A Summer Day During a Pandemic
Summer 2020 will be one for the books. Although it wasn’t the only huge occurrence of this year, COVID-19 definitely had a huge effect on all of our everyday lives and seemed to overtake the country. Despite the fact that there were many restrictions and changes that had to be made to the “normal” summer plans and activities, this summer, for New Jersey at least, is when life slowly started to open back up again.
On June 9, the New Jersey stay-at-home order was lifted by Governor Murphy after about four months of lockdown and quarantining. This led New Jersey into stage two of the virus by allowing restaurants to open for outdoor dining, retail stores allowing customers, beaches, amusement parks, and outdoor activities were all allowed to open up to the public again. With these places opening again, there was a limit on indoor and outdoor gatherings, a mandate for masks, and also social distancing being enforced, but this was still a huge step of progress. “When I saw that the stay at home order was being lifted I felt overwhelmed with joy and excitement for life to become more normal than what it was,” says Allison Huelbig a 16 year old from New Jersey.
For many, this meant that their whole summer vacation would be more than just being stuck inside their homes. Obviously, the virus didn’t just disappear, and still to this day life isn’t like it was a year ago, but with the right safety precautions, people were able to enjoy some of their summer plans. Luckily, summer comes with nice weather and people found themselves enjoying the outdoor activities this summer a lot more. “I probably went to the beach with my family more than we’ve ever had this summer,” says Tara Ostrowski, a resident of New Jersey. “At the beach, life felt normal again since we didn’t have to keep our masks on the whole time and yet still were able to enjoy a summer activity.”
Although the stay-at-home restriction was lifted, many people weren’t ready to take that step back into the public yet. With this time at home, many people found new hobbies and activities to do around their homes during their quarantine. According to the article from Review.com, “The 15 Most Popular Hobbies to Start During the Coronavirus Pandemic,” a study says that working out, baking, arts and crafts, gardening, journaling, learning a language, learning how to play an instrument, and video games are just some of the most popular hobbies taken up by many people to try and better staying at home.
Being stuck at home for months at once made many people realize how much of their everyday life occurrences have been taken for granted in the past. Whether it's going out to dinner, running to the store, or even being able to hug your friends and family, they were all things we didn’t even think twice about before, and that are now possible concerns to our health. Although life might never be the same as it was, it made many appreciate those little everyday occurrences a little more now.