Many college students and their families want to be together for Thanksgiving despite the big risk of infection that COVID-19 poses. It is an important holiday, but without thought, students going home on Thanksgiving can be a big recipe for disaster.
There are several reasons behind this. First, young people are often asymptomatic. They can be carriers of COVID-19 and have no clue. Second, most of them are coming from places that have become hot spots for the infection.
This highlights the importance of preparations to lower the risks and keep families safe. Below are some considerations for parents and students to reduce the chances of infecting family members for the coming holidays.
1. Take COVID-19 seriously.
This is not an ordinary holiday for students. Always think about how you can pass the virus to a family member, which could kill them. Many college students underestimate the coronavirus. Young people recover well, and often, do not have symptoms. Being infected only means staying in their rooms. But this is not the case for the elderly. It could mean death.
2. Self-quarantine and get tested.
If you want to go home for Thanksgiving, quarantine at school to reduce the possibility of bringing the coronavirus with you. Attend whatever class you have to go to and then stay at home. This is the maximal thing you can do. Do not leave your campus without having done any quarantine or testing. Alternatively, you can leave campus early and spend the two weeks sequestered in your room at home.
3. Think about your travel options.
Traveling home for Thanksgiving could increase the student’s risk of exposure to the virus. It is an important consideration. The safest option is to drive home alone. If you have your own car, this controls your exposire. You just have to focus on staying safe in case you must get out of the car.
If you must travel by plane, train, or bus, strictly follow safety measures, such as mask-wearing and hand hygiene. You should also avoid traveling on weekends or peak times to lower interactions with other people to protect yourself and your family this Thanksgiving holiday.