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North alumn Jesse Appell raises awareness about coronavirus

Comedian Jesse Appell 08 cracks a joke to audience members Wednesday, Feb. 12. (Photo by Jacob Zalis)
Comedian Jesse Appell ’08 cracks a joke to audience members Wednesday, Feb. 12. (Photo by Jacob Zalis)

Comedian Jesse Appell, ‘08, performed along with students, professional violinist Julia Glenn, and other speakers in Comedy for a Cause, a fundraiser for the fight against coronavirus Wednesday, Feb. 12 in the auditorium.

In response to the virus which put Wuhan, China in lockdown and has affected many globally, North’s Chinese teachers coordinated Comedy for a Cause to buy medical supplies such as masks for those in Wuhan.

Freshman Harold Purcell, who performed in the event with his Chinese class, said he admired the resilience of people from Wuhan.

“Jesse Appell has changed my view on how people are trying to find ways to stay happy and find the humor, which is what I really admire about them,” he said. 

In his performance, Appell discussed the cultural gap between China and America and his early days in China, including his first show. He then moved on to how people in Wuhan have responded to their quarantine.

Appell also presented a slideshow of various videos from Wuhan showing how the people on lockdown have responded to the crisis. Apart from Appell’s parody to Gangnam Style titled Laowai Style, the videos shown mainly focused on how people reacted to the disease, such as photos of people using fruit, ramen cups, and even bras as alternates to masks.

Chinese language students performed a song in Chinese with their class while dressed in red and black for a total of eight pieces among other acts.

Following the students, Glenn spoke about having to connect with violin students still in Wuhan over video call, and how she felt stranded in America.

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About the Contributor
Jacob Zalis
Jacob Zalis, News managing editor
Jacob Zalis is currently a senior at Newton North High School. Outside of school he runs track and field and cross country. In his free time he likes reading and watching movies. His favorite books are The Martian by Andy Weir and the entirety of the Captain Underpants anthology by Dav Pilkey. His favorite movies are 1917 and Ferris Bueler’s Day Off. In his free time Jacob enjoys biking, hanging out with friends, and listening to music (sometimes all at the same time). Some of his favorite artists include bbno$ and Bruno Mars. His favorite subjects are English and chemistry. He is looking forward to meeting everyone in the coming volume and having a great time writing for The Newtonite!
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