Column: A good outlook for this summer

Destiny Blanchard

As COVID cases go down and the number of people qualified to get the vaccine goes up there’s a general excitement for the potential of summer 2021. I think that this summer will be an opportunity for most people to make up for the past year. Many of us missed out on memories being made and adventures being taken and this summer could allow for us to take back those memories.

I’d encourage everyone to safely plan for a long and enjoyable summer. I’m just now getting reconnected with the idea of vacationing with my family and friends and having days that seem like they last forever. Although many restrictions will still be in place soon everyone will be able to go out and enjoy themselves in the way we used to.

It’s possible that my outlook for the summer is overly optimistic as there is a possibility that we could still have a summer similar to the previous year. The downside of COVID restrictions becoming looser is that many people will take that as an opportunity to slack off on being safe.

There’s no telling how many people will stop wearing their masks in public, not continue being socially distant or not get the vaccine altogether. Out of my own fear I plan on mainly spending my summer with family and a handful of close friends rather than flock to the overly-crowded beaches and densely-packed bars.

I think this experience overall has changed how we as a society choose to socialize. We may prioritize certain places or people over others. We may also question the things we used to find enjoyable. While I used to love going for a day of shopping with friends, I am completely fearful of doing so at the overcrowded shopping malls in Chicago. And while I wouldn’t mind cooling off in the pool with my family, the idea of sharing open water with a bunch of strangers sounds absolutely heinous.

I question how long we will remain hesitant about existing around people who are just being people. Will we continue to glare at people who sneeze or cough in public without covering their mouths? Maybe instead we’ll laugh as we look back on the incredibly rare shared experience we’ve all had. I look to this summer with a feeling of optimism and the hope that we all have good things coming our way.

 

Destiny Blanchard is a junior management major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]