Spring break is the week college students look forward to the most during the spring semester. It serves as a well needed break from the semester and a great opportunity to go out and enjoy the improving weather. With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, travelers need to be more aware and careful about how they spend their spring break.
Here are a few things to consider before you board that plane.
Think about the options
Students have been planning their spring break for weeks, which only increases the disappointment of the cancellation of study abroad programs, cruises or international travel. Some airlines and cruises haven't refunded people, but many have offered credit to redeem at a later time. Take the time to seriously consider pushing back the date of these trips and weigh the risks and benefits to traveling during this time.
Take the necessary precautions
If you are still determined to go out on an adventure this spring break, be sure to practice key rules of prevention the CDC outlines. Wash your hands after being in a public place and before you eat. Wash with soap for 20 seconds, which is roughly the time of the chorus of whatever song is stuck in your head. Dish soap can work in replacement of regular hand soap. If you want to use hand sanitizer, make sure it is 60% alcohol and rub it on your hands until it feels dry. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and quickly sanitize your hands afterward.
Think about who you are in contact with
Close contact with anyone who is sick can cause you to be infected, making big crowds a perfect place for the virus to spread. This includes concerts, sporting events and beaches. If these can’t be avoided, be sure to take the precautions mentioned above. The CDC recommends roughly six feet of space between people as the virus spreads predominately through the droplets produced through sneezing and coughing.
Take the two week class suspension seriously
Oklahoma State announced Thursday morning that for two weeks after spring break, all classes will be moved online. This doesn’t mean an extra two weeks of break. COVID-19 has an incubation period anywhere from two to 14 days after being infected; even if you aren’t showing symptoms, you could still have the virus. The two week period is a way to give people enough time to self-quarantine without infecting the whole campus. While symptoms can display at any time during the incubation period, the average development of the symptoms are five days.
If you feel sick, stay home
While COVID-19 is not seen as a danger to college students, it is a danger to people with compromised immune systems and respiratory issues as well as the older population. If you have a fever, are coughing and have shortness of breath, stay home. Even if the symptoms are mild, you can still spread the sickness to other people.
Just because you are willing to take the risk of getting sick, does not mean everyone else is. Take the necessary precautions, and make sure you and everyone you come into contact with are doing what is necessary to limit the spread of the virus.