The 2020 holiday season will be like none other, with Thanksgiving serving as a primer for the upcoming winter holidays. University nursing students explained why COVID-19 will affect this holiday season.
Senior nursing student, Priscilla Boamah, shed light on the associated risks of gathering during the holidays, along with the evident risk of transmitting the virus to family members.
“During Thanksgiving, members of families come from all over to join together, old and young … no one knows where everyone has been, and no one knows for sure who has the virus; therefore, it can easily be transmitted when there are several people in one household,” Boamah said.
Senior Chelsea Rivera warned that one could be positive for COVID-19 but be asymptomatic. From there, one can potentially spread it to another family member, which would therefore just continue the spread.
Sydney Apple, a senior nursing major, said that coming into contact with people outside of your home brings more risk. While getting a COVID-19 test helps, the incubation of the virus means there is a risk to become positive even if one initially tests negative.
Apple described the training that she and her fellow university nursing students received regarding COVID-19.
“We took a training course on contact tracing and how to assist someone who tests positive, such as helping them to figure out how they will get food and prescriptions while in quarantine,” Apple said. “This new virus has presented an immense amount of difficulties for everyone, and people need to make decisions based on the information we have while keeping others’ safety and health in mind.”
On traveling this holiday season, Rivera mentioned that she personally knows someone who had COVID-19 and that it is scary. Because of this, she would advise against traveling to see family members.
If people decide to, however, she said it is best to make sure everyone involved is tested before traveling and to quarantine until you gather.
“You do not want to be the reason one of your family members tests positive,” Rivera said.
Apple added that traveling during the holidays brings risks, particularly if people are using public transportation. She said that it’s important to always wear your mask properly and use hand sanitizer consistently.
“As long as the people you are going to see understand your travels and the risks associated, I feel it is up to the individual if they want to travel,” Apple said
Due to the current circumstances, people have lost some of their holiday spirit this year.
Boamah offered some encouragement and said that people do not have to let the virus “put a damper on the holidays,” as long as safety is a priority.
Apple adds that while some traditions may have to be broken this year, “it is ultimately what is needed to keep our family members safe.”