Best Outdoor Family Fun in Fall Saturday, Oct 17 2020 

Outdoor fun is all the rage in 2020 and we don’t have to tell you why! Let’s take a look at some amazing places to visit with your family that are right here around Louisville. With school looking so different in 2020, we want to highlight some places near Louisville where you can get outside, away from the offices and [...]

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Good intentions lead to reckless results Tuesday, Sep 1 2020 


 By Zachary Baker–

The number of COVID-19 cases in the city of Louisville has been fluctuating in the recent weeks. With schools going back in session, including those that meet in-person, we’re likely to see an increase in cases.

With higher possibilities of an outbreak starting on campus, the student body is looking to the U of L administration for guidance. Instead of proper guidance, the university is changing their policies without warning. This may cause the predicted viral outbreak. 

Before classes began, the administration’s response to the Student Government Association’s letter stated their desire to follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s federal recommendation by not requiring mass testing. 

“We have a robust plan for testing and tracing, and we are urging everyone to get tested. But the CDC specifically states that mandatory testing is not advisable, and multiple lines of evidence demonstrate receiving a negative test encourages risky behavior and has been the direct cause of many outbreaks,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Beth Boehm in a letter to the SGA.

That is a stark difference from an email sent on Aug. 23 that stated within the coming week that testing will be required for all students and faculty. 

This move by the university seems to be with good intentions to protect the student body. But despite efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, their choice of actions may cause a viral outbreak on campus. 

It is important to understand why the federal guidelines said to not require testing: it would encourage negative behaviors within the student body. A group of people who did not want to be tested may receive a negative test and likely decide it is not dangerous to have a party or something similar. 

All it takes is one false negative or someone not yet tested to interact with that group and then you will have people with a “negative test” spreading COVID-19 to many others with negative tests. 

While testing can make us safer, the people most likely to be tested are the ones who wish to also self-isolate afterward. Those who do not want to be tested are likely to not follow the recommended guidelines set forth by the administration. 

Testing has been provided by the university within the first week and the administration has been posting a weekly COVID-19 positive test counter on the U of L website. Until Aug. 25, the counter only listed 53 positive cases.

There are many on-campus who wish to keep themselves and others safe by getting tested, but the university has not been very open about the processes. The positive test counter is not being updated frequently enough to promote confidence in the student body, and the contradictory language by the administration has caused unneeded stress instead. 

“A daily tracker would be invaluable to students who are deciding daily whether it’s safe to go to class in person,” tweeted senior engineering major Emily Walter on Aug. 22.

“We’re still only getting weekly updates, and that’s frankly unacceptable. While I’m thankful our cause count only rose to 90 in the last eight days, it could have been so much worse.”

She added that while she believes U of L is handling safe classroom procedures, they are failing in informing students.

Junior Kirandeep Kaur said that she took a COVID-19 test on Aug. 21, got the results Aug. 22, then was told on Aug. 23 that the mandatory testing protocol would require her to get tested again within the next week.

Let’s say, hypothetically, that the poor communication and the risks proposed by students going out after negative testing are worth it if the testing makes us safer. The issue is that the administration’s sudden change in policy has led to a dangerous testing area set up without realistic prep time. 

Today, students went to receive tests at the Student Activity Center testing area. In that one room, there were dozens of students in non-socially distanced space. If at least one is positive then they risk causing an outbreak at the testing sites.

Three weeks ago, we started classes with the expectation the administration is following CDC guidelines to protect us.

As the weeks went on, many students grew concerned with a lack of updates on positive test results. 

Now, despite any good intentions by the administration, the student body is likely more at risk by these changes. We can only hope that this sudden change will not be the cause of a viral outbreak on campus.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Mental health tips to stay healthy during COVID-19 Tuesday, Aug 25 2020 

By Catherine Brown–

It is often easier to worry about the physical precautions that we should take during the pandemic. Washing your hands, wearing a mask and social distancing in public are clear ways to care for yourself and others. But when it comes to mental health, it might not be as easy to spot the concerns.

As college students, many of us already probably struggle to get out of bed in the morning. Adding on a global pandemic certainly doesn’t make it any better.

Here are some tips for taking care of yourself during a stressful global pandemic:

 

Watch for signs of mental distress.

The CDC suggests ways in which you can identify signs of distress. Some of these signs can include fear or worry about your financial situation, or your or someone else’s health, changes in sleeping patterns and difficulty concentrating. 

Seek professional help if you or a loved one are experiencing any of these signs and they persist for several days leaving you unable to perform your normal responsibilities. The University of Louisville’s Counseling Center is available by phone at 502-852-6585 on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Refrain from reading the news too much.

Syndicated news channels spin the news in their favor. Stories about tragedies related to the virus can incite panic and negative emotions. The CDC recommends taking healthy breaks from social media and television reports about the pandemic. 

When you do use social media, be sure to verify your news sources.

Local governments will usually have the most up-to-date information. Don’t read too heavily into the information you see posted on social media. Anyone can post false information on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc. Don’t fall into the traps of clickbait news. By carefully choosing your sources of news, you can prevent stumbling upon false information that could cause worry.

 

Take time to enjoy activities while socially distancing.

Practice hobbies that can keep you socially distanced, but can still be done with friends. Some hobbies can include reading, writing, drawing or even coding.

U of L Counseling Center Director Aesha Uqdah gave students tips for coping with the pandemic, such as being creative at this time. 

“Engaging in creative activities can reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Creating some sort of art or writing can help you process your emotions in a productive way. It can also produce calming effects on your brain and in the body,” Uqdah said.

The Counseling Center is hosting virtual group art therapy sessions on Fridays from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. starting Sept. 18. 

On Aug. 25, U of L is hosting a virtual RSO Fair for students to become involved in their Louisville community. This is an opportunity for students to look for activities that can let them separate from classwork.

 

Keep in touch with friends and family.

Take time to text, call or video chat your friends and family. Touch base with the people you care most about and let them know that you are alright. This could relieve worries for those of us who become preoccupied with the wellbeing of loved ones.

Take care of yourself physically too.

If you aren’t taking care of yourself physically, chances are your mental health will be affected. Eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, and keep up a regular sleep schedule. 

U of L’s Belknap campus has plenty of walking trails. With approximately 274 acres of land, the downtown campus is perfect for students looking to get some exercise into their day. Even walking from campus housing and between buildings can improve physical health. Improving physical health will improve mental health.

Make sure you put your health first. It might seem more worthy of your energy to worry about others. However, if you aren’t taking care of yourself, you can’t put in your full effort to take care of those around you.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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You can hang out with friends, just be six feet away Friday, Aug 21 2020 

By Grace Welsh- 

With the current pandemic, it’s no secret that life on campus will look a lot different this year. In general, the more contact there is with others, the more chances there are of transmitting the virus. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Kentucky governor Andy Beshear highly suggest that people stay away from groups as much as possible. However, if the decision to socialize in public activities is made, here are some tips from the CDC about what can be taken to keep everyone and the community healthy.

First, know the facts about the virus.

COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets, so it transmits easily through person to person contact. It can also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces, so it’s important to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When on the go, hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of at least 60% will also be effective against the virus. Be sure to also cover coughs and sneezes with an elbow.

Physically distancing at least six feet (about two arm’s length) from people that may be ill is effective in preventing the virus from spreading. But, since there is no guarantee that someone is not an asymptomatic carrier, wearing a mask is essential.

Even if you don’t feel sick, wearing a mask is an effective measure to make sure you don’t transmit the disease to other people, especially those with weaker immune systems. Keep your mouth and nose covered and make sure you continue to physically distance from others.

Sophomore Nick House said asking folks to wear their masks is not too much to ask.

“Sometimes I have a hard time recognizing my friends when their faces are covered, but it’s worth it so I can keep my community safe,” House said.

House said that he’s felt comfortable enough to hang out with a small group of friends but won’t participate in any major social events.

“I think it’s up to me to take care of myself and I trust that the people I surround myself with will do the same,” he said.

The CDC also recommends frequently disinfecting commonly touched surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, light switches, and cell phones.

Be on the lookout for symptoms such as fever, cough, congestion, nausea, shortness of breath, chills, muscle aches, or fatigue, and stay home if you feel sick.

Free testing will be offered to University of Louisville students at the Student Rec Center until Monday the 24th. For testing after that date, please visit https://louisville.edu/coronavirus/health-protocols#testing or contact Campus Health at 502-852-6446 or hlthoff@louisville.edu.

File Graphic//The Louisville Cardinal

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Five months later, social distancing still applies Tuesday, Aug 18 2020 

By Grace Welsh–

There’s no debating that the last five months of our lives have been full of uncertainty and confusion. We are living through events that no one alive has experienced before.

With the start of a new school year and students returning to campus, the temptation to socialize in big groups is strong. However, it is imperative that we limit these gatherings for the sake of our community. 

Earlier this month, an off-campus party was linked to 29 cases of COVID-19 in U of L athletes. Officials in the department have suspended workouts for men and women’s soccer, field hockey, and volleyball for the next week. They have also dismissed the three men’s soccer members that were responsible for organizing the party.

In a press release last Tuesday, U of L’s Athletic Director Vince Tyra said he was disappointed by the athletes actions. 

“It is clear that these student-athletes did not meet the code of conduct of the university or their team,” Tyra said. “Ignoring the safety protocols issued by federal, state and local officials, as well as the athletic department, is unacceptable and dangerous. Their history of actions are not in alignment with the values of this university and athletics department.” 

A majority of the 29 cases were asymptomatic, but the virus is not something to be messed with. 

The CDC reports that older individuals and those with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk for long-term respiratory, cardiovascular and kidney damage from the virus. So, while you may be fine if you contract the virus, others may not be. 

“Time and time again, it’s shown that transmission is ongoing before we have a grasp of the numbers,” said Erin Welsh, a candidate in disease ecology and host of This Podcast Will Kill You. “This is due to slow testing, transmission before symptoms, and the high numbers of asymptomatic individuals.” 

Because of the high rate of asymptomatic cases, it is impossible to tell who is infected and who is not without a test. Therefore, it is best to keep the parties to an absolute minimum. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear highly encourages gatherings of no more than 10 people. 

A party with just one or two infected individuals can be deadly when the newly infected people go out in the community.

We don’t know how long it will take for things to return back to normal. Until then, it’s important that we do our part to exercise necessary health precautions. Wash your hands frequently, wear a mask in public and stay at least six feet apart from others. 

We are all in this together.

Let’s all put in the effort to stay home so we can protect our community and slow the spread. While it is definitely tempting to socialize with everyone you missed over quarantine, that doesn’t mean the virus isn’t still a prevalent part of our lives.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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NTI Childcare and NTI Camps in Louisville Thursday, Aug 13 2020 

Many parents are seeking information about NTI Childcare or NTI Camps for their kids for the 2020-2021 school year We have researched businesses and organizations that are offering childcare services for virtual learning.  NTI Childcare is a very big concern for many Louisville parents. Businesses and organizations are innovating to provide camps or other forms of childcare to help parents [...]

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Ultimate Field Trip Guide for Kentucky Tuesday, Aug 11 2020 

Field trips in Kentucky can be a great way to enjoy our region with your family. And, involving learning in family fun allows kids to expand their perspectives. What are the best field trips in Kentucky? Some of them are the hidden gems that are less obvious options. We hope to showcase options for families to go learn and laugh [...]

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Buttermilk Falls – Day Trip to Brandenburg Kentucky Tuesday, Aug 11 2020 

Day Trip to Brandenburg, KY and Buttermilk Falls Brandenburg is in Meade County and is about an hour, maximum, from Louisville families. It offers parks and water fun for families to explore for a day trip. For us, day trips are all about learning and exercise. Buttermilk Falls Kentucky and Brandenburg provide that in one compact spot! All of this [...]

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Drive-thru Dinosaur event in Cincinnati Sunday, Aug 9 2020 

Jurassic Quest at Coney Island Amusement Park August 21 – August 30, 2020 Over 70 dinosaurs true-to-detail (and size) will be on display at this drive-thru dinosaur event in Cincinnati A drive-thru dinosaur event in Cincinnati will take place August 21-30, 2020. We have seen Jurassic Quest host indoor events and like most businesses, innovating is key for 2020 to [...]

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Farm Tour near Louisville with animal encounters Thursday, Aug 6 2020 

Black Horse Manor offers custom farm tours for families Alpacas, horses, donkeys, and other farm animals will greet you on this farm tour near Louisville.  On the edge of Shelby County and available for a farm tour near Louisville, you will find Black Horse Manor. Luckily, someone visit it recently and reached out to us to make the connection. We [...]

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