Anders Klass ’22
Unfortunately, as temperatures rose during 2020 in the Northern Hemisphere, vacations were cancelled, holidays were postponed, and employment was limited in preparation for quarantine during the summer months. Travel bans were instituted, states of emergency were declared, stay-at-home orders were issued, and yet that did not stop COVID outbreaks from occurring. The reasons for breaking social distancing and mask-wearing vary, but overall the heat of the summer months forces the public outdoors to capture vitamin D and enjoy the warmer climate.
On the contrary, during the fall semester Trinity students saw themselves forced into isolation not only by spiking COVID cases on campus but due to the bitter temperatures as well. Forcing gatherings indoors certainly proves it easier to judge when and where COVID protocols are broken and reinforces disciplinary actions. Hence, in the Northeast, the sinking temperatures fit well with managing quarantine protocols; however, the leaves are sprouting, the birds are chirping, and the sun is shining brighter as we move from spring to summer. Furthermore, vaccinations are being delivered nationwide with an astonishing 4.6 million doses administered this Saturday alone. Emerging from these developments is a blind confidence in many young adults that COVID will be gone by the summer.
Students are filling the quad, planning summer trips, and anticipating the end of COVID, but it truly is a race against time. Currently one-fifth of the population is vaccinated, and one-third has received their first dose, but barriers still stand barring young adults from receiving theirs. While President Biden has met vaccination quotas with urgency, his administration is desperate to allow younger citizens to receive their shots, promising vaccinations open to all people 16 and up by April 19th. However, this still excludes those younger than 16 which pharmaceutical companies have advised the FDA to administer. Specifically, Pfizer has pressed the FDA to permit vaccinations in those 12-15 years old which have shown a 100% efficacy rate.
On top of this, delivery of doses and the amount of time it takes to receive vaccinations and for them to become effective is strenuous work for the nation. With three weeks between doses and two more to become sufficient, vaccinations take time. Additionally, booking and making it to appointments has proven difficult for many, and should become more so as vaccinations open to more of the public. As students leave from college and universities, they can expect a flood of citizens taking up appointments nationwide.
This is why it is so urgent young adults receive their vaccinations as soon as possible and resist typical procrastination common among younger ages. For now, masks are not going anywhere, and social distancing will remain so long as we continue to be unvaccinated with cases continuing to rise. What is truly disturbing is Americans’ resistance to vaccinations and outright disapproval of them. For example, as of Thursday, Apr. 8, nearly 40% of Marines have refused to be vaccinated. It is hard to definitively say just how many Americans will follow in anti-vax ideologies to refuse vaccination, however it will undoubtably show itself in the coming months.
As millions of Americans continue to receive their vaccines on a daily basis, and doses are permitted to everyone 16 and up, the public’s commitment to receiving them will ultimately determine the future of the pandemic. This means a growth of in-person jobs, gatherings, and overall opportunities that have been missed due to COVID-19. Young adults are hoping to reclaim a summer lost to the virus, but the responsibility ultimately falls on them.