Students share opinions on business re-openings


Lindsey Ha

A screenshot from Firehouse Subs’ website with a message regarding COVID-19.

After being in quarantine for upwards of 8 weeks, people are getting restless and restrictions are slowly being lifted across the country. There are a lot of questions as to what should happen when businesses do re-open. Here, we look at student opinions on re-openings from three different points of view: a student who is unemployed, a student who is working during the pandemic, and a student who is unable to work due to COVID-19.


A Student Who is Unemployed: Alex Engelken

Sophomore Alex Engelken wants to go out but understands the need to wait.

“[I want to go to] Restaurants because I want some different food. Also, some home decor stores because I repainted my room grey and want to get some new stuff for it,” Engelken explains. “I’ll probably gradually return to normal, I’m not sure how long it will take before everything is kind of normal yet.”

Engelken hopes that restaurants and other businesses will, “…slowly lift precautions rather than instantly, so we can prevent sudden spikes in cases. Maybe keep distancing and wearing masks for a bit,” she said.

Engelken says she will take her own steps to protect herself as well, “I’m probably going to try to avoid the more crowded places…wear a mask in stores, and make sure to wash my hands after going to places”, she explained.

In the end, Alex Engelken is not anxious for restrictions to be lifted, “I like having a lot of free time,” Engelken stated.


A Student Who is Working During the Pandemic: Bryan Ramsdell

Senior Bryan Ramsdell is currently working at Firehouse Subs.

In order to protect customers and employees from the virus, “They have taken the dining room area out of the restaurant so it’s only take-out. They have 6 ft lines for social distancing and a plastic cover for the cashier. We are not supposed to hand [the food] to [customers], just set it on a table for them to pick it up so we don’t come in contact,” Ramsdell explained.

According to Ramsdell, some of the precautions can be frustrating and may seem unnecessary like using gloves at the cash register, “…it’s annoying to use now,” he said.

On the other hand, Ramsdell thinks some of the new adjustments should stay in place even as restrictions are lifted, “I want them to keep the hand-off thing instead of going around to give [food] to [customers] because some people are nasty,” he said.


A Student Who is Unable to Work Due to COVID-19: Caroline Mack

Sophomore Caroline Mack works as a server in the dining room at Sunrise Senior Living.

Towards the end of March, they told her that she had to stop coming in, “…they are only letting 18+ year-olds in now (only employees, no visitors allowed) because they don’t want the residents to catch COVID-19,” she explained.

“I had barely finished my training and had just started when I had to stop…First, they said only employees were allowed in and out and you got your temperature checked every time you walked in and then a couple days after they said only employees 18+,” Mack shared.

While Mack does know her job will be waiting for her when restrictions are lifted, there’s no telling when that will be. “[I have] no idea [when I can come back]. Not for a while I imagine,” Mack stated.