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A CLC student stays home and sets the example for winter break in a pandemic

With less than two weeks left in the semester, the pressure is on.

Luckily though, this means that winter break is on the horizon. 

For most, this means a well-deserved ease in their schedule, a return to paid seasonal work, or the opportunity to catch up on things best done outside of school hours. 

However, the pandemic limits this year’s selection of activities. 

For example, Giselle Thompson, a CKC second-year chemistry student, is making a noted effort to maintain minimal contact with those outside of her bubble.

Thompson’s bubble includes her household, her family, and some close friends with whom she maintains minimal and protected contact. 

During previous winter breaks, she would sometimes travel with her family, but they have decided to stay home because of the pandemic.

Giselle Thompson, 2019

Giselle Thompson, 2019

By avoiding interstate or inter-county travel, Thompson again accomplishes a minimized contact trail, a healthy habit for the coming holiday season.

With covid numbers rising and older adults within her bubble, Thompson said she intends to minimize her contact with those outside her household. 

Thompson’s caution is commendable.

While the impulse to go out might be challenging to resist, people should adhere to safety precautions, especially during the winter. 

Thompson, for example, has decided to avoid public transport. 

What would typically be a one-hour bus ride to school has now become a quick log-in to Zoom, which she appreciates. 

This transition to online and her intentions to remain safe have caused Thompson to transition entirely to car rides.

As a means of transportation, cars are probably the safest travelers can get this winter outside of trodding it out pedestrian style. 

Those who can travel by car are encouraged to do so, as minimizing the number of people on board a bus or train contributes to the control of transmission of viral airborne illnesses, specifically COVID-19. 

For holidays, the CDC recommends limiting guests, washing hands regularly, wearing masks, and social distancing if the attendees are from different households. 

While this seems harsh, it shouldn’t be for much longer. 

As a population, we have made it through the most challenging part of a pandemic: the not knowing. 

People now know the nature of the illness, the symptoms it causes, how to treat it and what vaccines work, who’s most vulnerable, and how to protect them. 

It is because we have these advantages that we should utilize of them. 

As American citizens, we have to protect each other in these not unprecedented but formidable, divisive, and stressful times. 

Sources of science such as Dr. Fauci, the CDC, and the NIH are all in agreement when it comes to what keeps Americans safe from this disease: masks, distancing, and quarantine.

Those of us who have the privileged ability to stay home should exercise that privilege as Ms. Thompson does and remains connected to those close to us through other means in order to protect our country. 

Let’s not tiptoe around with this pandemic, it is claiming lives. 

Besides this, the argument for masks is beyond simple. 

The worst-case scenario for mask wearers is that the science is wrong and we were all a bit unfashionable for a year or so. 

The best case, however, is we contribute to the control of a pandemic and spare vulnerable people their lives, health workers their function, and the economy the strain of a tight lockdown. 

The information available supports Thompson’s precautions and heeding it will bring into our lives not only safety but also peace of mind. 

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