Exposing Georgetown’s Biggest Super-Spreader (P.S. It’s Not Who You Think)

Every week, I look forward to one thing and one thing only (and no, it isn’t braving the weekend rush at Call Your Mother or laughing at the throngs of tweens crowding M Street in front of Brandy Melville). It’s the weekly emails telling the Georgetown students just how many COVID-19 cases we have. If you’re me, it’s almost like a guessing game. How many is it gonna be this week? More? Less? Although we all hope that the numbers go down (and that everyone is doing their job to stop the spread), no matter what the results are, one thing is certain: the off-campus students go above and beyond with their test results! At this point in the semester, you’d think the numbers might level out, and you’d be wrong. Why? Because no one’s bringing justice to Georgetown’s Biggest COVID-19 Super-Spreader: Chunky the Panda.

Instagram: @chunky_the_panda

At first glance, he seems innocent, sweet even. How could a cuddly little panda be the culprit of all these COVID cases?? Here I’ll examine just three of the ways this panda has gotten away with murder.

Exhibit A: The Tour

Chunky entered our lives in the beginning of 2020. With his first Instagram post, his purpose was to bring good vibes to Georgetown. However, he couldn’t stay put in DC for long. As Chunky gained clout on the Hilltop, he took action with his newfound fame. No, he didn’t go to Saddle Ranch to rub elbows with Bryce Hall, Addison Rae, and the rest of the TikTok teens; he went on tour. Chunky decided to reach out to his followers to try and hit all 50 states. Should we really be traveling like this during a pandemic, Chunky? Should we? Think about it.

Exhibit B: The Masks (or should we say lack thereof?)

Chunky is an avid Instagram poster (who can blame him), and in the last year alone he shared pictures of his adventures with his adoring fans a whopping 66 times!

It’s okay. I understand. Even I get excited when someone takes a good picture of me, but that isn’t the problem here. The panda is. Chunky is visiting new people almost every week, and only two of his 66 posts have him wearing a mask. Even giving Chunky the benefit of the doubt (stuffed panda sized masks might be hard to come by) seems a bit too hard; I hardly doubt Chunky’s COVID-19 pod is that large. At the very least give us the One Medical results, Chunky.

Exhibit C: The Vaccine

Instagram: @chunky_the_panda

You would think that Chunky getting vaccinated is a good thing! Wrong. Chunky is stealing vaccines from the elderly :( Not cool Chunky. Plus, I’m not a medical expert, but it seems like that vaccine next to Chunky wasn’t even punctured by a needle. Are they really injecting you Chunky? Or is this a photo-op to lead people off your trail as a super-spreader?? I’m inclined to believe the latter. Plus, this picture was posted Feb. 2, and it has been over a full month. Where’s the second dose Chunky? Oh wait, it isn’t there. Not even on your Instagram stories. Why? Because you didn’t even get the first one.

As we can see through my incredibly astute research, the reason the Georgetown off-campus community is still being hit by COVID-19 is due to none other than the last person (or sentient plush panda) we would expect, and honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if in Chunky’s next post we see him clubbing in Miami for Spring Break. I’m sure nobody would bat an eye.

Bao Bao is Working Overtime

Bao BaoThe world, or at least Washington, D.C., can’t get enough of Bao Bao. Your little black and white cookie, who you may have played a part in naming, is working hard for her money, so you better treat her right. In other words, you should go to visit her. Now.

You know when every old person tells you the story about that time they went to a Rolling Stones concert the night before a midterm rather than studying and it was one of the best decisions they ever made so you really shouldn’t take college so seriously? You don’t have a midterm tomorrow. The reading you’re doing probably isn’t necessary. Visiting Bao Bao may become one of the best decisions you ever make, and then when you’re an old person talking to a young college student you, too, can tell them about the wild and crazy time you cut class to see a panda.

Ready to go? Great.

According to DCist, Bao Bao is working extra hours for her debut, so you can see her at the National Zoo from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. starting Jan. 18. But by Jan. 21, Bao Bao’s visiting hours will start later, at 10 a.m. (Not that any of you will really get there earlier than 10 a.m., anyway.)

If you absolutely can’t make it, then you’ll totally be missing out, because anybody who’s anybody will be there. But I guess you can watch this video from the National Zoo instead to try and understand a bit of the adorable fuzziness you’re missing out on:

Photo: blogs.ft.com, Video: The Washington Post

The Naming of the Baby Panda is Here!

PandaThough many Hoyas are traveling home today and tomorrow for Thanksgiving, some will be staying on campus for the holidays. Fortunately, those of you who are here on the Hilltop will be able to spend your Sunday in a better way than most will: attending the naming ceremony of the National Zoo’s new baby panda!

Sunday will be the cub’s 100-day birthday, and the event will take place at 1 p.m. at the “Panda Plaza.” Sadly, the cub will not be present for her naming, but there will be music, dancing and Chinese treats provided by the Chinese embassy. While there, be sure to check out the adorable tiger cubs as well – and by the looks of things, they’re as playful as ever. So while all your friends are stuck in airports and train stations trying to get home Sunday, go enjoy yourself at the Zoo!

Photo: DCist

Name a Baby Panda!

panda

It’s so cute, I’m crying. The Smithsonian National Zoo, just around the corner in D.C., is deciding on a name for its baby panda bear. On December 1, when the baby panda turns 100 days old, she’ll officially be given one of these five names:

 precious, treasure.

arling, delicate flower. 

charming dragon.

Chinese warrior in the fifth century, who we all know and love from the Disney movie. Mulan also means magnolia flower.

 treasure or valuable. 

The best part? You get to choose which one the little cuddle bear gets! Well, it’s not completely up to you but you get to vote on it! You may know the tiny cutie pie from The Giant Panda Cam (no it’s not the camera that’s giant) that lives streams from the Smithsonian Zoo’s website and follows the baby and her mother throughout the day. If you’ve been watching that Panda Cam for a while I can imagine you’d be pretty attached because I fell in love with the little black and white cookie in the few minutes that it took to watch this video:

You can vote on your favorite name HERE! And if you really feel passionately about it (which I certainly do!) you can vote every 24 hours until November 22 when voting closes. Good luck choosing a name *cough* Long Yun *cough* and good luck trying to hold back tears in Lau as you watch that baby-mama-panda video over and over again.

Pandamonium! A New Baby Panda for the National Zoo

Get ready for a cute overload – a new giant panda cub was born late last night at the National Zoo. After her last cub was born in 2005, Mei Xiang has finally produced another tourist-attracting ball of fluff.

Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated back in April (in case you’re super interested in the details, the National Zoo livetweeted the whole thing), and gave birth at 10:46 PM on Sunday, surprising researchers at the Zoo. According to Post Local, caretakers expected another disappointment on the baby panda front.

Instead they wound up with a yet-to-be-named panda cub, who’s currently about the size of a stick of butter. Researchers won’t be able to see the new cub for a week or so while Mei Xiang protects her new baby, but they’ve heard little panda vocalizations. Maybe even a baby panda sneeze or two.

The last five years have been full of failed pregnancies for Mei Xiang, and there was talk of replacing the National Zoo’s pandas for a younger and friskier pair. But with a new cub, these pandas will be at the National Zoo for at least four more years. Plenty of time to watch the new baby grow up with brother Tai Shan.

This will be the second piece of baby animal excitement in recent news for the National Zoo – an adorable new dama gazelle was born last week.

Photo:Flickr