The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

Photo reprinted with permission from John Tasch

Union Rooftop Bar and Grill in downtown Minneapolis on March 26. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are plexiglass barriers between tables, non-reusable paper menus, and masks are to be worn by all staff and customers when not actively eating or drinking.

COVID-19’s lasting affects

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Throughout this year, many aspects of life have been different in regards to going out to eat, entertainment, and traveling for everyone across the country. Some want to travel around the country and others want to stay at home. While some are fine with going out to eat at a full capacity restaurant, others do not want to go out to eat at all. These differing perspectives are a result of various underlying health conditions regarding COVID-19.

Junior Sophie Moller explained how both of her parents are at high risk, especially her mom. Her mom “had breast cancer twice and many lymph nodes removed,” meaning that she had to wear one, if not two, masks when around her mom.

Many restaurants have struggled throughout this year because they have been forced to do take out. Because some restaurants strive off in-person dining, they have been forced to temporarily shut their doors because they were not able to get enough business through take-out, or there were other barriers in their way.

Union Rooftop Bar and Grill owner Lauren Burrs explained how because of the “construction and less people downtown overall,” owners are not getting a reasonable amount of sales.

Moreover, a variety of people are enjoying going to restaurants once again because it gives them a sense of community that has not been apparent for a while. Throughout this year, many have been forced to stay at home. With restaurants opening back up, people are able to once again indulge in activities with their friends.

Burrs wants to give her customers a sense of normalcy while following COVID-19 guidelines, as it is important for people to go out and enjoy good food with their friends. Burrs also stated that it was nice to see people enjoying their time at Union. 

Furthermore, traveling on airplanes has been a concern for many throughout the entirety of the pandemic. This has been hard because many previously did not comply with the mask mandate. Since early February, masks have been required in all federal spaces.

“It is not only a Sun Country policy, it is the law now. Most people have abided by that, and have been pretty good. There are fines and there are precautions, or penalties that you can have taken onto you,” Sun Country flight attendant Erin Lurie said.

The debate over travel has arisen throughout the past few months because a variety of people are missing out on opportunities that were previously available to them. Because many flight attendants have been traveling for the entirety of the pandemic, they feel safe doing the same on their own.

Lurie talked about how traveling is something that relieves her stress and is a natural, calming break. 

For many teenagers, this past year has been a struggle because they have not been able to hang out with friends in a normal way. Going to the Mall of America, Olive Garden, Marcus Theaters, the Xcel Energy Center, and other public spaces/music venues is not the same.

“I am not comfortable with doing that [going to a mall],” Moller said. “Just because of how unpredictable it can be and you do not know if someone is going to fight to not wear a mask or something.”

It has been helpful going back to school for many because they are now able to interact with people and get help from teachers. This has been more important than ever before because people have not been in school, fully in-person, for a year, and students need the help and support.

Moller explained how she is a big extrovert. She “started failing classes and everything” because she did not feel confident in her study skills and work ethic at home.

This past year has been a struggle for people in every way possible. COVID-19 can spread throughout the family, restaurants have been forced into a bitter struggle, flight attendants have had to deal with people not complying with the mask mandate, politicians have struggled with getting their word out and everyone is trying to adjust to the new normal throughout every country and state. How soon the world will return to the old normal is determinant on how often people follow basic precautions such as wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing their hands. If people follow these precautions, the new normal should be the old normal within a year.

“I am a very social person and I really miss all my friends. I have had a very small circle through all this, just seeing specific family members and certain friends and my boyfriend,” Lurie said.

During quarantine, people adapted, picked up new hobbies

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