On March 21, Nova Scotia lifted the majority of its coronavirus restrictions. The province isn’t alone in its decision; Alberta has already lifted most restrictions, and Ontario will forgo the majority of its restrictions in April. Other countries, like the United States and the United Kingdom, haven’t had major federal restrictions for some time now.
With these loosened legal requirements, will this summer be the first “normal” summer since 2019?
Based on how things have been going so far, I feel quite confident in answering: yes.
After the semester wraps up, I'll fly home to the U.S. (which is still requiring a negative rapid test result). A few weeks later, I’ll meet my friends in Toronto for a concert (Phoebe Bridgers!!), and I won't have to do a rapid test when I come up. We're also trying to scrounge together enough money for the Lollapalooza Music Festival in Chicago in July. At my summer job, masks won’t be required. Then, when classes resume in September, all of my courses are on track to be fully in-person—the first time since the pandemic began that this would be true for me.
With all those things coming up, I’d say that summer is looking pretty normal.
The path to normalcy has been forged by so many small steps, and has been progressing for so long, that everything feels mostly normal already. Sure, COVID-19 guidelines have remained pretty strict here in Halifax, but this year was still filled with lots of “normal” things for me.
For example, since arriving in Halifax I’ve been able to do everything and visit everywhere I wanted to. In the winter, almost everyone I know went home and spent the holidays with their extended families. People took trips with their friends over Study Break. Lectures were attended, sports were played, and shows were performed. That’s not to say that restrictions haven’t hindered people’s university experience this year, but compared to 2020, this year seemed a lot more relaxed. And as of right now, it looks like 2022–23 will be even more so.
Still, I retain a cautious pessimism that I’ve held onto since the beginning of the pandemic. Things have been so unpredictable in the last couple of years, and I’ve learned that nothing is for certain. For all I know, the concerts could be cancelled, the classes back on Zoom, and the restaurants back to half-empty. This article could age very poorly.
I hope that isn’t the case, though. As a student, I feel like the pandemic has hit us particularly hard, depriving us of the many milestones that make this time special. But we did what we had to do. We stayed inside, wore our masks, got our shots, and self-isolated when we needed to.
Now, restrictions are lifting and the weather is getting warmer. Let’s go to see some concerts together.