How Winter Break Traveling is Different For Students This Year

By Gideon Bobb-Semple, Section Editor

2020 has been a rough year for many people, and as a result of the pandemic, many changes needed to be made to the world this year. Covid-19 has sparked fear in many people, and his fear has prompted many people to cancel travel to see their families for the holidays. Despite this, some believe it is a considerable risk to travel, and others think that if you take the right precautions you’ll be okay. Many people do not want to change their holiday traditions and expect to do the same things they do every year. I interviewed a few students to get their take on the situation to see if they will be traveling to visit their families this year, and to discover if some of our school’s cases have affected their decisions. In-person school has been canceled until winter break ends, but there are still some people who were in the red group. This can affect their holiday plans significantly, and I wanted to learn how. My first interviewee is sophomore Hana Abuhamda, who describes feeling “uneasy” about traveling during this time. She is going to Pittsburgh for the holidays and is excited to see her family, but is hoping her time in the airport won’t affect her family. The school cases are very concerning to her, but she feels more prepared, comfortable, and safe because she has been staying home from school. She believes that the school finally made the right decision and closed until after the winter break, but when she is traveling she will make sure she is properly prepared for the airport. My next interviewee who wanted to remain anonymous, says that she and her family are not traveling this year because of the pandemic. She does not want to risk getting some of the older members of her family sick, as a result of them being more susceptible than others to the virus. The school cases have been very concerning to her and her family, and she states that she gets worried about harming any members of her family every time she leaves for school. She mentioned that she was very happy to hear that in-person school was canceled for the last week before winter break. She feels much safer and secured now that she will not be going out as much, but she still wants to stay in Virginia for the holidays and not travel. She also mentioned that she is very curious about how the school will act going forward, predicting that the cases will continue to rise at school once everyone is back from winter break. Only time will tell what will happen with hybrid learning at Flint Hill. My final interviewee is sophomore Cole Clark, who was not intending on traveling this year for the holidays before the pandemic. This year, he plans on having a fun winter break with his close family. The cases at school have not affected him that much, but he is very happy that he does not have to risk getting in the red group for the last week before break. Overall, most students are not traveling this winter season. If they were even considering it, the cases at school changed their minds. There are a lot of people wondering what will happen after the break regarding Hybrid Learning. Will they stop in-school learning because of the rising cases? Or continue to try and keep going for the rest of the year? We will have to wait and see!