Home for the COVID days

Pandemic forces changes to students’ winter break plans


The holiday season is often synonymous with visits to family and friends. According to the responses to a recent poll, however, the rising cases of COVID-19 are causing many students to alter their Christmas plans significantly.

“I’m pretty sure it’s just going to be my immediate family,” said junior Will McAteer. “It normally is with my cousin and grandparents.”
Some families will even replace in-person gatherings with virtual alternatives.

“Due to the pandemic, our Christmas is very affected, mostly because we always host Christmas and have my family and extended family over and we bring all our presents and food,” said freshman Benne Mweene. “Since I have little cousins that go in-person, we aren’t risking it, so this year we are not getting together for Christmas. It’s hard and sad to wrap [my head] around the feeling of no Christmas with my loved ones, but we will still FaceTime them and talk.”

Fortunately, not all holiday traditions have to fall victim to the pandemic.

“My family and I will probably get a tree and decorate it, just like any other year,” said freshman Emily Reyna. “I’ll also listen to a lot of Christmas music. Although it will be strange not getting together with relatives, I will probably call friends and play video games with them on Christmas night instead.”

The annual Walter Payton Toy Drive is one tradition that has carried on. Students succeeded in donating over 700 toys to help families in need.

Christmas will look different this year, but creativity and generosity will keep the season jolly.