By Sydney Black
As the majority of the United States reflects on a year of being in quarantine because of COVID-19 and as vaccines are being rolled out, Byram Hills students and the rest of the general public are beginning to return to some sense of normalcy. Unfortunately, though, coronavirus cases have begun to plateau at a relatively high number. With this in mind, the Center for Disease Control Director, Rochelle Walensky, has cautioned against major travel saying, “I’m pleading with you, for the sake of our nation’s health. Cases climbed last spring, they climbed again in the summer, they will climb now if we stop taking precautions when we continue to get more and more people vaccinated.” Thus, this begs the question “How are various students taking this advice, and what are they going to do for spring break?”
For some students, remaining at home remains the best option, both in terms of their own and their family’s safety and comfort. Audrey Goldberg, a sophomore, said that “I am staying home and enjoying the nice weather. It’s a great time to take walks outside and my dog, Ava, to the park. It’s going to be an ideal time to study for AP exams and Regents.” If you are staying home, spring break could be an opportunity to spend time outdoors like Audrey, explore a new restaurant, or catch up on lost sleep. Additionally, it could be a unique chance to spend extra time with your family. Activities such as board games, reading, or even watching a movie are other nice ways to break up the time.
Other students have opted to leave for break, taking advantage of the gradual lift on restrictions. Earlier last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that on April 1st there will be a lift on the required quarantine for domestic travel, though it is still recommended. Due to the restrictions that are still in place and general precautions, many students have had limited in-person contact with some family members. Allie Cooper, also a sophomore, noted, “now that my grandparents are fully vaccinated, I’m going to stay with them in the Hamptons. I’m excited but also nervous to see them with no masks.” Though travel has the potential for risks, taking precautions such as getting vaccinated, avoiding crowds, and following state as well as local recommendations can promote a safer and enjoyable experience, as Allie mentioned.
Ultimately, there are a wide variety of things for students to do over the course of spring break, whether that be a simple “staycation” or going away. Regardless, the time off will give students a hiatus from their screens and an opportunity to enjoy time away from schoolwork. When students return, they will be able to approach the remainder of the school year with a renewed sense of motivation and increased mental clarity.