Students Plan for Unconventional Summer


While some places in Saint Louis City and County will open on May 18, many places frequented by teenagers in the summer, including the zoo and many pools, will remain closed.

Benjie Thimangu, side dish czar

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a lot of uncertainty surrounding this summer. While Missouri has begun the first stages of reopening, the City and County of Saint Louis, which have been hit hardest by the virus in Missouri, will not start opening until May 18. 

Some of the most popular summer attractions in Saint Louis, such as the Science Center and the Zoo, will not be permitted to open on the 18. Many area pools and recreation center will also not be open.

“We’re going to work with each one of them as they present their plans, and some, by the way, have already presented excellent plans. But nevertheless, they’re not going to open on the 18th,” said Saint Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson in a May 9 livestream. 

As schools are letting out, students will be left with a few months that would normally be filled with vacation, camp, and working. However, without knowing what is going to happen, it is very hard to plan ahead of time.

“My plans changed because I was supposed to go to Universal Studios during summer break,” said freshman Eleanor Linhardt. “I will instead have to paint and hopefully do a musical, if it stays on.”

Doing art is a great way to pass time, and a new skill for some. Not everyone has paints and brushes, but a few Youtube videos and some pencils are all you need to start learning. 

If staying inside isn’t for you, state parks have reopened in Missouri. Lone Elk Park and Castlewood Park are both in Saint Louis County, and both boast great scenery and picnic areas.

Castlewood State Park, which straddles the Meramec Rriver, has multiple great trails that lead along the river and the surrounding forest, as well as steps that lead up the large limestone bluffs that overlook the area. 

Spending time with family can help maintain having social interactions. While remaining socially distanced when out with friends can be difficult, you don’t have to worry about staying six feet apart when with family members who live with you.

“My family loves to explore new parks and hike different trails,” said social studies teacher Amy Grich. “I still believe we will be able to do this but will be making sure we follow distancing guidelines. We will need to be creative with our activities and wear masks to protect one another.”

It is really easy to stay inside and watch TV or play video games, so getting out of the house and getting exercise is important to stay healthy physically and mentally. Going to the park with your family and playing with a frisbee can keep boredom at bay. Drive-in movies, although not physically active, are another way to get out of the house, be entertained, and still keep social distance.

During a crisis such as this, it is extremely difficult to know when things will return to a sense of normality. Because of this, it is very important to stay healthy and safe. Take necessary precautions, but don’t let the pandemic ruin your summer.