Spring break in a mid-pandemic world

by Roberto Reyes

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Spring break is coming soon. We can expect students from many universities to continue the tradition of spring break, and many may be considering traveling to states with loosened COVID-19 mandates. Although Zoom and pandemic fatigue are real, so are the possibilities of spreading, accelerating, and bringing about another wave of COVID-19 cases. According to a CNN report, new variants present cause for concern, such as the “B.1.1.7 variant accelerating in Florida.” This U.K. variant, along with two others from Brazil and South Africa, could spread via spring breakers traveling to various states across the U.S.

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Lives are on the line, and many universities are taking action to play a role in promoting public safety. Some have decided to cancel spring break in order to slow the spread of the virus. One such university is New York University (NYU), following in the footsteps of universities like Florida University and Boston University.

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On one hand, canceling spring break is unfortunate for many student and it may further take away from student’s university experiences. According to NBC, some students are voicing concerns regarding their mental health due to the pandemic, cancellations and Zoom classes. “’Without a break, we’re going to be faced with burnout, depression, and our mental health is going to deteriorate,’ said Mark Gaunin, a junior at San Diego State University.” Now with the cancellation of spring break, many universities are faced with the question of how to make sure students are facing less burnout during the pandemic.

Of course, there are many universities where spring break is still in effect. As a result, large numbers are traveling for spring break despite the warnings of a surge in COVID-19. According to ABC News, airports across the country are screening one million people a day. Spring break could effectively make or break the pandemic.

While spring break is still in effect at UCLA, the school is encouraging all students to restrict travel. As of now, the remainder of the school year is set to remain mostly remote.

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This year we have seen some changes regarding COVID-19 measures. Many states and counties have loosened restrictions and mask mandates as vaccination begin to ramp up. Some states have been more open to lifting the mask mandate than others.

According to U.S. News, these are the states with and without mask mandates.

With: Alabama | American Samoa | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | District of Columbia | Guam | Hawaii | Illinois | Indiana | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | Ohio |Oregon | Pennsylvania | Puerto Rico | Rhode Island | U.S. Virgin Islands | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin

Without: Alaska | Arizona | Florida | Georgia | Idaho | Iowa | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | North Dakota | Northern Mariana Islands | Oklahoma | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee |Texas | Wyoming

For more information on possible strands and related COVID-19 news, please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

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