated audiences. When Joyce’s 12-year-old son, Will, goes missing, she launches a terrifying investigation into his disappearance with local authorities. As they search for answers, they unravel a series of extraordinary mysteries involving secret government experiments, unnerving supernatural forces, and a very unusual little girl. 

2. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: This adaptation of the “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” tale is a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror and the occult. In the reimagined origin story, Sabrina Spellman wrestles to reconcile her dual nature, half-witch, half-mortal, while standing against the evil forces that threaten her, her family including aunts Hilda, Zelda and the daylight world humans inhabit. 

3. Outer Banks: A teenager enlists his three best friends to hunt for a legendary treasure linked to his father’s disappearance.

4. Designated Survivor: As a lower-level cabinet member, Tom Kirkman never imagined something would happen that would catapult him to the oval office. When a devastating attack on the night of the State of the Union address claims the lives of the president and most of the Cabinet, the Housing and Urban Development secretary, who was named the designated survivor in case of such an event, finds himself promoted to leader of the free world. Suddenly thrust into his new position of power, Kirkman struggles to keep the country from dissolving into chaos and must adjust to his new normal, unaware of what fresh horrors may await the United States.

5. The Society: Busloads of Connecticut high school students head off for an extended camping trip, but a storm forces them to return home. Upon their return, the teens realize that all of the town’s adults are gone in this modern take on “Lord of the Flies.” Their newfound freedom is fun at first, but it quickly becomes dangerous. While they struggle to figure out what has happened to them and how to get the town back to normal, the teens must establish order and form alliances in order to survive.

6. Greenhouse Academy: Almost a year after their astronaut mother’s tragic death, brother and sister Hayley and Alex Woods begin to attend an elite boarding school for future leaders. They uncover a deadly plot to destroy the planet. Only by joining forces, will they be able to save the world.

7. New Girl: Jess, a middle-school teacher, moves into an apartment with three men after she finds her boyfriend with another woman and breaks up with him.

8. Dare Me: Dare Me is an unflinching exploration of volatile female friendships, jealousy, loyalty and the dynamics of power in a small Midwestern town. Peering behind the all-American facade, the series dives into the cutthroat world of competitive high school cheerleading, following the fraught relationship between two best friends after a new coach arrives to bring their team to prominence. Part coming-of-age story, part small-town drama, part murder mystery, Dare Me exposes the physical and psychological extremes that some young women are willing to endure to get ahead.

9 The 100: A nuclear conflict has decimated civilisation. Ninety-seven years later, a spaceship accommodating humanity’s lone survivors despatches 100 juvenile delinquents back to the Earth.

10. Tiger King: An exploration of big cat breeding and its bizarre underworld, populated by eccentric characters.

11. Grey’s Anatomy: Surgical interns and their supervisors embark on a medical journey where they become part of heart-wrenching stories and make life-changing decisions in order to become the finest doctors.

12. Modern Family: Three modern-day families from California try to deal with their kids, quirky spouses and jobs in their own unique ways, often falling into hilarious situations.

13. Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Ray Holt, an eccentric commanding officer, and his diverse and quirky team of odd detectives solve crimes in Brooklyn, New York City.

14. Friends: Follow the lives of six reckless adults living in Manhattan, as they indulge in adventures which make their lives both troublesome and happening.

15. YOU: What would you do for love? For a brilliant male bookstore manager who crosses paths with an aspiring female writer, this question is put to the test. A charming yet awkward crush becomes something even more sinister when the writer becomes the manager’s obsession. Using social media and the internet, he uses every tool at his disposal to become close to her, even going so far as to remove any obstacle –including people — that stands in his way of getting to her.

16. Elite: When three working-class teens enroll in an exclusive private school in Spain, the clash between them and the wealthy students leads to murder.

17. The Stranger: A web of secrets sends family man Adam Price on a desperate quest to discover the truth about the people closest to him.

18. The Crown: Based on an award-winning play (“The Audience”) by showrunner Peter Morgan, this lavish, Netflix-original drama chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy) from the 1940s to modern times. The series begins with an inside look at the early reign of the queen, who ascended the throne at age 25 after the death of her father, King George VI. As the decades pass, personal intrigues, romances, and political rivalries are revealed that played a big role in events that shaped the later years of the 20th century.

19. The Last Kingdom: During their invasion of England, the Danes capture Uhtred, a young successor of Saxon earldom, and raise him as their own. Years later, Uhtred’s loyalties are put to the test by the Danes.

20. The OA: In addition to her role as creator and executive producer of this mind-bending series, Brit Marling also plays the role of Prairie Johnson, a young woman who returns home after a 7-year disappearance. Her sudden return is not the only miraculous occurrence: everyone is shocked to learn that Prairie is no longer blind. While the FBI and her parents are anxious to discuss Prairie’s disappearance, she won’t talk about what happened during the time that she was missing. Zal Batmanglij, the co-creator and an executive producer of the series, is the director of every episode.

21. The Office: A motley group of office workers go through hilarious misadventures at the Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.

22. Zoo: American zoologist Jackson Oz and his friends, Abraham, Chloe, Mitch and Jamie, who are animal lovers try to investigate the reason behind rising animal attacks.

Things To Do During Quarantine

By Madison Russell 

Over the last several months people have been in quarantine, it has gotten boring or stressful in everyone’s lives. I do say before going into the list of things to do during quarantine that I want to say a big thank you to all the front line workers.


  • Nurses + Doctors
  • Police
  • Banks
  • Trucking Companies(They still have to go over to the US)
    • Confirmed Cases: 1.33 Million 
    • Today Cases(May 9th @ 2:24pm): 27,518

Now here’s a list of the top 10 activities, crafts, etc to do during this time if you get bored or stressed and want to relieve that.

  1. Create New Routines: This helps with self esteem if that means doing workouts everyday or starting a healthy diet.
  2. Start a Journal or Blog: Writing your feelings and what you did that day will totally help you mentally and emotionally when wanting to get things off your chest you feel like you can’t tell anyone like parents or siblings.
  3. Start A New Television Show: There is lot’s of new shows that Netflix and Amazon Prime are giving kids and adults like Tiger King, and Outer Banks(never seen it but has been gaining lots of positive feedback. Will totally make another article on Show’s You Must Watch).
  4. Paint: There are lots of Painting Hacks on Youtube and Tik Tok that are coming out that people are doing. You can get a new strength for your resume or profile for dating apps.
  5. FaceTime Friends: Everyone knows we can’t be near our friends so why not FaceTime them. If you don’t have an Apple product then I suggest using the app Zoom or House Party.
  6. Start Writing: Start embracing your creative writing skills by writing a short story or a novel. It’s a great way to help with grammar, spelling and creativity.
  7. Bracelets: You’re never too old to pick up your String or Rainbow Loom and start making bracelets again.
  8. Baking: Start exploring different cultures of food and kinds of food you wouldn’t normally eat(ie. Go to the website: www.hellofresh.com They have easy and healthy weekly meals for the entire family. It usually sends 3 suppers a week).
  9. Try Learning Pig Latin: A simple and easy language anyone can master.
  10. Learn Martial Arts: Online courses are available on websites. 

10 Types of People in a Pandemic

By Ally Krueger-Kischak 

  • The News Junkie

Entire days of your life can be devoted to staying informed on the most recent news on the pandemic – at this point you know every health official’s name, their favourite shirt, the colour of their living room walls, and the names of their kids that they shush as they’re delivering their daily news briefings. You catch the CBC news briefing while eating breakfast. You watch European news briefings from Spain, Italy, and the UK while queueing up the Canadian press conference roster for the day. At 11:00 you watch Trudeau, and quickly switch channels to catch the Region of Waterloo briefing at 11:30. At 12:00, you watch cabinet ministers give their spin on the stats, and at 1:00 you watch our Premier give province-wide updates. At 3:00 more officials in Ontario give their interpretation of the stats – you’re watching. In the evening you watch the White House press briefing, PBS NewsHour, the National, the list goes on and on. You go to sleep, dream of press conferences, and wake up to do it all over again the next day.

  • The Stockpiler/Doomsday Prepper

Doomsday Preppers, your time has come. The piles of canned beans and dried rice you’ve been hoarding ever since you first watched The Walking Dead are finally paying off. You haven’t left the house in three weeks – your stockpiles should last you at least another 4 months. You’re on Part 4 of a 40-point plan on how to survive a pandemic and are prepared for anything that’s thrown at you, be it zombies, a nuclear bomb, an alien invasion, or all three combined. Your doomsday bunker is well stocked with 1980s apocalypse movies and board games to keep you occupied.

  • The Totally Oblivious One

Wait, what’s the difference between coronavirus and covid-19? What’s a quarantine? You have no idea. You haven’t turned on the news since you accidentally pressed the wrong button while scrolling through the TV menu six years ago. Why is everyone so worried about this pandemic thing anyways? It’s not like it’s anywhere near us. You don’t mind the time off school – but you don’t really understand why we’re doing it. Everytime a coronavirus notification or news video pops up on your Instagram feed you scroll past – you don’t need that kind of stress in your life. 

  • The Homeschooler

You’re panicking over your midterm marks and have calculated your average six times in the past two days – only a 98??? You’ve already worked through all 36 of the eLearning courses offered by the Ministry of Ed and have audited three university courses. You’re determined to keep learning even if your teachers are only giving you three hours of work per week – John Green of CrashCourse has become your new best friend, and you’ve read all the textbooks you managed to bring home cover-to-cover two times now. You don’t know what you’ll do with yourself if Ford extends the back-to-school date past May 4th – probably cry.

  • The Couch Potato

You haven’t left your bed in three days and have managed to binge the entirety of Friends for the fifth time since the quarantine began. You haven’t really done any school work in the last month aside from what’s absolutely necessary – at this point you’ve forgotten pretty much everything you learned in the first month of the semester. Linear relations? Huh? You don’t know her. Netflix, YouTube, and TikTok are your holy trinity. 

  • The Germaphobe

You wish you could bathe in hand sanitizer every night – this pandemic is your worst nightmare. As a germaphobe, this shortage of cleaning supplies is horrible – especially right now. Contactless delivery is a godsend. You’re definitely one of the people who has made their own mask and wears it regularly whenever you have to go outside. Six feet? You’re giving everyone at least ten feet. You follow all healthcare recommendations and wash your hands constantly.

  • The TikToker

You haven’t done anything more than the minimum in terms of learning in your classes, but you have managed to learn five new TikTok dances since quarantine began. You’re still trying to get onto the For You page without success – at this point you have every song on TikTok memorized. You’ve heard the Stardust LEDs ad at least 20 times in the last week, and will no doubt hear it 20 times more before the next week is over. You “didn’t even notice” that you spent four hours straight on TikTok a few days ago. 

  • The Athlete

Staying at home is not your cup of tea…or cup of protein shake. You’re struggling with minimizing your time outside – it’s hard to social distance when running! At-home workouts are now your new focus – you weight lift using the strangest objects, and have tried to get into a bunch of new types of exercise – zumba, yoga, you’ve tried them all.

  • The Online Shopper/The Renovator

You miss the malls desperately and spend hours scrolling through Amazon every day – at this point, the need for retail therapy is definitely there. You’ve found yourself buying room decor to make being stuck at home more tolerable, and buying new outfits for when you can finally go to events again – or at least look fashionable for your next zoom meeting.

  • The Rule-Breaker

You just got back from your vacation in Florida and yeah you’ve got a bit of a sore throat and a bit of a sniffle, but you’re sure it’s nothing. Anyways, you’ve got to get groceries right? French-vanilla coffee creamer is an essential part of your life – if that means you put everyone at the neighbourhood Sobeys at risk, so be it. 

Although this was a lighthearted article, in all seriousness please do not be the Rule-Breaker or the Totally Oblivious One – staying informed and following government orders is not optional right now. We all need to be paying attention to the news and following the recommended guidelines. Maintain six feet of distance when outside, wash your hands regularly, and do not touch your face. It is essential that we do this to flatten the curve. It is up to us to make a difference.

70 Things to do in Quarantine

By Say-So Staff

(Note: I apologize for the poor formatting-Wordpress is very limited in this regard)

Self-quarantining isn’t exactly ideal, but when a global pandemic calls, what can you do? No seriously, what can you do? Nothing it seems. With everything closed, I think we’re all suffering from a bit of self-isolation boredom. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months… what is it? March 35th? But if you’re out of ideas, there’s no need to worry! We’ve compiled a list of 70 different things you could be doing while you’re in quarantine. So let’s get started:

  1. Read a book or listen to an audiobook. Sometimes it’s fun to read something longer than an Instagram caption. 
  2. Watch a documentary.
  3. Listen to a podcast.
  4. Play a board/card game. This is your chance to get through an entire game of Monopoly. 
  5. Cook something. It could be a new recipe you’ve always wanted to try, an old recipe you haven’t made for a while, or something from that cookbook you’ve had forever but never used. Up for a challenge? Channel your inner Bobby Flay and put your culinary skills (or lack of) to the test → https://www.foodnetwork.ca/kitchen-basics/photos/most-difficult-dishes-to-master/
  6. Make a time capsule or write a letter to your future self. Then, 20 years from now, you can reminisce about all those happy quarantine memories. 
  7. Go through photos on your phone. Delete some so you stop getting that notification that says you have no storage. 
  8. Try some yoga. There are lots of free classes online! We’ll get you started:
  1. Paint your nails.
  2. Redo your morning or evening routine. 
  1. Drink a cup of tea.
  2. Write a math contest. You know, if that’s your thing.
  3. Workout. Or try some zumba if you’re feeling adventurous. 
  4. Go for a bike ride.
  5. Try a new hairstyle or makeup look. Go bold. Nobody’s going to see it!
  6. Take a free online course. You could literally go to Harvard.
  1. Make a family tree and discover some new relatives.
  2. Have a dinner party with your friends/family over video.
  3. Watch a movie with your friends using Netflix Party.
  4. Clean out your closet.
  5. Watch the sunrise/sunset. Even if it means you have to wake up before noon.
  6. Do some journaling or start a bullet-journal. 
  1. Apply for scholarships (there are some you can apply for as early as grade 9!!)
  2. Take a virtual tour of a museum/zoo/aquarium. 
  1. Organize your binder/pencil case. For all that school work you’ve been doing at home!
  2. Make a list. Here is a list of some things your could make a list about:
  • Goals for this week/month/year
  • Unanswered questions
  • Favourite memories
  • Things that make you happy
  • Things you are thankful for
  • Books you want to read/movies you want to watch
  • Travel bucket-list
  • Things to do while you’re in quarantine
  1. Read/watch a series. Here are some of our favourites:
    • Harry Potter
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • The Great British Bake-Off
    • Narnia
    • The Office
    • The Avengers
    • Mission Impossible
  1. Make a photo album or scrapbook. Even if you’re not an artist, it could still be fun to look through old photos.
  2. Go for a walk. I know, you’ve already done that, but maybe you could go somewhere new. Discover a new subdivision. Or, if you live in the country, a new… cornfield? I don’t know, it could be fun.
  3. Make breakfast for your family. And eat it with them too. 
  4. Visit tourist attractions on Google Earth. You’ll be the only person at Disney World.
  5. Do a puzzle. Jigsaw. Crossword. Sudoku. Word Search.
  6. Learn something new:
  • Morse code
  • How to play solitaire
  • Study for the (recently postponed) UW Brain Bee
  • Speed reading
  • How to change a flat tire/do basic car repairs
  • CPR or First Aid online
  1. Memorize something:
  • Digits of pi
  • Elements of the periodic table (it’s a super cool party trick)
  • The names of countries and their capitals (and how many Covid-19 cases they have)
  • The flags of each country
  • The names of all the bones in your body
  1. Wash your hands. Do it. Right now https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html
  2. Knit, crochet, sew, origami, calligraphy, paint. If you’re feeling crafty. 
  3. Play an instrument, learn how to play an instrument (the recorder doesn’t count), or practice an instrument.
  4. Sing. How about some karaoke?
  5. Write a letter. Grandparents love that kind of stuff. 
  6. Do some online trivia to test your knowledge. 
  7. Enter a free writing contest. 
  1. Meditate.
  2. Listen to some old CDs, if you still own some of those.
  3. Decide what you want to do with your life. Make some goals, research post-secondary options, look into possible careers. 
  4. Learn a card trick. Thanks YouTube.
  5. Have an indoor picnic. Or have one in your backyard.
  6. Go for a drive.
  7. Learn a new language, sign language, or accent. 
  8. Start a blog/vlog.
  9. Do a facemask.
  10. Plan a future trip. Even if you never get to go on it. 
  11. Update your resume.
  12. Clean out/organize your email or Google Drive. 
  13. Create different playlists on Spotify/Apple Music.
  14. Have a backyard campout or campfire. 
  15. Colouring. You could use a colouring book or even an app.
  16. Read the news (do so with caution) or watch a political debate.
  17. Take a Buzzfeed quiz. They’ll know your age based on the type of salad you build.
  18. Write a short story (or a long story!). Need ideas? We’ve got you. 
  1. Study something new. 
  2. Watch the NBA 2K tournament. It’ll be the only game Kevin Durant plays this season.
  3. Take an online cooking class.
  4. Read your horoscope. Is this all bad luck, or is Mercury in retrograde?
  1. Write some positive messages with chalk on your sidewalk. 
  2. Learn a new TikTok dance. Renegade, renegade.
  3. Reach out to someone new via text message, Instagram, or Snapchat. Just to make sure they’re still alive or whatever. 
  4. Take an IQ test if you’re feeling brave. 
  5. Stay informed and watch a press conference live online! (the Region of Waterloo’s briefings are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 11:30 am, Trudeau’s briefings are at 11:15am daily, and Ford’s briefings are at 1:00pm daily – there are others throughout the week from specialty groups – ie. Public Health – CTV publishes a list of daily press conferences on the sidebar of this page daily: https://www.ctvnews.ca/ctv-news-channel)
  6. Read some student-written articles on the W-O Say-So. Your friends are more talented than you think.
  7. Write an article for the paper! We are always looking for new article writers, even if you just want to submit one article about a topic you’re especially passionate about. Email your submissions to joseph_cvetich@wrdsb.ca.

Thank you for tuning in! Remember to stay safe and keep looking out for each other! From a two metre distance of course….

In the Aftermath

By Mr. Cvetich

Of the many (hundreds? Thousands? Hundreds of thousands?) statements and observations I’ve heard or read about from the various politicians, media people, doctors, tweeters, etc. over the last few weeks, one that has stuck with me the most is that after we emerge/survive/recover from the events of the COVID 19 pandemic the world will be forever changed. We will not live our lives in the same way as we did pre-pandemic, but instead will live with a new state of ‘normal’. I’m sure this idea has been repeated many times in the postscript to what people considered world-altering events: the World Wars, 9/11, etc. But how much are human beings really capable of learning and changing? 

On a personal level, many people vow that after a brush with death or after the actual sudden or tragic death of a loved one, that they will slow down and live life more in the moment. They have realized that life is precious and fragile and can be taken from them at any time so they vow to spend more time with the people they love, doing more of the things they always wanted to do. After all, as the saying goes, no one ever claims on their deathbed, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.” Yet, how many people, once the shock wears off or the grieving period ends, actually do change their lives? How many people quit the tedious office or factory job they toil away at and pursue a more fulfilling, meaningful occupation? How many people get off of the earn-buy-consume rat-race cycle to spend more time with family and enjoy the simple pleasures of life? Most are encouraged-by family, professional or employer-to re-engage with the world, to ‘get over it’. Let’s face it, most people eventually continue their lives in more-or-less the same way they had before.

On a societal level, after events like the World Wars or 9/11, we vow to learn our lessons, to work towards agreements and find ways to make the world a safer, more secure place. We look at the numbers of our brothers and sisters, of the young and innocent, who were slaughtered and we vow their deaths will not be meaningless, that we will learn from their sacrifice and avoid similar fates in the future. After all of the marches and rallies for peace, all the negotiated arms treaties, all the hand-shakes and promises, humans are still killing each other in armed conflicts all over the world. People are dying as I write this, but we continue to talk about ‘evil’ enemies, ‘others’ who want to destroy ‘our’ way of life as if we’ve learned nothing from history. 

As we celebrate and cheer on the front-line workers during this crisis, everyone from health care workers to truckers, grocery store clerks to cleaners, when the crisis ends will we advocate for these professions? Will we support their efforts for better pay and benefits, when doing so will force prices of everyday products and services to go up? How many more parents will encourage their children to become truckers, lab technicians and cashiers instead of going to university? How many people will go back to complaining about the wait time at the doctor’s office, about the check-out person who got the change wrong, about the truckers clogging the lanes on the highway? 

The first few weeks after the social distancing restrictions are lifted we will emerge from our houses with relief and smiles on our faces. We will be kinder to each other, appreciating being allowed to gather and socialize once again. We will be thankful for each other, for shared meals, for birthday parties, for all the things we missed. How long will these feelings last? How long before we revert back to thinking about ourselves first, dismissing on social media those we disagree with? Complaining that others-teachers, postal workers, civil servants, librarians, day care workers-are greedy whiners and complainers, going on strike again to fight for better working conditions, but really just inconveniencing us? Will we truly emerge from the events of the COVID 19 pandemic to a changed world? Will we shift to a new ‘normal’? Just as it is up to each of us to stay home, self-isolate and flatten the curve, so it will be up to each of us to create and live a new ‘normal’. 


The Yemen Crisis

By Salma Abdelfattah

Ladies and gentlemen, our world is on fire. I’m not just talking about the literal fires that were previously burning the Amazon rainforest or those in Australia; I’m talking about the fires that are disintegrating our society yet most news outlets fail to shed a light on. This year alone, World War lll almost broke out, Australia was on the verge of burning down, and of course, the COVID-19 pandemic that we are currently experiencing. Although the world is more occupied with this epidemic, we cannot turn away from other issues that are happening around the world. It’s quite clear that there is a crisis happening on a global scale, so the real question is: why would I choose to dedicate an article about an issue happening in a little country in a time like this? The answer is rather quite simple. It’s because there is never a good time to talk about an issue happening in a nation with very little impact on the world. I know this is true because more than 14 million people are currently facing starvation and it’s mostly going unreported.

So how did this crisis start? In 2010, Yemenis began protesting for change as they were in opposition to their president, Ali Abdallah Saleh, charging him as a corrupt leader who was ultimately failing to serve the citizens of the nation and instead was concerned only for his own self-interest. So in 2011, he was forced to hand over his power to Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, but the population’s hope for change from the new president soon deteriorated. The state of the nation soon became worse than with the former president; there was mass unemployment, suicide bombings, and food insecurities which ultimately led to the war that divided the nation. The population was divided into two distinct political groups: the Houthis, a rebel group in opposition to the president and those loyal to former president Saleh, and the forces that supported the new government. Throughout a couple of months, the Houthi forces tried to take over the entire nation of Yemen and out of fear, Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia for assistance. Believing that the Houthis were a threat, Saudi Arabia created alliances in support of its military campaign to fight against the Houthis, including the United States, Britain, and France. These supporting nations provided weapons and intelligence resources. In 2015, a Saudi-led coalition took place where they attacked the entire nation of Yemen through bombardments, airstrikes, and more. More than 100,000 people were killed and around 3.5 million were forced to flee their homes.

Since the conflict escalated in 2015, millions of people have suffered extensive damage. The years of conflict ultimately caused the medical system in Yemen to collapse, resulting in poor treatment and arising health issues. Since 2016, there was a Cholera outbreak – an infectious disease that is caused by contaminated food and water containing a bacteria called Vibrio Cholerae – in the nation with more than two million cases of infection and 4000 deaths. Since two-thirds of the population doesn’t have access to clean drinking water, it makes them perfect targets for contracting the disease. Now, for an even more pressing issue: 70% of the population which is more than 20 million men, women, and children are experiencing malnutrition and food insecurities; with an even more horrific fact is that around 10 million Yemenis are on the verge of famine.

The purpose of this article is not simply to make you feel bad about yourself and about those who are victims of a political feud. The purpose is to show you, as a reader and a member of this society, how important it is to educate ourselves about what’s truly happening in our world because often we don’t get the full picture with media and news outlets controlling what we’re exposed to on a daily basis. We don’t know what kinds of information they can alter, what kinds of information they choose to display to the public, sometimes we don’t know anything. The world is always going to be occupied with something new and something that seems more significant, and simply because our current preoccupation is on the COVID-19 epidemic, it’s important that we do not turn away from an issue that has been happening for far longer.


Why is International Women’s Day still important?

By Ally Krueger-Kischak 

Happy belated International Women’s Day! For those of you that didn’t know, it was yesterday (Sunday, March 8th). I always take a moment on IWD to reflect on how I can be a better feminist, and this year I got to take that reflection further with the privilege of attending International Women’s Day conference at CIGI. I got to hear tons of amazing local feminists speak about everything from reproductive justice to LGBTQIA+ allyship. This got me thinking though – how does International Women’s Day apply here? In Canada? In Waterloo Region? In our school and in our rural (ish) setting?

The other day I was engaged in a conversation where someone asked me “Why do you think women still don’t have rights? Give me some actual examples.” I know and value this person I was speaking with, but I was absolutely gobsmacked that to some people it seems like we’ve reached gender equality. See, looking around us it’s easy to feel like we’re “there” in gender equality, but that is far from the truth. In that conversation I was able to share some stats about the pay gap and sexual assault cases to show that no, we’re still not equal, but that’s just surface level stuff that doesn’t always seem real to people. I feel like I could have done a better job in answering that question, and I feel that it ties in appropriately with celebrating and recognizing International Women’s Day.

“So Ally, what makes you say that women don’t have rights today?”

Ok, let’s start globally and work our way closer to home. Globally, one in every three women will experience violence against them at some point. At least four in every five will be sexually assaulted or harassed at least once during their life. In 2012, almost half of women murdered were killed by their partner or spouse. That number drops to 6% for men. As of 2016, only two countries have upper/lower parliamentary houses that are gender balanced (50+% women). In America, white women make $0.79 to every white man’s dollar. Black women make $0.67. Hispanic and Indigenous women make $0.58. What’s even worse is that the wage gap between white and non-white women is currently growing fast. Two thirds of people that are illiterate are women, and there are 63,000,000+ girls in the world right now that are missing out on an education just because of their gender. These stats are just the tip of the iceberg in how women are discriminated against across the globe. But quoting stats at someone until I turn blue isn’t really going to help, is it? Because none of that stuff really happens here, right?

Wrong. In Canada, we struggle with anti-feminism and misogyny too. What if I told you that less than a third of women in Canada call themselves feminists? Even though we’re fresh out of an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls? Even when 300 women and girls are turned away from shelters in Canada each and every night because there’s no more room? Even when over half of Canadian girls aged 10-12 have already seen gender discrimination? But pointing out facts about our country until I turn blue isn’t really going to help, is it? Because none of that stuff really happens here, right?

Wrong again. In Waterloo Region, misogyny is alive and well. It’s alive and well when you have to know a code name to get an abortion in this region, so that the doctors can identify genuine patients versus anti-choice advocates. It’s alive and well when we have to have posters up all over the region advertising how to avoid sex trafficking – like it’s our fault that we’re getting trafficked. It’s alive and well when the boys on the back of the school bus scream-sing about doing unspeakable things to girls, or when they rate us on a “bangable” scale. Lack of equal representation is alive and well when the mayors of Wilmot, Wellesley, Kitchener, and Waterloo are all men, and it’s alive and well when it took 44 years to get a woman on council in Wilmot Township. But telling stories about what’s happening immediately around us until I turn blue isn’t really going to help, is it? Because none of that stuff really happens here, right? 


I don’t know if we’re going to get to a place where men and non-men (it’s important to recognize gender non-conforming and non-binary identities too!) are truly equal in my lifetime. What I do know is that it’s important for all of us to make a conscious effort to remain educated on gender equitable and intersectional feminism, because if one group isn’t equal, it affects all of us. Although it’s awesome to celebrate IWD and how far we’ve already come, we have to recognize there’s still a long way to go.