COVID-19 Caution During a Seattle Summer

COVID-19 Caution During a Seattle Summer

Summer is fast approaching, and with it comes the opportunity to go places and participate in activities unrelated to school. The promise of sun and little rain brings excitement to students staying in Seattle during their summer vacation, but also some choices to make as they navigate the ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines. 

Seattle is currently planning to open businesses at 100% capacity once 70% of residents are vaccinated. Businesses will be able to open at 100% capacity June 30 even if 70% of residents are not vaccinated. Until then, masks are required indoors in businesses, including restaurants, retail, attractions and museums will stay at half capacity. 

Students staying in the city over the summer have mixed feelings about the guidelines. Sheera Tamura, a third-year social work major at Seattle University is excited to spend time with her friends without worrying about COVID-19, but also stresses the importance of staying aware. 

“I definitely think COVID-19 is getting better, especially with more people getting vaccinated. Hopefully we’ll be able to reopen. I know Inslee said that by June 30 he wants Washington state to reopen fully, but I think people just need to stay aware and stay vigilant of COVID-19 guidelines and hopefully do things to promote Washington state opening back up in a safe way,” Tamura said.

Christina Beavers, a first-year psychology major staying in Seattle over the summer, also emphasized staying safe while moving towards a more normal life.

“I’m still staying safe, but I’m planning on being able to go out more and explore more. Since I’m fully vaccinated, I won’t have to worry as much about getting COVID-19 and I’ll be able to meet more people and hang out with larger groups than before,” Beavers said. 

While remaining mindful of the COVID-19 guidelines, students are still able to participate in some typical summer activities. Exploring parks is a popular pastime, and Beavers shared some of her favorite parks to visit. 

“I’ve been to Volunteer Park and that was really nice. I would love to lounge out there some more. I love going to Gasworks Park because I think it’s the best view of the skyline, and having a picnic there is fun,” Beavers said. 

There are another 489 public parks in Seattle, and each one offers a unique set of things to do. In the international district, Hing Hay Park has ping pong tables that visitors can play at by bringing their own equipment. Greenwood Park in Fremont also has ping pong tables, as well as a BBQ picnic area. 

For those looking for a little more adventure, Mount Rainier National Park offers 260 miles of hiking trails. Pierce Harriz, a first-year computer science major staying in Seattle for the summer, went to Mount Rainier over spring break and enjoyed it a lot. 

“It was a pretty fun time. I’d much rather see the environment and be in the environment. Sometimes in the city it gets a little too, I guess too much cement. I don’t know how to explain it,” Harriz said. 

Students looking to stay inside might consider visiting some of Seattle’s many restaurants. Beaver runs an Instagram account called @christinaeatsseattle where she posts and talks about food she has tried in different restaurants around Seattle.

“My favorite ice cream place is Salt and Straw. If I want a quick bite to eat I love going to Shake Shack or this pizza place on Capitol Hill called Big Mario’s,” Beavers said. 

Restaurants, including the few Beavers mentioned, can be visited at any time of the year, but there are some Seattle events that only happen once a year for students in Seattle to look forward to. Many events are still deciding what to do with the changing COVID-19 guidelines, and there seems to be a mixed response around the community. 

The Capitol Hill Block Party is refunding tickets, the Fremont Fair is still happening and the Seattle Marathon is planning to hold both an in-person and online event. The Seattle Pride parade will be held virtually, but they are planning to hold a smaller-scale event in October.

Pastimes in Seattle will still look slightly different from a normal summer with COVID-19 guidelines changing, and students will have to navigate them in a way that feels comfortable. Summer will come quickly as spring quarter comes to a close, and students in Seattle will have a fun, albeit cautious, time.