By: Lindsay Gordon
As the world continues to change around us because of the COVID-19 pandemic, people continue to remain optimistic about their summer plans. Many teenagers planned to go to camp, while adults planned family vacations and lots of time relaxing in the summer sun. However, because of the coronavirus, summer 2020 will look very different from the summers of the past. In recent months, camps have been canceled, and vacations have been delayed as coronavirus sweeps through the nation. In just this past month, almost every sleepaway camp in the northeast closed due to concerns about the coronavirus and how it can affect campers and staff while there. However, there still remain many camps that have chosen to stay open for summer 2020. The CDC released a “decision tree” that lists out all the guidelines for camps to open this summer in different steps and phases. One phase asks “should you consider opening?” with guidelines stating you can move to the next phase only if you are able to follow state government orders, protect the children and employees, and screen children and employees upon arrival for coronavirus symptoms. As sad as this harsh reality of no summer camp is, these guidelines provide hope and optimism to those who still want camp to open as they show a possibility of it happening.
However, it is not only the summer plans of kids and teens that have been affected. Adults, too, are suffering the consequences of the coronavirus during summer months. Many people have had to cancel vacation plans as vacation destinations remain closed, and social distancing guidelines are still effective in many places. However, some people still hold out hope for their vacation plans with the recently made changes to airlines’ seating and boarding processes. United Airlines and American Airlines stated that they would not permit middle seats to be purchased, and Delta Airlines stated it will put restrictions on the numbers of passengers. This provides travelers hope that their summer vacation may not be completely ruined and that there is still a possibility of it happening. Although many families struggle with their vacation planning during this time, parents, in particular, are predicted to struggle the most, especially with the closing of camps. Although more and more Americans continue to lose their jobs daily with unemployment rates reaching almost 15% percent in just the month of April, parents who still hold a job, but their kids do not have a camp to go to, will struggle to find childcare resources on a daily basis as they continue to provide for their families. This will prove to be a difficult challenge for working parents during these unprecedented times, especially as child care centers continue to close around the nation due to the pandemic.
Despite all of the dreadful occurrences in planning summer, a number of people still decided to keep their summer plans going and depend upon the weather and the current state of the pandemic to determine if they will happen or not. Many people, including President Trump, believe the pandemic will stop with the warm summer weather, similar to what happens with the flu. This is represented through the difference in the numbers of cases and the locations in which they occur. California, for example, has a warmer climate than New York, and although it was hit with the virus before New York, it still has a lower amount of cases and deaths possibly showing that warm weather can have an effect on the coronavirus. However, not all scientists agree with this statement, despite what the president and others may believe. Harvard researchers conducted a study using the HCoV-OC43 and the HCoV-HKU1 viruses which are known for causing the common cold. Using these viruses, researchers developed a model that studied the seasonality, impact of social distancing, and the viruses’ role within future illnesses. They found that in every scenario examined, warm weather did not stop the spread of the virus. This is because, in comparison to the common cold, which many people have immunity for, much of the population still remains vulnerable to the coronavirus which allows it to be easily transmitted no matter the temperature. Although no one truly knows what will happen with the virus and if it will subside during the summer months, it is still a controversial subject between scientists and political figures.
Although your summer plans may have been canceled and the warmer months are not looking promising, there are still many different activities you can do to make your summer as good as ever. Try bike riding, hiking, cooking, and even just talking to a friend or family member on the phone to keep you busy. As Dr. Strong noted in the Daily Bird, a quote by Conrad Hilton seems very appropriate in these trying times: “Success seems to be connected to action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” Let this quote inspire you to help others to succeed and reach their goals, and never quit as we all battle this tough time as a community for however long it lasts.