A Year Later

Last summer was a difficult time for many of us. Thankfully, this summer will look much more normal.


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This summer will look much more normal than last.

Sofia Brickner, Senior Staff Writer

Looking back to last year’s summer and comparing it to the transition now into this summer, I am so grateful that we are where we are now. After waiting almost a year of careful and vigorous planning by many in order to acquire a perfected vaccine for COVID-19, I have acquired a heightened appreciation for technology, science, and frontline/healthcare workers.

For me, the first thing that comes to mind about last summer was that it consisted mainly of plenty of socially distanced hangouts. Whether it was outside on the driveway sitting across from each other or in the park, it was strange and difficult for me to realize just how much of an effect COVID-19 had on everything from physically being near others to being more careful while being out and about. Due to this drastic change, the whole summer I constantly reminisced about normality which seemed to have been snatched out of lives and replaced with the monster that was COVID-19. It was all I could talk about with friends and family, and it was hard for me to wrap my head around the new normal that was wearing masks everywhere and reduced capacity practically everywhere I went.

Since our annual summer travels were out of the question, I was disappointed but understanding of the risk of airfare and traveling in general. Going out to eat and sitting down in a restaurant was off the table (no pun intended), and even ordering out still posed a notable risk that took a lot of convincing to make happen. Every time my family and I would get groceries from the store, each item was sanitized thoroughly and carefully before making it into our pantry or fridge.

With all the time I had, I took it upon myself to get into a new hobby, and I found myself spending a good bit of my summer learning and practicing skateboarding. Multiple days a week, I spent the afternoon into the evening skateboarding with my friends in the park away from other people. Bored at home, I also discovered my passion for video editing, as I got really into watching movies and wanted to showcase my appreciation for film through making edits. I made it my goal to make multiple edits a week, and my hard work paid off as my audience grew.

If there’s anything I can take away from last summer, it would be realizing the importance of selflessness in putting others’ health and safety first by wearing a mask and also not taking for granted the ability of being able to physically spend time with others with no limitations. However, without COVID-19, I don’t think I would have spent as much time as I did by myself — immersing in old hobbies and finding new ones to enjoy.

Comparing this summer, when I’m now fully vaccinated, to last summer when I was unvaccinated, I can say I am fully comfortable going out and safely attending crowded areas or events with lots of people. The lifting of restrictions, including restaurant capacity and mask wearing policies within certain areas and stores for those fully vaccinated, serves as a light at the end of the tunnel that was nowhere in sight last summer. As the lifting of restrictions continues to take place, we can only hope for our society to continue making educated decisions, stay informed, and do our best to cooperate.