Students Adjust Holiday Plans For 2020

The pandemic forces students and their families to make adjustments for the upcoming holiday season


Submitted by Arthi Kondapaneni

Arthi Kondapaneni (left) celebrates Diwali with her friend Caitlyn Conrad.

Grayce Page, Reporter

While most people are planning on going to see family and celebrate old traditions for the holidays, this year, many will not be taking part in it. For some families, they cannot risk getting infected. Not only is it cold and flu season, but we are still experiencing a pandemic, where some cases can go undetected. Even if you don’t feel sick, there is still a chance that you are.

For some, this is usually the time for family or themselves will fly in to see their family. For others it’s a time of coming together to celebrate their religious beliefs. No matter how anyone once celebrated the holidays, without a doubt, this year will look different. Many families usually fly out once a year to celebrate and enjoy spending time with their loved ones.

According to MIT Medical, “while the HEPA filters used in commercial aviation can filter out 99.97% of virus-sized particles, they can’t capture every respiratory droplet or viral aerosol before someone else inhales it” Going out of town (especially flying) for the holidays could put anyone at risk for contracting any illness including COVID-19.

When do you like to start decorating for the winter holidays?


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This time of year was hard enough without a pandemic. It typically has the highest amount of breakups, suicides, illnesses, and more. No matter who you are, where you are, or what you believe, this year will most likely hit you harder. People are still finding ways to stay connected and positive, but there’s only so much you can do to fill the void of not physically being with someone.

What are your plans for the holidays?

For sophomore Arthi Kondapaneni, this year is going to look very different.  “For Thanksgiving actually, I go with like my big entire family to Michigan but we’re not doing that this year cause a lot of my family relatives are like older. So it’s just going to be like my immediate family. Me, my mom, my dad, and my brother.”

While to some this may not mean much, but when you look at the bigger picture, it’s not just Arthi and her grandparents. Not only is her Christmas going to be canceled, but her Diwali. Diwali is a holiday also known as a “festival of lights” that is usually celebrated in Hinduism and some other religions. This five-day celebration is celebrated with candles & other festivities. It is said to symbolize the victory of light and to show the good over evil along with knowledge over ignorance. 

Sophomore Vianca Malave said that her family is “torn between going to Hawaii or having my dad come here” over the holidays. “My dad won’t be here for my birthday or my brother’s (birthday) because of COVID.”

While people may be thinking Christmas is the only thing being changed this year, there is so much more that is going to be different.

Sophomore Olivia Marshall normally goes to Colorado during the holidays “because who wouldn’t want to run around in two feet of snow,” she said. “But, because of COVID, we aren’t going this year. Instead, we are just kinda staying in and not getting COVID, yay.”

As you can see, a lot of people’s plans will be drastically changed due to the pandemic. No matter what you and your family decide to do, make sure you are safe and still enjoy this time of year. It’ll be gone before you know it.