Playing it safe

How did the pandemic impact travel over winter break? The LM population was surveyed to see how many decided to travel and how many did not.

Due to COVID-19, traveling at this unprecedented time has become difficult, but not without reason. The strict travel guidelines have influenced many people’s decision-making regarding travel. According to the Department of Health, “anyone who visits Pennsylvania from another state, including Pennsylvanians returning to the Commonwealth, must get tested within 72 hours prior to entering the Commonwealth. If an individual is unable to get a test prior to entering the Commonwealth, is waiting for test results, or chooses not to get a test, they must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in our state or secure a negative test, whichever is first.” These guidelines are similar to the ones held by other states across the country. 

Out of the 25 LM students surveyed, only sixteen percent had traveled, with twelve-and-a-half percent leaving the state. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics states that “the holiday travel period saw an overall decline in the total trips taken by Americans despite a year-over-year jump in trips between 50 and 500 miles.” The travel guidelines persuaded many people to stay home instead of traveling out of state, because they were worried about being further exposed or having to quarantine during their vacation if they tested positive. An LM student noted, “My family and I usually travel, but due to COVID-19 we had stayed home this year. I wish we could have gone somewhere, but I understand it is more difficult with these restrictions.” Everyone surveyed about their travel reported having traveled by car, which eliminates the chance of COVID-19 transmission from public transportation. 

Students were asked about their opinions of travel during this remarkable time, and they all alluded to following safety precautions if one is to travel. One student wrote, “I think that travel right now is okay as long as people are being smart and safe for themselves, and safe and respectful to others.” Someone else responded, “I was very envious of my peers who had the opportunity to travel, but I knew it was for the best that we stayed home.” A third student answered, “I lost a lot of respect for people who went on vacation for fun.” This person’s response highlights our community’s main priority of safety above all else during this unpredictable time. When deciding to unnecessarily go to public places, people are not only putting themselves at risk, but also putting everyone else around them in a dangerous situation. Everyone needs to be very conscious of their actions and think about how it could potentially affect others.