For festival-goers, it may be a cruel, cruel summer.
The possibility of all summer events, such as festivals, celebrations, activities and sports, getting canceled or postponed in Illinois still holds an uncertain fate for many regardless of one’s political views.
As Gov. JB Pritzker extended his stay-at-home order through May 30 due to COVID-19, the thought of summer vacation being stripped from disappointed students only adds onto the hopelessness of when the pandemic will end.
The worry of what the future of summer 2020 might hold within the coming weeks has provided students an opportunity to realize how important and how much of a priority public health and safety is.
There is no doubt for many students that passing up the opportunity to have the summer of their lives and creating long-lasting memories would be better than giving the coronavirus another chance to spread quicker and harder than before.
“These decisions take time and consideration to be made. I would want officials to decide whether to cancel or not cancel these events based on [whether or not] it is safe to do so,” freshman marketing major Julia Lukasik said.
“I love these summer events as much as everyone else, but I would much rather cancel a few summer events and be able to still enjoy the summer and the warm weather and go back to school in the fall.”
However, some students, such as Lukasik and junior sociology major Lauren Erickson, think that canceling or postponing many of the festivals and activities that happen in late summer this early is a bit too much and should be played by ear.
“I think postponing events are good precautions, but cancellations might be a little much. Organizations [and] people should aim to postpone instead of cancel if they can,” Erickson said.
“Maybe there is a possibility of canceling and postponing too early, but it’s always good to try and be as prepared as we can be during this pandemic. Although I love sports events, concerts, etc. so much, I would personally rather have events be postponed if it’s deemed necessary to help prevent the spread of the virus.”
Whether the pandemic would still be around for the second half of summer or not, sophomore mass media major Mary Kloser believes having large gatherings throughout summer’s entirety isn’t the safest thing to do for some time after the stay-at-home order is lifted.
Kloser believes that this pandemic is a perfect opportunity for people to realize that many of the events, such as Lollapalooza, hosted throughout the summer in Illinois are full of health issues to the public’s safety without the virus.
“I think canceling and postponing events would be the right thing to do. Festivals like Lollapalooza are not necessary, and even without the virus, [are] a germ fest,” Kloser said.
“It would be the responsible thing to do to cancel festivals to protect the guests, employees and performers. We aren't looking to continue the spread of the virus, and large gatherings could continue the spread.”
Since the start of the pandemic, the transition from in-person classes to online classes has been a struggle for many students across the state.
The heartbreak from not seeing friends, classmates, faculty and the campus views has only given students more of a reason to practice social distancing.
Advocating for everyone to follow the guidelines and the stay-at-home order has allowed many students to agree that holding off on these summer events would be worth it in terms of guaranteeing a chance of returning back to campus in the fall.
For junior communication sciences and disorders major Samantha Montag, there is no doubt she would rather take going back to campus in the fall and getting a sense of normalcy back over putting lives at risk by hosting summer events.
“I agree that this sucks, and it isn't fun that we can't go to events or do the things that we are used to doing. However, I would rather miss out on events this summer than not get to go back to school in the fall or not getting to continue ‘normal life’ as soon as possible,” Montag said.
“The more we social distance and stop the rapid spread, the sooner we get to go out and continue our lives.”
With the financial and legal pushbacks that have risen from Pritzker’s stay-at-home order through May 30, the possibility of more pushback with the canceling and postponements of large summer events may be in Illinois’ future.
“I want these decisions to be made based on what is best for the people who live in our state. This whole thing isn’t about whose political views you agree with, this is about keeping people safe,” Montag said.
Students statewide have also agreed that the modifications to these plans are set to happen whether these events occur this summer or not.
To them, taking that risk of overwhelming hospitals and many other locations for a second time would potentially be just as harmless as the first time.
“[Canceling these events] would benefit the state by further flattening the curve and not overwhelming hospitals. If these events were to happen, I believe there would be a big spike in cases because these events have no way to enforce social distancing,” Lukasik said.