Spring Break Vacations are Unnecessary

In a year with COVID-19 students should not be going on spring break trips.

Tia Munoz, Editor in Chief

A senior year spring break trip. I’ve heard about it for the entirety of my high school experience. How fun it is, how it’s the best part of the year, how I have to take one. In many ways, it’s seen as a tradition, to some, even a rite of passage. 

However, with the climate of this year, I think it’s important that we ask ourselves if a spring break trip is necessary. And in my opinion, it’s not. An unnecessary vacation amid a pandemic is incautious. 

I’m well aware that it is not realistic to apply this to everyone. There are certain scenarios that make this statement inapplicable. For instance, I would not think that someone who has had a trip planned prior to the pandemic and has already put down money would cancel it. I also understand that people may have necessary places to attend. However, these are not the situations I am trying to address. I’m discussing a trip just for the sake of having one. 

Speaking as a senior, I’ve heard about and looked forward to a “senior year spring break trip” since I first learned about it. However, the theme of this year has been compromising. How can we work out a school schedule that will keep students safe? How can we have fun without putting ourselves and others at risk? 

The reality is that this year, the compromise is not taking vacations if you don’t need to. A fun, spontaneous trip would be fine any other year. But this is not any other year. We are and have been, in the midst of a pandemic since March of last year. 

Traveling increases the chances of contracting and spreading COVID-19. Even further, as of Feb. 16, hospitalization and death rates across the United States were still extremely high (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 

A large reason people go on trips is for stress relief. And while wanting to take a break for yourself is completely valid, there are much safer ways to do it. Staying local and distancing yourself from others might not be the vacation of your choice, but again, compromise is the big idea.  

There is proof of everything the virus has taken all around us. We’ve mourned the loss of normalcy, of intimacy, of lives. Is waiting one year to take a vacation that much to ask? 

If you find that putting yourself at risk is not a swaying factor for you, please consider this: what about the students at your school that you’re putting at risk? The teachers? The people that have to see you in class did not ask to be exposed to what you may have come in contact with while you were gone. 

As someone who is in the building with other students, I frequently hear talk about the virus in general. And that’s what makes me confident in saying that for some, it is simply their mindset of being bigger than the virus that enables them to make potentially reckless decisions. 

We’ve spent the past year hearing about how COVID-19 generally affects those with predisposed conditions the most, and while that is true, that repeated statement has put the wrong idea into some people’s heads. Rather than encouraging them to make choices with immunocompromised people in mind, it has pushed them to have little concern for those around them since it does not affect them specifically. It has been a community effort to keep one another safe, and just because contracting COVID-19 isn’t a concern for you doesn’t mean that it’s not for others. 

My goal here is not to sit on moral high ground and preach about what is wrong and right, or to tell you how to live your life. It is to simply urge you to think about your actions, and the consequences they may have.