Students anticipate summer break influenced by Covid


Photo courtesy Jeanne Kim

Senior Jeanne Kim visits Davidson College on July 27, 2021.

As the school year winds down and the beginning of summer vacation approaches, students begin looking forward to their summer break plans. However, the presence of Covid-19 and the effects of the pandemic may continue to influence what people feel comfortable with doing during the break.

Members of the school community may begin to feel that Covid no longer has a significant impact on their summer plans, especially after a year of in-person learning and the lifting of the mask mandate in schools. 

Senior Jeanne Kim has an active summer break to look forward to. “I’m going backpacking with a cohort of fellow first-year Davidson College students before orientation and the start of school. We’re backpacking in the Appalachian Mountains and we’re also white-water rafting. I’m also mentoring at a summer program at the University of Maryland for ninth and 10th graders. I participated myself during the summer between 10th and 11th grade,” Kim said.

Kim was forced to alter her summer plans to keep Covid safety in mind before she settled on her current plans. Though she initially wanted to travel abroad over the summer, she ultimately decided to stay in the country to avoid contracting Covid. “I feel completely safe outside doing outdoor activities, like the Outdoor Odyssey program at Davidson, but traveling inside an airplane and being inside an airport and surrounded by many people from all over the place is what is preventing me from traveling internationally to places such as Germany, which is where I was hoping to go two years ago when Covid hit,” Kim said.

In comparison to summer last year, however, Kim feels safer in terms of Covid going into break this year. “I feel more relaxed this summer than last summer as the number of cases seem to decrease and because we already had school with a bunch of people without a significant number of outbreaks,” Kim said.

While Covid has not entirely prevented senior Shreya Rajkumar from executing her ideal summer plans, she has altered her original plan for the summer slightly to accommodate safety concerns surrounding the virus. “I’m not doing anything this summer but that’s because I have to practice for my dance performance, so I don’t think my summer plans are significantly affected by Covid. However, we got a bigger space [for the performance] so people could social distance if they wanted to in the auditorium, but masks are not required,” Rajkumar said. 

With a summer of preparing for college ahead of him, senior Eric Jo expects Covid to continue to play a role in his summer plans, although safety precautions may not fundamentally alter his break. “I plan on getting through orientation, maybe go to Niagara Falls, maybe go to the beach, and do a lot of stuff to prep for college. I think Covid will be an ever present concern, but I don’t think masks or proof of vaccination will be so much of a hassle as to prevent anything from happening,” Jo said.