Carelessness threatens the holidays

Kristin Boyles, Growl Editor

Flickr (Marco Verch)

COVID-19 is raging across the country at an alarming rate, but plenty of people have decided they no longer care. This is a problem.

Universities across the country let out of school early to help prevent spread on their campuses. While sure, this is a good idea; they sent their students back to their hometowns without a care in the world.

These students returned to their homes from living in a dorm or apartment, no questions asked. Granted, maybe some families asked these students to be tested or quarantine before returning home.

I’m betting most didn’t, though.

So, Thanksgiving came and went, and the cases keep going up and up. Christmas is quickly approaching. All of your friends from high school are home, too, and your favorite restaurant is open, and your grandma wants to see you.

Or, perhaps, you’ve been living with your family all semester, but a friend you haven’t seen in a long time texts you and wants to hang out to give you a present. Or, perhaps, you live in an apartment and don’t plan to head home for the holidays because this is your home, but you’re still bored and decide to do something.

And so, it feels just like any other holiday.

You see your family, and you all go out to dinner. The restaurant is a bit busy, given the pandemic, and you pull your mask down once you are seated.

You go to a friend’s house in a few days and cough once, but don’t think anything of it. Your throat is always scratchy this time of year.

You see your grandmother, your significant other, and your diabetic aunt the next day. Then, you get a COVID-19 test because you feel run down and a bit foggy in the head. Your results come back positive.

You call and text everyone you’ve seen within the past 10 days to tell them that yes, you did test positive. Your grandmother cries, worried for both your and her health. You try to calm her down by telling her it’ll be alright.

This is one variation of the chain of events we see playing out across this country every day. Of course, this is not solely the fault of college students. There are plenty of older adults who have been reckless during this pandemic, too.

None of it is okay. You might be spared this time. But it won’t be that way for everyone. For your friends, your extended family, your coworkers, or classmates.

Be responsible this holiday season. Stay home and wear a mask. Don’t hang out with friends or family you haven’t been isolating from. We all regret poor decisions at some point, but I wouldn’t want it to be this.