On April 5 when it was announced that anyone 16 and over was eligible for a vaccine, senior Amaiya Sancho was overjoyed.
After losing both of her grandparents to the Coronavirus and losing out on her senior year, Amaiya wanted to get back to normal. “It made me tear up being able to get something that my grandparents never did,” she says.
The opening of vaccinations to teenagers has provided students like Amaiya with much-needed hope that this pandemic might finally be coming to an end.
Amaiya is one of the many students at Wilde Lake who are starting to get vaccinated. “With vaccines becoming more accessible, we don’t have to worry as much about getting others sick,” says Amaiya. ”I’m happy that life can start getting back to normal.”
For senior Sarah Rubin, the largest impact has been on her social life. “The moment everything got canceled, it was like suddenly I had nothing to do,” says senior Sarah Rubin, who participated in multiple activities such as theatre, choir, and working at Mike’s Music.
“This definitely took a toll because most of my social life relied on seeing people through these activities,” says Sarah. Suddenly not able to see any of their friends, a lot of teens, like Sarah, felt disconnected.
Other students, like senior Maddy Feldwick, had similar experiences. “I haven’t been able to see friends as much, and I can’t have sleepovers because not everyone is comfortable with it, at least not until everyone is vaccinated,” says Maddy. Now, since people are starting to get vaccinated, Maddy says that these types of things can start to be possible again.
According to Sarah, “This vaccine will finally give teens a chance to see friends again and get life back to normal, for the most part. I’ll be able to go to the movies with my friends for the first time in a year,” she says.
But, according to Sarah, getting back to normal is not as easy as it sounds. “It’s really nice to finally be able to do the things I used to do and feel like life is getting back to normal,” says Sarah. “But, we’ve gotten used to doing things in a certain way, and we’re not going to be able to get back to doing things the way we used to all at once.”
Slowly but surely, students are starting to return to in-school activities, too. Maddy, for example, is performing with her senior dance group at her graduation. “It’s been really amazing just dancing with people again, I forgot how much I missed that,” she says. “These are the people that I’ve been with for 4 years, and I finally get to dance with them one more time.”
Even though students like Maddy are returning to these types of activities, they are still very limited in that they still have to practice outside, socially distanced, and with masks on. It will be a process to get activities back to the way they were, but vaccinations are starting to become more widely available to teens and they will hopefully be able to return to normal soon.