COVID hinders people from celebrating a normal winter break


Photo courtesy of Flickr

With many families opting to stay home during winter break, video chatting is the easiest way to stay connected. Families like the one shown here organize Zoom calls to catch up and stay socially connected.

By Austin Vinner, Observations Editor

When the school year started in August, students and teachers alike had hoped to be back in person by early January. Unfortunately, this did not happen, and what is normally one of the best times of the year, has been anything but.

Traditional winter break brings holidays, a chance to relax and traditional winter experiences. However, things this year had to look a little different. In normal years, many WCHS students go on vacation over winter break as a way to take a step back and bond with loved ones. Instead of vacations, this year, WCHS students were tasked with making the best of the break at home.

“For winter break this year, I stayed at home and FaceTimed friends,” freshman Mark Chen said. “I would usually go on vacation during winter break, like last year when I went on a cruise, this year I couldn’t do that.”

As challenging as it has been for many students to feel connected with virtual school, it seemed that over the break, there were fewer opportunities to socialize. During the break, many students realized that being stuck at home with nothing to distract them was not ideal.

“I missed hanging out with friends,” Chen said. “I would usually meet up with them but I can’t really do that in person anymore.”

Despite the difficulty that comes with traveling and meeting with extended family, not all WCHS students spent the break at home. WCHS junior Jake Schuman found innovative ways to stay safe while not sacrificing his winter break plans.

“I drove up to Massachusetts to visit my grandparents,” Schuman said. “Normally we would fly, but it was safer for us to drive instead to avoid getting exposed to COVID.”

Being in airports is an easy way to get COVID-19, so when possible, many students chose to drive to destinations instead. This provided a much safer transport.

“We normally would meet up with my cousins and have a small family reunion but because of COVID, they couldn’t come,” Schuman said. “I miss being able to see my family together and not having to worry about getting exposed to the virus.”

It can be hard to make the decision to stay away from friends and family, but for many, this conflict is unavoidable. With the return to school after the break thrusting students back into schoolwork, many students are reflecting on how the pandemic has affected their lives.

“I probably would have still been going to see my grandparents but we would have gone by plane and seen more family members,” Schuman said. “We may have also gone skiing which would have been fun.”