Because travel has been so limited over quarantine, many students are eager to reunite with family members for the holidays. However, some are hesitant to gather with relatives who they have not been in physical contact with.
Several students have traveled to visit their siblings in college over the Summer including Charlotte Baker. Regardless, some students still believe there should be strict regulations for the holidays. According to the New York Times, “only around 27 percent of Americans plan to dine with people outside their households.”
Baker mentions that “people should test negative within two days before the flight” and “families should be separated.” Charlotte Baker thought that individuals should take precautions such as bringing “extra face coverings, hand sanitisers and maintaining a six foot distance at all times.” Overall, Baker believes that if COVID cases rise due to holiday break socialization, the “travel from heavily affected states may need to be slightly restricted.”
Furthermore, Christina Mullarkey feels that she does “not feel super comfortable getting on a multiple hour flight” at all. Adding that “driving is a safer option people should take if they need to travel.” Because of this their family has decided to refrain from traveling altogether in hopes of ensuring safety for everyone. The CDC highlights that “gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase your chances of getting or spreading the flu or COVID-19.”
In response to these guidelines John Quinlan took more precautions this year. Quinlan and his family normally travel to Tahoe for Thanksgiving annually, but they have decided to stay home to protect their family.
As an alternative, Joanna Parks drove to Sun Valley, Idaho for Thanksgiving with just her family from her household. Despite taking a flight to Pennsylvania over the Summer, COVID cases are beginning to rise again which has encouraged many families to take road trips instead. Parks believes that people should be “safe and aware of the risks of traveling.” Additionally she added that driving is a great alternative and other families should “try to drive places if possible.”
Also taking advantage of distance learning, Ella Nelson, drove to Laguna Beach to surf. Although many students have felt comfortable socializing with friends and even traveling, there is an increased risk to elderly. For this reason, Nelson has tried her best to “keep our community and loved ones safe” before she hosts an outdoors family party. The CDC recommends that if people choose to celebrate in person then it is a good idea to “have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community.” Nelson also thinks that “the current limitations are sufficient, but if the amount of cases continues to rise she feels that travel in and out of more heavily affected areas should be restricted.”
While some families are cancelling their holiday plans altogether, others are adjusting to regulations in hopes of keeping family traditions alive. Many students are eager to get out of the house, gather in large groups and travel, however, maintaining close quarantine pods may be more important now than ever.