A lot can change in a school year. In August, students and staff weren’t sure how long school would stay in session. By the spring, more than half of the student body and all of the staff are able to get vaccinated if they want. Time flies and with every vaccination shot, BNI is closer to getting back to normal.
In November, the BNI student body was asked if they would get the vaccine if it was available. Only 25% said yes, 44% were undecided, and 31% said no.
In April, the JourNoll Staff asked the students the same question. 60% said yes, 12% were undecided, and 28% said no.
On March 31 Indiana Governor Holcomb allowed all Indiana residents 16 and above to register to be vaccinated.
Holcomb said that the federal government will rapidly increase available vaccinates by the end of March, so he feels it’s time for everyone in Indiana to have the opportunity to get vaccinated.
Junior Aaliyah Crawford, an Indiana resident, received her first dose of the vaccine on April 7. She was ecstatic when she saw that 16 year olds were able to get vaccinated in Indiana. She’s looking forward to the summer because she can go out with friends and work.
“The one thing I thought of when I made the appointment is that I couldn’t wait to get my summer back,” said Crawford. “This is my last summer before I graduate. I was bummed last year because everything was so uncertain due to COVID. Now that I have the vaccine, I know that things won’t be the same immediately, but we are much closer to normalcy.”
According to coronavirus.in.gov, as of April 15, approximately 1.5 million people in the state are considered fully vaccinated.
Governor Holcomb has also ended the mask mandate in Indiana on April 6th. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to wear it at all though. You must still wear your mask in school, all state buildings or facilities, vaccination sites, and any other business that requires you to wear a mask.
The situation is a little different in Illinois. Illinois Governor Pritzker announced that on April 12 Illinois residents 16 and older will be able to register to get vaccinated. However, Chicago will not follow this and continue to set their own guidelines.
According to coronavirus.Illinois.gov, as of April 15, about 2.7 million people are considered to be fully vaccinated in Illinois.
Junior Anaiz Espinoza, an Illinois resident, says that she is ecstatic about being vaccinated. She and her family received her first of the Pfizer vaccine on April 7.
“I can’t wait to get back to normal,” said Espoinoza. “I’m glad to be doing my part when stopping the spread of COVID-19. This summer I’m hoping to go to Six Flags Great America and maybe some concerts.”
She said the process was fairly easy. She and her family were able to sign up online. She got her vaccine at South Suburban College in South Holland, IL.
“We got there, they took our temperatures and we waited to answer some questions and to get signed in,” says Espinoza. “After, a nurse gave me the vaccine. After my shot, they signed me up for the second dose on the 28th. After signing up I had to wait 15 minutes to make sure I didn’t get an allergic reaction. After waiting 15 minutes I felt fine and was able to leave.”
She says her only symptom was soreness in her arm, but ultimately she says it is nothing to be nervous about.
About 38% of the students polled said they are already registered to get vaccinated.
Junior Julieta Wedryk, an Illinois resident, has already been fully vaccinated. She received her first dose on March 17 and the second on April 7. She says the process was easy and practically painless.
“The process wasn’t very stressful for me,” said Wedryk. “It was similar to other shots, and I didn’t have to wait long at all. All I had to do was fill out my information and wait for the next available station.”
Before getting vaccinated, many people are nervous that it will be painful or that their body will react negatively. Wedryk said she was fatigued and her arm was sore, but nothing that caused her extreme pain.
When asked about what the student body is most excited for when we get back to normal, 48% of the students polled said going to sports events and amusement parks.
Wedryk is most excited about getting back to dance competitions. Last competition season was cut short due to COVID-19, so she and her team missed out. Lucky this year, they are able to perform. She and her team have been preparing for months in order for their first competition next week.
“I got the vaccine to protect myself and others, when you see someone in public you don’t know if they are a carrier of COVID or at high risk to catch it; I just wanted to do what I could to stop the spread of COVID,” said Wedryk. “Another reason I got vaccinated was for my sister and my grandparents, they are at high risk for getting COVID and I wanted to protect them.”