Vacations vs. Vigilance: How Making Your Own Spring Break Concerns the PC Community
by Julia McCoy ’22
Asst. Opinion Editor
It is without question that students at Providence College, and people around the world, are waiting for life to get back to normal. But, while the COVID-19 pandemic remains a threat, it is important that people do not rush to return to their old lives. For college students in particular, this involves staying at school when you would usually be on spring break.
Spring break is an exciting time for college students to get a well-deserved break from their otherwise stressful and busy schedules. Year after year, students pack their bags and fly to various warm destinations for a week to destress. In an attempt to keep coronavirus infections low on campus this semester, PC decided to forego spring break. So, for the sake of the PC community, it is important that students do not ignore the College’s plans by making trips of their own.
Instead of a week-long traditional spring break this year, PC gave students four mental health days that are scattered throughout the semester. While these days do not allow students to fully enter “break mode,” they do provide for some extra relaxation during a busy semester.
Regardless of what the College has given, some students are still choosing to take advantage of the Zoom feature of their classes by taking classes remotely from a tropical destination for a week. They have essentially made their own spring breaks.
This is incredibly detrimental to the progress that our campus has been making because those students are then reentering the College’s campus without having quarantined. They can go back to classes and the dining hall without anyone knowing that they may have just been on a plane the night before. This is dangerous for their fellow students, professors, and staff that work all across campus.
No one is denying that college students need a break. It is painfully clear that Zoom fatigue—the exhaustion that comes from online classes—is an unwelcome addition to the usual mid-semester stress that comes even in a COVID-free environment. Although mental health days provide some time off, many students spend that time doing homework or studying for exams. It is a bit difficult to see the relaxation aspect of the day off when it falls in the middle of an otherwise busy week. However, that does not mean that students should be taking it upon themselves to insert a spring break into their semester as they please. This could easily make the COVID-19 situation at PC harder to control and more likely to get worse.
Every student on campus this semester made the decision to adhere to the College’s rules and plans to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This absolutely included an understanding that spring break would not take place in the same way that it once had. As such, making the decision to go on a vacation and come back without quarantining for the appropriate amount of time is endangering fellow students and other members of the campus community that might not have the means to protect themselves.
With vaccine rollouts improving and the country looking ahead to a much safer environment, the end of the pandemic is more in sight than ever before. For members of the PC community, this could include, as the President’s Office addressed on March 10, in-person classes for the fall 2021 semester. With this in mind, people are beginning to hope for a more normal reality in the near future. However, this is only going to happen if everyone remains vigilant in their efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
Of course, all students would love to go on a vacation to Florida or Aruba right now. Who wouldn’t? But given the situation that our campus and the rest of the world are in, it is better to sacrifice island time until it is deemed safe to travel without endangering your peers.