Staff Editorial: Students have role in preventing spread of COVID-19 during holidays


Photo by Nayana Celine Xavier

Taking precautions, such as mask wearing, over winter break will help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The Purple Tide Staff

As we enter the 10th month of quarantine, social distancing, mask-wearing, stay-at-home orders and separation, a sense of restlessness has emerged. This virus has tested every strand of the impenetrable human strength, forcing us to voyage to depths we never knew existed. But letting our guard down casts a blind eye to the reality that the pandemic is not over, cases are rising and more people are dying. 

As the vaccines are starting to be in effect, such as Pfizer being approved and Moderna anticipating approval, the thought of returning to pre-COVID everyday life infuses everyone’s minds. 

The future appears radiant, a stark contrast from the dreary days of isolation, an antidote to the fatigue that has been experienced by all Americans.   

In the year of 2019, holiday life was when we would go out with large groups of family and friends and it reminded us all about the splendid times we had before isolation. Even though holidays are truly an amazing time to spend with loved ones, we need to keep those loved ones and ourselves safe by social distancing and quarantining in our own homes.

According to CNN, despite many restrictions the U.S. has placed on traveling, more than 4 million people traveled away from their homes for Thanksgiving. States like Georgia, California, Mississippi, Arkansas and our own state as well, Virginia, had a high number of travelers during Thanksgiving. Two weeks after the holiday, TSA, (Transportation Security Administration) saw that COVID-19 infections had escalated.  

There are many ways we can stay safe during the holiday season and still enjoy it. Since we are staying at home, decorating the house festively can add to the holiday cheer. Watching classic Christmas movies is a perfect way to unwind after the celebrations. Mailing gifts to loved ones can remind them that even during these hard times, they are still in our thoughts.  

Technology provides the opportunity to have large group calls with our loved ones, where we all can get a good cheer and laugh. We are able to mimic how holidays are usually celebrated, but most importantly, it is the best option at hand to be safe and still have a happy holiday.

We are so close to winning this battle; the horizon of the end is just beyond our fingertips. We must continue to think rationally while bearing in mind that our actions no longer affect just us – they carry over to millions of others. 

If we go out now and ignore social distancing protocols, we are belittling the sacrifice of our healthcare workers, the diligence of our educators, the cries of our neighbors who lost their livelihoods and the loss of over 200,000 lives. If we are ever to return to school, cases must be lower than they currently are, but holiday gatherings threaten to increase the already high rate. Onwards we must go, protecting ourselves and those around us. We must persevere through the hard times and put our faith and trust in following the rules that will liberate us from the grasp of COVID-19. Our future depends on it.