Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, all 50 states have seen closures of many retail stores along with the cancellation of many summer plans. With the first large national holiday, the 4th of July, having just passed, and with what presumes to be the second spike of coronavirus already in full effect, plans not only for the Independence Day weekend, but many others, have been put on hold.
We’ve all done it before; going to watch a fireworks display on Independence Day to celebrate America’s separation from Britain and the fighting, to ensure that freedom was a guarantee. Unfortunately, it was not the case in many places this year. Due to concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus, the state of California, among many others, experienced a year without fireworks and celebration among fellow Americans.
Because of the rapid spread of the COVID-19, countless plans were forced to be put on hold and many even canceled. I can attest to this because my trip to UC Berkeley for a Model UN conference was canceled, the school orchestra Disneyland trip was said adios to, and worst of all, my last chance to be able to attend my favorite summer camp for the last time is now gone. On top of all these canceled plans, summer holidays also seem to be on hold.
In order to adapt to new circumstances, many people changed their holiday plans, but made sure to not forget the celebratory aspects. Although most chose to stay home and eat some good food, others undoubtedly spent the day having fun in any way they could. Restaurants and bars that would usually have been packed with customers wanting to get a good meal in for the country’s birthday, yet this year they were closed across the city of Los Angeles. Many celebrated with Zoom hang outs, as well as drive-by parties.
Aside from holiday plans, many summer vacation plans will not be happening, which means many more staying home than other years. This is very telling because numbers from past years show that Americans travel the most on the 4th of July weekend than any other date, something that was not seen this year. Coronavirus seems to effectively put our normal lives on hold.
Even though the urge to go and have fun with friends on the 4th of July weekend seemed very tempting, it was important that we remembered that doing so was at our own and other’s on risk. The city of Los Angeles has been having a lot of trouble bending the curve, and going out to celebrate can potentially be very dangerous for not just yourselves but also the many others in one’s community. So, even though it is the right time, stay at home and enjoy the summer holidays with the family!
Jude Choi, Grade 12
John Marshall High School