Flames of the Torch – February in full swing

The month is in full swing, as we are well into a particularly eventful week. The second week of February kicked off with Super Bowl Sunday, is growing colder with near-daily snowfall and will finish off with Valentine’s Day weekend. A year ago, we wouldn’t blink an eye at any of these events. In 2021, however, a stadium full of sports fans and couples dining in restaurants functioning at half capacity are not ordinary occurrences. Needless to say, last time we checked, we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. 

Indoor dining is set to reopen in some capacity in New York City on Feb. 12 and our writers had a lot to say about it, especially since it aligns with the holiday people love to dine out on – Valentine’s Day. Love is most definitely in the air with the day of romance quickly approaching, especially for engaged couples waiting to get married – and they’re in luck, as Staff Writer Maria Villarroel noted in the opinion section this week, as Cuomo has announced new guidelines for wedding ceremonies, an initiative that may prove difficult to regulate. The world is trying so hard to feign normalcy – this is not what we had in mind, and more like something from a poorly-rated rom-com.

Despite restrictions due to the pandemic, there are still things to look forward to on campus. This week’s edition of “Life After the Storm” followed a softball player seeking her masters in education. Like the rest of us graduating this year, she’s excited to begin a career in her passion. As student journalists, we’re not entirely sure what opportunities will find us come May, or what media is even going to look like at that point, but we sure are excited to no longer have to sit through agonizing online courses or – for some of us – step foot in another classroom ever again. 

Study abroad programs may also make a return this summer, to mixed reviews. Those of us who have visited the campuses abroad can agree that it was a life-changing experience. But if you’ve read any of our “Flames of the Torch” over the months, you can probably tell that we’re a nervous bunch when it comes to COVID-19 (rightfully so). Flying overseas seems like a far-fetched possibility for the time being but the Office of International Education remains hopeful.  

SJU sure seems to be trudging ahead towards normalcy – sports are back in full swing and you can expect to see lots of coverage as the season picks up, weather permitting. This week in Sports, the Johnnies took Villanova by storm … Red Storm, that is. For those of us who would prefer to shack up in our homes until the vaccine comes to the rescue, check out our Culture section this week to explore the different forms of media that let us escape from the 11 months of torture that has been the pandemic. 

Life isn’t exactly normal, but this week of February seems to be jam-packed with news, opinions, sports updates and pop culture. Here’s to hoping that the Flames of the Torch keep you warm during this chilly week.