Students face new challenges when being social


Thomas Kenyon

Juniors Jeremy Hannah, Jimmy McCartan and Ian Kenyon with the clothes they bought from Goodwill.

This article was written by a student in Intro to Mass Communications, the class that precedes The Cardinal Times. 

Pandemic guidelines have changed many times in the past year, making it difficult for students to engage in social activities.

On the 30th of June, the state of Oregon officially reopened, and for a time masks were no longer required in most indoor settings. Many facilities, such as restaurants and gyms, were also allowed to operate at a higher capacity. These guidelines stayed in place for most of the summer, according to

Students say they had more opportunities to be socially active than they had the previous summer.

“Over this past summer, since it was the second time we had gone through it in a pandemic, I think I was being a lot more socially active and doing a lot more activities,” said junior Zakary Dallner.

His level of comfort when being social this past summer was different than it had been previously. Dallner had a more reluctant approach earlier in the year and at the end of last year.

“Before I was more hesitant to do certain activities,” he said. 

Dallner’s reason for his shift in comfort level is because he and his friends could get vaccinated. He has taken advantage of this opportunity to reduce risk when socializing. 

“I feel very safe when I am with my friends,”  said Dallner. “I know that we are all vaccinated. That’s a safe environment, especially when we are doing these social activities outside.”

Lucas Garcia, a freshman, shares similar thoughts. Garcia has been spending more time with his friends this summer and at the start of this school year.

“I have been socializing with many of my friends in Hood River,” said Garcia. “Now that school has started, I have also been socializing with many of my friends who live in Portland. I enjoy hanging out with them and have been hanging out with them every weekend.”

Last spring, Garcia felt similar levels of comfort when being social and active, despite not yet being eligible to get vaccinated. He felt this way because he was taking other precautions to be as safe as possible while taking part in the activities he enjoys.

“I played [a] lacrosse [season] right before I got my vaccination,” said Garcia “Beforehand I still felt safe, as we were social distancing and wearing masks.” 

Coming back to this school year, Garcia stresses the importance of trust. One of the reasons for his comfort is his trust in the people around him. He talks about hanging out with friends on weekends and after school.

“We all trust each other to make smart decisions,” said Garcia. “I trust if someone was feeling sick they wouldn’t come.”