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Vaxed, Waxed, & Relaxed: How to Have a Safe Summer Vacation

The sun is out, it is now finals week, the rain has become a distant friend…and the end of physical distancing is in sight as the pandemic nears an end.

Although many Americans have already received either one or both doses of their vaccine, there are still many who have not either due to hesitancy, lack of access, or both.

This has left many people with the question “what is safe to do this summer and what isn’t?” as uncertainty surrounding summer activities continues to increase.

Whether you live in a region that has distributed vaccines well or one that has not, here are five safe activities you can do during the 2021 summer months:

1. Roller Skate to a Local Farmers’ Market

With the resurgence of roller skating (and sheer joy that comes with skating), what better mode of transportation is there?? Visiting a nearby Farmers’ Market is a wonderful way to support local farmers and take home the freshest fruits and vegetables out there.

2. Have a Picnic

Whether with a handful of vaccinated friends, your family, or your significant other, picnics are always a great way to enjoy food in the great outdoors. Simply pack up a basket full of snacks with a blanket to sit on, head to your favourite park or beach, and you’re good to go! Some excellent snack ideas include a charcuterie board, Mediterranean sandwiches, strawberries, croissants, sparkling lemonade, and more.

3. Go on a Bioluminescent Plankton Tour

Taking part in a bioluminescence tour is a magical experience that is easily accessible, especially in the pacific northwest. The best time to go is during a warm, dry spell of weather (and at night). If it hasn’t rained for a while, there will be less sediment and oceanic debris stirred up and therefore plankton will be more visible.

4. Watch a Movie at the Drive-In

While everyone has missed the luxury of seeing a new movie in theatres during a Friday night outing, it still may be a bit soon to return to sitting in an audience. However, drive-in movie theatres are open for the summer and are showing most new releases! Pack your car with blankets, snacks, and a friend, and head to the nearest drive-in for a safely distanced theatre experience (Tip: go on a clear night without rain in the forecast!).

5. Rent a Kayak

As the weather becomes increasingly warmer, kayaking becomes more enjoyable and is easily the best activity for any nice afternoon. There are many kayak (and/or canoe, paddle boat, rowboat) rental shops along large lakes and bodies of water.

Luckily, life should feel closer to normal after summertime. As students head back to the classroom and relearn how to dress themselves for outdoor ventures, the new most popular ice breaker will become “which vaccine?” and the new most popular comment will become “my mask collection is bigger than yours.”

Here’s to a safe, excellent summer and a gradual return to normalcy ♡

Mercy Johnson

Washington '23

Mercy is a second-year physiology major at the University of Washington who hopes to become a physician someday. She enjoys journalism, ethics, and anthropology courses. In her spare time, she loves to run, ski, hike, slackline, garden, travel, and read. She is also a devoted coffee connoisseur!
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