Coronavirus forces tough holiday decisions

As the pandemic continues, Thanksgiving 2020 will consist of many virtual interactions. (Medical City Healthcare)

Zackary Zeller

Families across the nation are left with a difficult decision to make. They must decide whether to gather together for Thanksgiving, weighing the risks of infection with the benefits of seeing loved ones.

With a record-setting surge of cases in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that people do not travel for the holidays.

Students are hard-pressed to determine if seeing their family is the most responsible decision to make given the circumstances. Some UMKC students have chosen to accept the risks and see their relatives, while others are deciding to be safe rather than sorry.

“COVID-19 has not affected my travel plans very much,” said Hope Romero, a UMKC music therapy major. “My family lives in the KC area, so it is relatively easy to see them over the holidays. However, my sister is coming into town from Seattle, and from what it looks like at the moment, COVID-19 will not affect her travel plans either.”

Circumstances are not equal for all UMKC students. Some nations have imposed travel bans on the U.S. because of the high number of cases. For students from foreign countries, this has required them to devise innovative ways to connect with their families over the holidays.

“I believe FaceTime will play a big part,” said Daniel Arcega, a Brazilian UMKC Brazilian student. “I will probably call my parents and my brother during the celebrations. Also, we have Amazon Prime in Brazil, which will allow me to send wrapped gifts to be placed under the Christmas tree, almost as if I was there.”

With no set mandate or strict stay-at-home orders from the federal government, holiday travel decisions have fallen on the individual.

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