Your Summer Activity Consultant Has Arrived

Chicago Presents a Summer of Opportunities

With people getting vaccinated, cases going down, and Chicago starting to open back up again, people are already making plans for a fun summer. In the interest of keeping cases from rising again, music venues, sports stadiums, and restaurants are slowly opening with limited capacities, but with many more options than we had last summer. With increased guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the past few weeks saying vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks in many settings, a whole other level of activities will be allowed for people 12 and up to take part in. With restrictions easing up some people have been confused but, “If you are vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a mask outside,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci. This age group includes all members of the upper school whose lack of activities last summer may make them even more excited to try new things this year.

One of the most highly anticipated activities this summer will be concerts. With various artists rescheduling concerts that were cancelled due to COVID-19 and more new ones being put on the calendar, hundreds of people, especially teenagers are eager to attend. One of these concerts is Lollapalooza which is requiring attendees to be vaccinated or receive a negative test before arriving. Freshman Sarah Matthews is planning on attending Lollapalooza this year. 

“I feel okay going to concerts in the future knowing that they have been approved by organizations like the CDC,” Matthews said. “Adding on, I’ll be vaccinated so it adds an extra feeling of protection for the future.”

In terms of transitioning back to large group gatherings and the general public’s interest in doing this, “I think people might want to go to concerts even more considering we haven’t been able to for a year,” freshman Natalie Drake said.

Another expanding industry this summer will be restaurants. Restaurants have been hit hard during the pandemic with limited indoor eating and capacity restrictions. The owner of the restaurant Chilam Balam talked to me about his experience last summer and what he anticipates this summer will look like with more and more people vaccinated.

“I think people getting the vaccine really helps, some of our customers are feeling more safe now. Little by little we are coming back to life,” the owner said. Outdoor eating was limited throughout the winter but now that the weather is starting to get warmer people are starting to return to their favorite neighborhood restaurants, both to get out of the house and to support local business owners.

One opportunity that many students didn’t have last year was attending camp. For many, camp is something they have been doing for years and it was a hard thing to miss out on. However this year many camps have had a whole year to put protocols in place that will let campers return safely while still being able to enjoy a camp experience. 

“Missing camp last year sucked,” freshman Naomi Gross said. “Since I’m so close to the end of my time as a camper I was really looking forward to it. I also missed out on the opportunity to travel to a lot of cool places through a program for freshmen that got canceled. I really wanted to be able to see my friends especially since a lot of them don’t live close to me and knowing I wouldn’t see them for two years was super sad.”

Travel may also be much more common for people with planes being deemed safer and cases going down in many states. 

“This summer will probably be more social than last because more and more people are getting the vaccine,” freshman Ella Currie said. “I also think there will be less of a panicked feeling this summer because hopefully things will be more under control.”

Some people weren’t so lucky and had their summer plans cancelled. “I am part of a year-long leadership fellowship with a culminating three-week summer trip to Israel that unfortunately was canceled due to COVID-19,” junior Mia Bronstein said. “I was really looking forward to traveling and doing something we haven’t gotten to do in so long… but hopefully we will be able to gather in a fun way to make up for this.”

Overall the coming summer will present many opportunities for people to get out and have experiences that weren’t an option last year.