Author Archives: Jacob Torres

Countries like Brazil (which the article focuses on) are being left behind in the race to treat & contain the coronavirus pandemic the world is facing. Most testing is being focused on American & European cities right now, and consequently this is also where many of the critical chemicals and testing kits are being sent to. Because of this, officials really don't have a good idea of how badly the virus is spreading through Brazil. To directly quote the article, "Testing is the first defense against the virus and an important tool to stop so many patients from ending up hospitalized."  Brazil is heavily reliant on international manufacturers for the chemicals and equipment needed to process the tests, so unfortunately there really isn't anything they can do about this unprecedented worldwide shortage.

To make matters worse, cities like Rio are famous for their favelas, in which large groups of people are living right on top of each other (literally) which provides the perfect breeding grounds for rapid spreading of the disease. Coupling this with the not-so-great track record of healthcare in this region, and there is some serious potential for a lot of people to suffer and die from COVID-19 in Brazil, and other developing countries around the world.

Gazprom is a Russian natural gas company who is Europe's largest and (mostly) cheapest supplier of natural gas. The reason Ukraine is involved is because they physically have the main pipelines running through their country, from Russia into Europe. Not too long ago Russia had been planning to completely cease the delivery of natural gas to Europe via Ukraine, instead opting for alternative pipelines they began constructing under Baltic sea, dubbed Nord Stream 2. This pipeline has been opposed by the US and sanctions against Russia forced their sub-contractors to cease construction of the pipeline, for now.

This new deal between Russia and Ukraine, which guarantees the continued use of these pipelines through the end of 2024, is important for multiple reasons:

  1. It ensures (at least through the end of 2024) that Europe does not have a massive shortage of natural gas, which would result in a huge energy crisis.
  2. As a part of this deal, Russia and Ukraine have both mutually agreed to drop various lawsuits held against each other relating to the pipelines. This alone is seen as a landmark move that could pave the way for a friendlier future between Russia and Ukraine.

Hello! I am a student at UAF who's kind of in a transitional phase right now, going from physics to chemistry. This course fulfills one of my GER credits and my girlfriend (a geography major) highly recommended this course from her personal experience with it. As you can probably tell I have a background in the physical sciences, so most of the stuff I'll be learning in this course is entirely new and unfamiliar to me! I watch some loosely geography-related YouTube channels such as Real Life Lore and Wendover Productions, but that's about the extent of my geography knowledge.

My three map locations are as follows:

Birthplace: Torrance, CA

Current residence: Fairbanks, AK

Place I wish to travel to: Tokyo, Japan (and also older towns away from the big city)