The Holiday Spike


Large amounts of travel have likely impacted increasing COVID cases within the US.

Barbara Vaudreuil, Writer

Shocking to no one, just two weeks after holidays like Hanukkah and Christmas and the Winter Solstice passed, more than 300,000 people tested positive for COVID19. Two weeks, and America has already reached an all time high in both cases and casualties with 22.9 million sick and 381,000 dead.


But why?


It’s theorized that the increased cases are results of travel, as many Americans visited family over the holidays.  If we were to assume that everyone was at least aware of social distancing guidelines, shouldn’t the numbers have reflected our concern for our own family members?  Wasn’t everyone masked, or at least aware of the danger?  Two Freshmen at OHS, Jada Baskin and Corrine Wann, have opinions on the matter.


“I miss going out in public,” explained Wann.  “I think it’s caused a lot of stress, and people are always aggravated and taking it out on [other] people.”


Wann’s hands are dry from all the cleaning products she uses at her job. She misses being in groups and hanging around friends, and described how difficult it was to be in constant fear of getting the virus.


“I would rather grow a tail then get COVID,” she declared.  “It scares me.”


Perhaps it’s simply exhaustion that dropped the guard of American citizens. Exhaustion from fear and distrust, isolation and cabin fever.  Everyone is tired, and at the chance to visit those they love, even wearing a mask may feel like too much.  But is stress really enough to give rise to the biggest spike in American history?


The answer may lie with Baskin.


“It’s good that people were being cautious during the holidays,” she said, “but since some people weren’t taking anything seriously, it was a shame that there was another covid outbreak.”


As mentioned by Baskin, a large contributor to the outbreak might have been those who are still in denial about conditions.  Everyone who doesn’t take it seriously, and those who don’t want to.  They may find it far easier to believe that the state of the world is exaggerated, or assume that because of where they live and the conditions they face, that person and the others close to them may be somehow immune.


This is human nature.


That is why it is our job to inform and educate ourselves on the state of the world, regard the safety of those around us, and develop filters for news.  The pandemic is stressful, and it is confusing, but it’s because it’s so easy to ignore that we have to keep our guards up and protect ourselves and others during times like these.


Happy Holidays, and stay safe.