Life’s a Picnic

2020 brings a new, Covid-friendly activity

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Amidst the lockdowns and 14-day quarantines, an age-old past time has bounced back into the social scene: picnics.

Picnics, which had died down in popularity over the years, has become an activity embraced by people of all ages as social distancing rules and COVID restrictions make spending time with friends and family difficult.

“They were something fun to do over the summer,” said junior Betty Amundsen. “We couldn’t do some stuff because of corona but we were able to have little picnics.”

Being able to stay spread-out and be outside not only helps reduce the risk and fear of spreading the virus, but also allows people to spend more time outdoors.

“With corona happening it just felt safer being outside when I was hanging out with friends,” said freshman Lillian Dowe.

Eating is a key component of picnics. The food and beverages can set the tone for the activity and often differ from gathering to gathering. For in-person students, the food and beverages are school lunches, either from the cafeteria or home. For other picnic-goers, anything from watermelon to cake can be found on the blankets laid on the grass.

“I like having a variety of foods,” said junior Annabel Lane. “My favorites are different fruits and sushi.”

“I normally bring a sandwich and a coffee,” said senior Daria Ovsyannikov.

In-person students have been able to choose from a variety of different options for where they can eat lunch and picnic style on the front lawn is one of them.

“I decided to eat on the lawn because it seemed more fun,” said senior Natalie Mafrige. “The tables get kinda loud sometimes.”

For some of the upperclassmen, this extended freedom with lunch is reminiscent of lunchtime before the new building, when the circle drive was dominated by the beloved red tables and lunch could be taken virtually anywhere on campus- no social distancing or cautioned-off areas.

“I definitely see more of the old freedoms coming through,” said Mafrige.

“It reminds me of lunch freshman year,” said Amundsen. “When we could just kind of sit anywhere we wanted.”

Outside of campus, some spots in Houston have become favorites for picnics.

“My friend Leah and I had a picnic at Menil Park and that has been my favorite picnic so far,” said Lane.

“One [picnic] was at Eleanor Tinsley Park by the bayou,” said Dowe. “Another one was at the Menil.”