By Sarah Brill, Science & Technology Editor
It perhaps goes without saying that the summer of 2020 was quite a disaster. What might have been a vacation of pool parties, beach days, theatre runs and outdoor strolls turned into a mostly locked-down summer. I myself had a difficult summer: to occupy my time — with a number of companies not hiring and many volunteering opportunities being discontinued — I took on many summer courses, all of which I needed in order to graduate, but all of which I might have completed at a different time if not for the pandemic. The summer of 2021, however, looks bright. The vaccines are being distributed throughout the U.S. at a faster rate than many other countries. New York State alone has almost a 50% vaccination rate! Mayor Bill De Blasio of New York City even announced that the city would, safety permitting, reopen fully on July 1, 2021.
Erica Sultan, SCW ‘22, commented to the YU Observer that, unlike last year, she “will be able to work and make money this summer.” Many of us rely on part-time jobs to pay for groceries throughout the year, in addition to school expenses. In the absence of those side hustles, this year was especially tough for college students and others who couldn’t find jobs.
Not only was last year difficult for student workers and non-student workers alike, it was especially challenging for international students. Last year there was confusion regarding whether or not the Fall and Spring semesters would be online, Creating a dilemma for international students who were studying here in the U.S. but weren’t sure if they would be able to live here. To do so, international students must acquire a visa — documentation that permits a short-term stay in the country for educational purposes — but visas were unavailable during the pandemic. Sophomore Devorah Gurevich (SCW ‘22), whose husband —like many other international students — was trying to get a visa, shared that last summer she was arranging to obtain one while juggling an internship, whereas this year she can focus on “working on [her] business.”
While some students, like Erica and Devorah, have decided to take on jobs over the summer, others have chosen the same approach that Bina Davidson, SCW ‘21, adopted last summer: “take summer classes.” Bina expressed, however, that unlike last summer, she “will not be stuck at home!”
This summer will hopefully, for everyone, look different than last summer. I, for one, intend on working at a camp, something I have not done in a very long time that I wish I could have done last summer. I am grateful, though, that during my summer leading into nursing school I will get to relax while doing something that brings me joy. If I had not received the COVID-19 vaccine and if the pandemic were not, for the most part, under-control, this would not have been possible — so thank you to all the healthcare workers and first responders who not only got us through the pandemic, but also have been administering vaccines on a daily basis in an effort to end the pandemic.
Now is the time to get vaccinated so we can all ensure a pleasant and safe summer.
Photo Source: Fruma Landa