Spring break cancelation upsets many students, could there be a solution?

For many college students across the country, spring break has been canceled and the Hilltoppers are no exception to these changed plans. The university announced the plan to “eliminate spring break” in early October 2020. “In an effort to keep students, staff, and its campus community safe during the pandemic…”

Common to West Liberty, many universities across the nation are canceling taking spring breaks out of the academic calendar completely in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Oftentimes, students travel heavily during their breaks, which is known to contribute to the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus-19.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report, “COVID-19 Outbreak Among College Students After a Spring Break Trip to Mexico – Austin, Texas, March 26 – April 5, 2020” on July 3, 2020 summarizing how traveling during spring break affects the spread of the virus. A known fact about the virus is that it can cause asymptomatic and mild illness, especially among younger and healthier populations according to the CDC. Basically, younger and healthier individuals can be hosts to the virus and not even know they have it (asymptomatic) or only get mild symptoms. Either way, the virus can be spread a lot faster to other individuals who are at a higher risk to have health complications. In the report listed above, the CDC found after the college students returned home from their trip 64 COVID cases resulted. 60 cases originated among the 183 vacation travelers, one from 13 household contacts and three from 35 community contacts.

Implications of traveling during spring break as the world suffers through a pandemic are huge. The data shows how much the virus spread just from a few students traveling during spring break.

It is important to note that the CDC recommends NOT traveling whatsoever due to the high volume of cases within the United States right now. Staying home will keep you and others safe against getting and or spreading COVID-19. However, the CDC has created a webpage within their main site outlining the safe and proper procedures for students who will be traveling anytime during this spring (whether universities are granting spring breaks or not). Some advice includes wearing a mask at all times, social distancing at least six feet away from others, consistent hand washing and sanitizing practices, and self-monitoring for any signs or symptoms of illness.

As with any change in academic schedules, many students have varying opinions about the cancelation of the usual one-week break during the spring semester.

Some of the Trumpet staff are feeling the effects of not having a spring break with some people saying they feel unmotivated, drained and in need of a break. On the other hand, other staff members feel indifferent about the situation.

Anna Johnston, Junior sports editor, said, “Personally, I think we need a few days to refuel.” On the other hand, Morgan Kafana, freshman culture editor isn’t affected by the change stating, “It doesn’t personally bother me. I wasn’t going to do anything anyways and it might help keep COVID cases down. A day or two off would be nice to just relax and breathe.” Creed Kidney, freshman online editor agrees with Johnson and Kafana about needing “time to re-energize” and collect himself. Lastly, our sports writer Maxwell Fiedorczyk is having a midlife crisis over the cancelation stating, “Every day I am a walking ball of misery and there’s nothing I can do. Would spring break be the answer? Perhaps.”

As for me, I understand completely why the university canceled spring break; however, I too am feeling the mid-semester blues and need just a few days to chill out and relax. Luckily, the COVID-19 vaccine is helping the number of cases go down, bringing us even closer to getting back to normal. While I am sad there is no break this spring, I am hopeful for a better and more “normal” fall semester.