Ideas for a COVID-19 friendly summer

sun wearing a mask

Graphic by Kaylah Curley

Kaylah Curley, Staff Reporter

Cases of COVID-19 are leveling down in the United States, a promising sign for our second summer since the pandemic began. As more and more people are getting vaccinated, the CDC relaxed some safety guidances to adapt to the new circumstances.

At the end of the 2019-20 school year, there were only about 850,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Since then, national COVID cases climbed to more than 33 million. In recent months many around the world are getting vaccinated and doing their part in slowing the spread and lowering the risk of the virus.  

Summer is one of the only times of the year friends and families can get together and not have to worry about school or work. After being locked down in this pandemic for more than a year, many people are keen on visiting others. Although more people being vaccinated limits the risk of getting a severe case of COVID 19, everyone should be mindful of precautions when around others who may not be vaccinated.

Depending on whether you are vaccinated or not, some activities are safer than others. The vaccination process, which often includes a series of two shots, takes about five weeks for full immunity. Holding off on social gatherings and activities until after you are fully vaccinated may be the safest option. Advanced planning is key, so if you’re not fully vaccinated, wearing a mask and social distancing are still effective.

After a difficult year economically, many businesses and activities have adapted their services to better suit the circumstances of the pandemic.  Here are some things to think for a safe and great summer: 

Stay-cations: Traveling to another country or flying far distances by plane may not be the safest option during the pandemic, but staying local and finding new activities close to you is a win-win. Not only are you staying safe, but you are also helping to support businesses close to your home. 

Road trips: Of course staycations aren’t for everyone. Instead of being in close proximity with people you don’t know, a car ride with family significantly lowers the risk of exposure. You are able to enjoy your vacation with more independence and flexibility. This plan also avoids large airport crowds and scheduling stress. 

Visiting family: Summer break is the prime time to visit family and friends whom you haven’t seen in a while. Always be sure to check in with family in advance to make sure they are vaccinated to reduce contaminating others. 

With all these things in mind, we cannot forget that the pandemic is not over. We all must continue taking precautions and being responsible and realizing that  getting vaccinated is a critical step to beating the pandemic and enjoying a well-deserved fun summer.