With the development of the COVID–19 vaccine, students look forward to a summer vacation following an entire year of quarantine. Students will follow lenient COVID–19 restrictions as instructed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“[After I get vaccinated] I plan on going on many trips with friends and family [this summer],” said Joseph Nicholson ‘23. “[This summer] should be refreshing after a year of restricted contact with everybody.”
Nicholson is referring to the previous restrictions placed on indoor and outdoor gatherings such as social distancing that were put into place to keep people safe.
“[This summer] is going to be the first time in a long time that people will be able to lead normal lives,” said Shannon Traikoff ‘23. “Vaccinated people will attend social gatherings again with other vaccinated people without a mask, which, after quarantine, feels odd.”
On May 21, the CDC announced that starting on June 15, people who have been fully vaccinated, after a two–week interlude, will be able to go most places without a mask.
“I think that allowing unregulated, indoor contact between vaccinated people is just another step towards returning to the natural order of things that we knew before this pandemic,” said Emma Fishman ‘22. “It does give me some comfort knowing that things are getting better under the CDC’s guidance.”
These new guidelines only apply to those who are vaccinated. The CDC allows anyone older than 12 years–of–age to receive the vaccine for free, regardless of health insurance or immigration status.
“I was vaccinated early in May and I [initially] felt some pretty bad side effects,” said Traikoff. “[After getting the vaccine] I was feeling quite nauseous, and I was aching everywhere.”
After getting vaccinated, students like Traikoff have planned many social events that are within the boundaries of the CDC guidelines.
“I am excited to see my friends in a more laid–back environment and also to have a normal senior year,” said Fishman. “I also am excited to travel again over the summer and go to Disneyland with my friends.”
Travel was restricted due to the pandemic earlier in the year on March 19, 2020, due to Governor Gavin Newsom issuing the stay–at–home order. However, travel restrictions are being lifted for the vaccinated.
“[During the summer] me and my family plan on traveling to Utah for hiking and mountain biking,” said Nicholson. “I think that it will be a much–needed change from just staying at home and going on smaller trips.”
The CDC will allow out–of–country trips to take place, unregulated in the United States. However, vaccinated people will need to abide by the rules of the country they are traveling to, whether that be testing for COVID–19 or isolation for two weeks.
“[I think that] it is still important to not go crazy and to stay relatively safe, even after getting the vaccine,” said Nicholson. “There are still kids who cannot get vaccinated and people should be thinking about putting their safety first.”
The CDC has still not deemed the COVID–19 vaccine safe for people younger than 12 years old as studies show that getting sick at that age could result in inflammatory issues with organs.
“Mainly, I am excited to finally put this chapter of my life in the past and to return to normal life,” said Fishman. “I hope this summer will be that transition back into normalcy that I am looking for.”