The Pros and Cons of Changed Summer Plans Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Jillian Chong

The view of Colorado from a plane before COVID-19 interrupted travel plans for the summer of 2020 worldwide.

This year, our lives have been flipped upside down due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. With the fear of a second wave of COVID-19 this fall, and the slow reopening of the country, travel has slowed, in-person contact has been limited, and many of our summer plans have had to be readjusted. In a normal year, we would be filling our summer with plans: exploring the world, applying to advanced summer programs, hanging out with friends, and getting jobs. However, this year is not a ‘normal’ one.

For the majority of Bronx Science students who have had to change their plans, the summer of 2020 is now a summer of missed opportunities and wasted time. Many summer internships and programs have been moved online or, worse, canceled. Students such as Jeff Guan ’21 and Derrick Tan ’21, were looking forward to these programs that have now been canceled. Instead, they have to apply to new programs and find new ways to earn money. Guan said, “I felt pretty bummed out because I was looking forward to attending the engineering program at City Tech. It explored a field in which I am really interested, and best of all, it was free.”

Although Guan’s original program was canceled, he was eventually able to apply to a program at the City College of New York (CCNY) that was moved online. While online programs do not provide students with the full experience of in-person teaching, the virtual programs do allow students to stay home and safely make the most of their summer, whether it is spending more time with their family or exploring new hobbies. Having the classes moved online also gives students more flexibility and time to pursue other interests.

The shift of activities to online platforms also applies to travel. Since non-essential travel is not advised, about 48% of Americans canceled their 2020 summer travel plans. However, in the age of technology, there are virtual methods to explore. Although the experience is not quite the same, virtual tours are available online for visiting national parks, zoos, museums, and even colleges. The digital tours allow visitors to learn from 360° videos and video tour guides, all within the safety of one’s own home. Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors can still “attend” college tours throughout the summer without spending money to physically go to them.

“In December 2019, my family and I were planning on going to Las Vegas for our April 2020 spring break, but the Coronavirus pandemic made it dangerous for us to travel. To keep our spirits up, we have taken an interest in grilling. We hope to continue learning more about different grilling techniques over the summer in the confines of our backyard,” said Cadence Chen ’22.

Although new plans can seem boring and uneventful, they may actually bring about new, exciting experiences.  Make the most of the summer and try something different! Yet again, the old adage, ‘every cloud has a silver lining,’ still holds true today.

Make the most of the summer and try something different!

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