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Rollout of COVID vaccines creates hope

Graphic by Allyn Benkowich | Graphics Editor

The increasing availability of COVID-19 vaccinations are opening up possibilities for the summer plans of members of the Drake community. 

Carpenter Hall receptionist Cookie Moran said her and her family’s COVID-19 vaccinations will allow them to visit relatives this summer in Colorado, Ohio and and Florida, Moran’s home state. 

“Last year, we went for spring break—March 13, I’ll never forget it—March 13, and I did not come back until September 8th,” Moran said. “And we stayed, you know, home, with only going out when necessary. So this year, because we’re vaccinated, and my family’s vaccinated, we’re able to travel.”

Moran said she is retiring this year after working at Jewett Hall for five years and Carpenter Hall for six years. 

“I’ve been here eleven years, and so it’s time. I felt I always had a purpose to be here, but I think COVID, and dealing with this has kind of pushed me that, it’s time to move on and enjoy life without all the restrictions,” Moran said. 

Drake first-year Celeste Trevino said that COVID-19 kept her extended family apart last year, but now that most of them are vaccinated, they are planning to get together this summer. Trevino also said that while she spent more time outdoors at nature preserves during the pandemic than she would have otherwise, she is looking forward to being able to enjoy city life and go to the theater. 

“I actually have like some of my cousins who they’ve had like, babies during COVID and so I actually haven’t seen some of my newest members of the family yet. So I kind of want to see them,” Trevino said. 

Drake first-year Dawson Urquidez and senior Trey Newman said they are both receiving their first COVID-19 vaccinations on April 9 at a clinic at Drake University. Urquidez said that being vaccinated will make him feel “more comfortable” in his restaurant job and “loosen up a little bit more” during the summer. 

“And it’ll probably even make just how I treat, you know, my COVID summer a little less a matter of personal safety and more just continuing to wisely interact with others and their preferences,” Urquidez said. “We’re kind of caught in that in-between right now, and so it’s just a matter of being sensitive to each situation in each context.”

Newman said vaccination status will be an important factor at the Summer Leadership Training program at Walnut Creek Church, which he said he will be helping coordinate this summer. Newman said that COVID protocols in the program may shift based on how many people have been vaccinated. 

“I mean, going into the summer, especially with like, Summer Leadership Training, a lot of the things we do will be somewhat based on kind of looking at our people and if people did decide to get vaccinated, and how many people, how many people are not vaccinated,” Newman said. “And I think that, I mean, from everything I’ve read, that probably the bulk of people will be vaccinated by the time we get to the summer.”


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