By Brianna Lopez
It’s been a year since the COVID-19 pandemic shut the whole world down and, with a vaccine available to those who are 18 and older as of April 5, Barry students have begun to fantasize about a post-pandemic world. Here’s what they’ve missed most.
According to a survey conducted by The Buccaneer, 23.08 percent of Barry students are looking forward to going on a trip out of the country after the pandemic. In addition, 46.15 percent of Barry students said that they are most looking forward to visiting their friends in another state after the pandemic. Finally, 30.77 percent of students said they are looking forward to going to a party when the pandemic is over.
Among the latter group is freshman biology major Caryn Williams, who sums up what most students are likely feeling after one year in quarantine.
“This pandemic feels like it has been going on for so long,” said Williams. “So, when this is all over and it is 100 percent safe to go out and enjoy ourselves again, there are so many things that I cannot wait to do.”
Most of Williams’ post-pandemic plans revolve around her family, who had many traditions that were halted when the pandemic began. One of these traditions was their frequent backyard barbecues in New York.
“All of my family and friends bring their best dishes, and we have a huge feast,” said Williams.
Williams and her family also used to dedicate one day each July to a family trip to Six Flags, where they spent the day getting on rides and playing games. Williams was disappointed when the tradition was cancelled due to COVID-19.
“I can’t believe it’s been more than a year that we haven’t been able to have our family gatherings,” she said.
Williams communicates with her family over the phone, but it doesn’t feel the same, she said.
Above all, the plan she is most excited about is a trip back to where her family is from —Trinidad. According to the U.S. embassy website, Trinidad’s borders have been closed since March 2020.
Sophomore nursing major Monique DaFonseca also plans to visit the country her parents are from, Cape Verde, after the pandemic is over. As an activist, she is also looking forward to being more active in her community by attending protests when it is safe.
However, DaFonseca does not expect the post-COVID-19 world to look the same as the pre-COVID-19 world did.
“I believe that even when the pandemic is ‘over’ things will not go back to the way it was,” she said. “I do believe people are going to be more cautious with the people next to them and not everyone is going to look at huge events, like concerts, the same.”
To her last point, DaFonseca noted that many people look back at concerts and are dumbfounded by how reckless attendees were with their germs.
“People were literally sweating on strangers and nobody really thought about it until the pandemic,” said DaFonseca.
Williams seconds this, noting that her family is now “much more aware of germs and how they spread” and will be taking sanitary precautions at future family gatherings.
With all these new considerations to take when getting together with family, DaFonseca and Williams both admit that they have a new appreciation for quality time with loved ones.
DaFonseca notes simply that the pandemic “100 percent” changed the way she valued going out. She now keeps her family in mind when going out, since she worries about getting the virus and spreading it to them.
Williams agrees, saying that she definitely took some of her pre-COVID get-togethers for granted.
“Going forward, [I will] value every small moment and memory,” she said.