Covid summer part 2: Everyone gets out of town

Everyone remembers the Covid Summer Part One: staying at home, not being able to go anywhere, no vaccinations, and no big gatherings.

Covid summer part 2: Everyone gets out of town

by Brynne McKinney, Reporter

Although it’s nice people are finally able to go places again, gas prices, car rentals and airline tickets are all skyrocketing in price.

Since there is a high demand for traveling, airlines, hotels, and rental car businesses are using this to their advantage. Since all of these resources lost about a year’s worth of money due to the pandemic, these places are charging a lot of money to make up for “lost time.” 

People are tired of being cooped up in their homes for over a year and they finally have the chance to go out and travel somewhere but all of these big businesses are making traveling difficult for the families that can’t pay the increased airline prices. 

Everybody struggled last year, so many people lost their homes, their jobs, their money, got sick and these airlines want to make even more money instead of letting everyone have a breathier. 

In 2019 airlines made almost 2.5 million dollars in airline tickets. In 2020 airline prices dropped dramatically because of covid. Now in 2021 in just 6 months airlines have made just over 1.5 million dollars.

Just like the airlines gas prices have increased extremely, and shocker, for the same reason. Not a lot of people were driving all that often so now that people are actually leaving their houses for long periods of time the demand for gas has increased. Although it seems like gas prices are coming back down as of June 14, but for a while gas prices did go up by a lot.

U.S. gasoline prices have been rising with crude oil prices - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Over the span of 2010-2021 gas prices have been up and down. Gas prices droped to about $2.00 on average in the U.S in 2020 per gallon. Now gas prices are increasing to about $3.00 on average in the U.S per gallon; however some of the bigger cities like San Fransisco have reached a gas price of $4.00 per gallon in 2021.

One last big concern is still the coronavirus.

Covid isn’t so much of a factor to me since my family and I have all been fully vaccinated, but for others who have not been vaccinated but still want to get out of the house that is a different case, because it may be people don’t have access to the vaccine or they are to young for the vaccine, or people just don’t want the vaccine and they are going to be cautious.    

“My summer plans have not really been affected because I have been fully vaccinated and my family plans to continue to be very cautious while carrying out our plans,” said junior Jack Sears.

“Yeah Covid has a big impact but the covid plays both good and bad roles because of covid lots of job opportunities have opened but it plays a bad role because traveling and meeting up with friends can be risky due to covid” said junior Sofía Bernal. 

Bernal will be traveling to Cancun Mexico with her family and she said, “Definitely, flight prices raised a lot, and my parents were debating on going there.” 

Junior Jack Sears is planning to travel to Eugene, Oregon for a Track and Field Olympic Trials with his family and a friend, and he said, “It has not affected my vacation plans, as we had planned this trip for last year and kept our plans when they got pushed back.” 

My family and I will travel to Illinois and Wisconsin for a memorial service.  That’s one of the activities that families had to put off.

“We are finally gathering to memorialize an aunt who died in November 2020.  Our family will be able to put her to rest and gather to see each other for the first time,” said Mrs. Natalie Rebetsky.

I know I am looking forward to going to some small concerts this summer with lots of my favorite singers and bands. 

Lots of kids are also looking for some summer jobs. I will be working at a local daycare by my house. 

“Yeah I am really excited for this summer. I’m planning on doing lots of new things like volunteering, practicing driving, and finding a job,” said Bernal. 

Bernal is looking for a part-time job in Frederick. 

“I’ve been working really hard and it will be nice to have a little bit of a break,” said Sears. 

Sears will be offering lawn service in his neighborhood.

Teachers are also very excited about this summer, even though students have had a difficult year so have the teachers. The teachers have been bending over backwards to make this year as smooth going as possible for students.

“My husband and I are traveling to several states and national parks because we had to cancel our tenth anniversary Europe plans last year,” said Natalie Rebetsky, English Department chairperson. “We need to use up some airline miles that are ‘use or lose.’”

No exciting travel for me, I need to work in the summer so I’ll be here at LHS. I am working as a mentor for site based summer school with the Virtual school. I will be working here from June 28 – July 29. Teachers report back to school on August 11, so you can see I won’t have much of a break,” said Hawkins.

“That first week of August I plan on driving to Ohio to visit my parents,” said Hawkins

Agriculture teacher Ms. Pat Beachy has a very full summer planned.

I will be doing some Curriculum Writing with the Pre-Vet courses with several other FCPS agriculture teachers for several days this summer. My daughter lives in NJ and will be having her second baby so I will be going up there mid-July to help watch my grandson and then help them with the new baby,” said Beachy.

“I hope to go to the beach several different times this summer….I hear the waves and the sand calling my name already,” said Beachy. 

Math teacher Mr. Nick Sobota has a very big summer planned 

“I am moving to Delaware this summer. I hope to take time off to get everything moved in and to be able to work on fixing up my new house to get it to look the way my wife and I want it to,” said Sobota.

“I’ve worked every summer full time up until this one. It’s going to be nice to be able to work for myself a little bit before I start teaching again in the fall,” said Sobota.

“Before I do this, I am going to see my grandmother in Florida for the first time in many years.  The price of travel did not affect my decision. I was able to get a ticket to fly down and see her for less than $400 (they are usually $700) and the price of gas is still very low. When I started driving in 2013, the price of gas was $4.65 per gallon, now I can buy it for $2.79 per gallon (pretty cheap with that thought in mind),” said Sobota.

English teacher Ms.  SuePeterson plans a quiet summer after a year of being online.  And, like other teachers, the much shorter summer impacted her plans.

“The only vacation plans that I have for the summer are to go to Rehoboth Beach in August. Gas prices did not affect my decision not to do any other travel, but we have older animals and pet care can be challenging. I was disappointed that our family would not be able to spend time with my extended family at Rehoboth Beach this year (a family tradition), but their plans are to go the third week in August and teachers have to be back at school on August 11th,” said Peterson.

“Other than the beach, I’m hoping to do a lot of reading. I already have a stack of books ready to go and I am excited to dive into them! I will also get outside and enjoy the warm weather,” said Peterson

In a Lancer Media Twitter poll 22% of people are staying home; 56% of people are going out of state; and 22% of people are going out of the country. 

Many families bought campers during last summer and are ready to get out on the road, My family and I actually just sold our old camper a little while ago because we weren’t using it all that often like we used t,o but we started getting back into camping and we bought a tent that can go over the bed of a pickup truck and two people would sleep in the bed while the other two sit inside of the actual truck. 

More than 70% of North American campers changed their camping habits in 2020 and RV ownership is up in both the U.S and Canada. In the U.S., the proportion of campers who camped for the first-time in 2020 was five times greater than what was observed in 2019.

Campers are more diverse than ever. In fact, a full 60% of first-time campers in 2020 are from non-white groups, the highest rate since the inception of this report.

In the U.S 48.2 million households camped at least once in 2020, including 10.1 million households that camped for the first-time.