Pandemic puts a pause on summer plans

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While students and teachers alike have been affected by the shift to remote learning and the cancellation of major events, Harrisites are now concerned about the upcoming months, as many of their summer plans will no longer take place. From cancelled exams to rescheduled vacations, the current COVID-19 outbreak has been a source of stress for many.

Sophomore Karan Ajmera shed light on his vacation plans that the current outbreak has affected. “One of my larger summer plans was that I was going to go to Spain and Italy on the international trip provided by our school,” he said. “We were supposed to…learn about the people and their cultures and be given a chance to explore the amazing cities in these countries.” He explained that the postponement of the trip, as well as whether or not he would get a refund, have been a source of disappointment and stress for him and his family.

Although seniors no longer need to worry about standardized tests, they still express worries over their future plans. Senior Joie Ning looked forward to traveling around Asia with her family, but “[the virus] has caused stress in the idea that [she] can’t go abroad for a while.” Despite all of the cancellations, she believes that safety comes first. “We want to be extremely safe for the sake of ourselves and for other people and try not to go out even in the long run.”

Joie added that she had other plans that were cancelled, such as obtaining a job. “Depending on how the situation is handled, I might have to work remotely as I am now or I may not even be provided such an opportunity because of the shutdown,” she explained. However, she added that “we as a society currently have little credible information about when the peak of COVID-19 is going to hit and all we can really do is wait for the entire situation to die down.” 

Juniors also have to worry about standardized tests, as many were planning on taking their SAT Subject Tests in the summer. Now, they are worried as to when they can take them, since test dates in April and May have been cancelled. Junior Vivian Chen explained that “the class of 2020 might’ve gotten hit hard emotionally, but the class of 2021 got hit hard academically.” 

The class of 2023, however, was affected in a different manner. Freshman Blessing Ogusola explained, “[The pandemic’s toll on the summer] has caused me stress because I won’t be able to enjoy my first summer as a high school student. It was supposed to be my first time making money on my own, and I can’t do that [now], which is pretty devastating.” Despite this, Blessing hopes that by “staying in [her] home to prevent the further spread of the disease…this cancelation can be lifted [by the summer] so that [she] can start work.”