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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Molly Birch
Molly Birch
Editor-In-Chief

My name is Molly, and I am in my second year at NMU. I come from Midland, MI, probably one of the most boring places on earth. However, we do have the only Tridge in the world, so that’s pretty nifty...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Black Friday during a pandemic

Justin+Vant+Hof%2FNW%0A%0ASTILL+SHOPPING%E2%80%94+Despite+the+pandemic+many+stores+have+chosen+to+stay+open+for+black+Friday.+Many+are+offering+month+long+sales+rather+than+a+single+day.
Justin Van’t Hof/NW STILL SHOPPING— Despite the pandemic many stores have chosen to stay open for black Friday. Many are offering month long sales rather than a single day.

Thanksgiving was once a time of family, charity and coming together. Recent years have found the holiday in the shadow of the following day, with sizable discounts Black Friday has caused numerous deaths, shootings, and often stampedes capable of crushing individuals who shouldn’t have left the Thanksgiving table. This year there’s a bonus to the calamity—a pandemic currently infecting 10.5 million Americans as of November 12th, 2020, according to the CDC. Deaths are nearing 250 thousand, but Black Friday still seems to be happening, although with some adjustments.

Cyber Monday has been around for quite a few years now, Black Friday has followed this online format in some cases in the past, and for COVID-19, that has not changed. Many stores are continuing in-person sales however. Best Buy and Target have both made the decision to have deals all throughout the month rather than in a single day, both websites currently advertise “Black Friday deals now!” This may be an effort to limit the spread of the virus, though their websites do not explicitly say. 

In fact, according to the advertisement listings on https://blackfriday.com/ads/black-friday most stores have chosen to begin Black Friday now, or expand it into a week rather than a day. Still, it is the reader’s choice whether these deals are worth risking catching COVID-19 for. Cyber Monday is a much safer alternative for those who don’t want to run the risk of getting sick. 

Amazon is running their Cyber Monday deals from Nov. 28 through Nov. 30 and often features random discounts throughout the weekend. Many other companies are also offering Cyber Monday deals, some, like Target, are offering both Cyber Monday and Black Friday discounts. 

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The CDC has not issued a formal statement on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but has released a set of guidelines for Thanksgiving which may suggest Black Friday shouldn’t be happening this year. The chances of exposure to COVID-19 are at a serious increase during Thanksgiving, according to the CDC. With cases already rising exponentially, the guidelines set out by the CDC may be essential to limiting the spread of the virus. These guidelines can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html

Without a formal statement from the CDC it is hard to know what exactly to do for Black Friday. The option to go out anytime during the month for a deal is certainly a positive, but the risk is still there. The mass of crowds and news coverage often seen as early as the night of Thanksgiving is a scary thought this year. Despite the changes to Black Friday some deals will still be running on the day and there are certainly going to be people going out for them. It may be better to stay inside altogether and let the boxes ordered from Cyber Monday trickle in rather than risk increasing infection rates.
For more information on how to stay safe during the pandemic, guidelines and statistics go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

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