Photography is very important to Kevin Lopez. He has been taking photos since he was a child. When he joined LaGuardia, he was excited to pursue his passion and find some solidarity. But there was no structured group that catered exclusively to his lifelong love. “It was a good idea to start a Photography Club […]
Many students say wrestling with the aftermath of a Covid-19 infection is the last straw, puncturing their spirit. The path to healing and recovery is dotted with many challenges.
Even after being vaccinated, Karen Herrera did fall ill and then had to deal with new situations in her life. Herrera, a Philosophy student at LaGuardia Community College, works as a part-time waitress in Manhattan and also enjoys spending time with friends at some restaurants near her workplace. “I am not sure I am fully recovered,” she giggled as she spoke.
After the novel coronavirus affected her for the second time, her sense of taste changed. She was back at work in less than ten days, but things were slightly different.
Often, a server helps customers to decide on their meal by describing food. Unfortunately for her, food tasted like aluminum foil at times, which caused some frustration.
“Tasting food sometimes is still annoying,” she said. Her frustration got worse when mojitos after work were not as tasty as before. COVID-19 added an unnecessary ingredient in her personal life.
While the restaurant industry offers good jobs for many college students, it also poses a higher risk of catching the infection. This situation worsened after Mayor Eric L. Adams removed the mask mandate, leaving students more vulnerable and stressed at work.
David Macias is a senior at LaGuardia Community College and a part-time food runner in a restaurant in Brooklyn. “I am fully vaccinated, because it was a requirement to go back to college but also for our own safety at work,” he said in a confident tone.
Even though being vaccinated is not legally mandatory to keep his job, Macias got vaccinated to have some peace of mind. He and his family are paying college tuition out of pocket, therefore having a job was a great way to manage his financial needs.
He is a student in the Industrial Design program. Despite all the chances of exposure to the virus and his struggles with money, he sees potential connections between his career and the restaurant industry.
“I am able to see how Covid opened up opportunities to explore and discover things at our workplace.” He said as he stopped vaping to go back to class.
By exploring ways to save energy and re-design certain ventilation areas at his workplace, he motivates himself to graduate and pursue his dreams for a greener planet.
The restaurant industry in New York City is making a comeback and many students are creating a new normal despite the health risk that this may represent at work.
A new coronavirus variant is keeping government authorities and citizens concerned about the near future, raising anxieties and doubts among some students.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, Carmen Arias was planning to continue her education in the ESL program. But now she lives in a constant fear of losing her job and not being able to improve her English.
“I just hope we do not have to shut down the city again,” she said while pulling off her face cover to be heard as clearly as possible.
If everything goes well, Arias will be continuing her education this year in September.
Even after knowing that everything has changed, she is willing to continue with her life by working more hours in the restaurant and saving money to pay for her English classes.
“I am planning to go back,” she declared.
She says she feels like everything is more expensive now. She is “skeptical” that everything will get better soon. “Everything got so expensive, when I go out to eat, I cannot find good deals anymore.” Chelsea market was known to have dollar oysters and happy hours but not anymore.
Her fears take over when she looks around her workplace and sees how many small restaurants closed during the pandemic.
The economy has also changed and nothing seems normal. Not even her taste buds.