Summer will change due to COVID-19

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Photo by Mia Lucido

The Minnesota Fair is one of the highlights of the summer. About two million people go to the Fair every year. This year it is unknown if the State Fair will happen because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mia Lucido, Distribution Editor

This summer will not look the same because of COVID-19. Nobody knows when the pandemic will be over, but it is expected to go through the summer. For many people, especially students, summer is the time to go outside, travel and be with friends and family. As of now, a lot of summer activities like sports and concerts are postponed or canceled, and beaches and pools are closed for the summer. Also, travel bans are in place for European countries, China, Iran, Canada and Mexico. It is recommended to only travel if it is essential. This summer is expected to be different for both kids and adults based on what Governor Tim Walz does and does not open. 

Annette Sallman, Community Education Director, explained there is a lot that depends on “ information from the governor” as for how summer may look and what can and can not happen throughout the community. 

Professional sports are one of the major events changing or being canceled due to COVID-19. Major League Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League, NASCAR, the Wimbledon tennis tournament, Major League Baseball, Olympic trials and the Olympics have been either postponed or canceled. The MLB is considering having the season in Arizona with no fans, as a way to keep the baseball season going. 

Junior Martin Sorensen said he thinks the season will not be as interesting because, if there are no playoffs, the teams are not playing for a championship. The fanless aspect is also a drawback because going to baseball games is part of the experience. 

Plans for summer traveling and recreational sports have not been set, but some are expected to be canceled or modified to follow guidelines. Sports like baseball and lacrosse, that lost the spring season, are hoping to play at least during some of the summer season. These changes are especially tough for senior players who could lose their last season. 

“Baseball is a team sport, and for a lot of the seniors they have been playing together since they were all really young, they are like a family. The same can be said about the juniors and sophomores,” Sorensen added.

In addition, community education programs are a part of summer for kids and adults. Community education provides a variety of learning, athletics and enrichment programs for kids and adults. This summer, a lot of programs can not happen how they originally were supposed to because of the guidelines put in place right now.

It might take a week from the time we learned until we’re able to do that [start programs] so that we can get people organized and communicate with instructors… there might be a little bit of time in between the time from when we learn and how long we can start, but it shouldn’t be very long.”

— Annette Sallman

Sallman explained community education is in the process of converting classes, for both adults and youth, to an online format. There are multiple programs already up on the website that can be completed online.  

Community education programs can not happen in person until Governor Walz gives the okay. If the correct approval is given, programs would start as soon as possible. There is also the possibility of having certain programs happen in person while following social distancing guidelines.

“It might take a week from the time we learned until we’re able to do that [start programs] so that we can get people organized and communicate with instructors… there might be a little bit of time in between the time from when we learn and how long we can start, but it shouldn’t be very long,” Sallman said. 

Summer is also a time to travel, but nonessential travel is discouraged and there are multiple travel bans. The trip to France for French four and five students was planned for June but got postponed to 2021. Although it is not surprising travel plans have to be postponed or canceled, it can be disappointing. 

“I was pretty disappointed when I heard that the trip was canceled because this is something that I have been looking forward to for three years,” junior Katherine Eisenbrandt explained. “I have been studying French for almost four years and this trip was supposed to be the reward for continuing to study it.” 

When traveling can resume, it might look different because of how drastically this pandemic is changing the world. Major tourist destinations in the United States and internationally might be restricted to small amounts of people and have extra precautions. 

Eisenbrandt said she thinks the trip will be different “because not only will the itinerary possible change, but also there might be restrictions still in place”  like social distancing measures making it harder to get a truly traditional experience. 

Sallman explained it is “hard to say when” programs and in-person activities will return to normal because the proper information from Governor Walz and the legislature has yet to come out.”