Every year, students and school staff alike are filled with excitement for the holidays and the upcoming winter break. Normally, it’s the time to reconnect and join with family to celebrate the holidays, but since this year is like no other, things are being done a bit differently, especially when it comes to traveling by air. 

“Flying is just an easier option depending on the distance in which you’re going,” sophomore Lily Purse said. “My biggest fear is that proper safety measures might not be taken.”

Many others also share this concern, whether it be a regular student at Naples High or someone from across the country. It is difficult to stay socially distanced from others in a crowded area, so most planes have made middle seats off-limits. 

“I do have fears while traveling because you never know what can happen,” freshman Zoe Brunton said. “When I return to Florida, my parents will probably want me to quarantine, just to make sure.” 

Of course, the coronavirus has affected almost everyone, with most countries ranging between level 2 to level 4 in terms of risk assessment levels according to the CDC, the Centers of Disease Control and Protection. Currently, the U.S. is in level 4, the “very high” category, but some people plan to continue their travels within the country. 

“I do not think it is very safe to air travel because you are breathing in recycled air,” Brunton said. “I hope if we take our safety precautions, we will be okay.”

Despite these worries, a handful of students are continuing their traveling plans this holiday season, but are making sure to follow specific guidelines to ensure their safety. Many of these guidelines are similar to those we follow in everyday life. 

“Before flying, I will make sure that I feel good and don’t have any symptoms,” Purse said. “I will wash my hands, wear my mask, and maintain a distance from others.”

Among obvious precautions many in-school students currently take, the CDC also suggests a few other tips if you decide to proceed with your travels. Getting a flu shot before vacation, bringing extra supplies, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, are some of the lesser-known safeguards to take. 

“Before I go on the trip, I will be getting tested and wearing a mask,” Brunton, who is traveling to Colorado, said. 

In the state of Colorado, “The local or state public health agency may issue public health orders to quarantine or isolate if you test positive for COVID-19,” according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Regardless of the strict guidelines implemented across the country, and the world, many people seem to have trouble respecting the rules that are put in place simply for their safety and the safety of others. 

“I have already traveled twice by plane during the pandemic… [but] they didn’t do that much to question you about symptoms or take temperatures, and many people weren’t abiding by the rules,” Purse said.

For those who decide to continue their travels, it is important to remember how to protect yourself and others during this frightening pandemic. Although the rules and restrictions are slightly different when traveling thousands of miles high, anyone who decides to stay at home should continue to be aware of the consequences and precautions to take.