When COVID first started back in December of 2019, it put a heavy halt on traveling. Planes stopped flying, borders were closed up, and it made traveling seem like an act of Congress. People couldn’t visit families, people could only stay at home and suffer in the loneliness that was quarantine. It made holiday travel seem impossible. However, as COVID has loosened up and the rules enforcing travel restrictions loosened, travel started to become more and more easy. People are traveling more, and as Thanksgiving has wrapped up, it’s time for Christmas. Christmas is probably one of the busiest seasons for travel companies such as Delta Airlines and Southwest Airlines. But as the holidays become closer and closer, we seem to have forgotten one small factor: COVID.
Sure, travel restrictions have been lifted since COVID cases have dropped, but that doesn’t mean there’s still some heavy concern and a lot of worries preying on people’s minds. And just recently, we have found different variants of COVID: the delta variant and the omicron variant. With these new variants, it seemed to have sparked a new sense of panic in those who fear for their health, since it’s possible a new quarantine could start. Quarantine caused a series of problems for those who actually abided by the quarantine rules, and the thought of going back to quarantine makes those who worry shudder.
People have claimed that COVID is not as bad as the media makes it seem, and they continue to put themselves in dangerous situations where they can damage their health and others’ health. COVID affects elderly people and those who have some kind of heart problem or respiratory issue. Anybody can get COVID, but judging on the carrier’s medical history, it can affect them differently. A young teenager with a perfectly good immune system can get COVID, but they can easily get better rather than an eighty-year-old man with heart disease.
Vaccinations also play a large part in travel. Some airlines are starting to request that passengers be fully vaccinated before boarding their flight. However, this has sparked some backlash. People who have not gotten vaccinated have claimed that the vaccine actually does carry the coronavirus, which is injected into your body. Others have said that side effects are blood clots and heart inflammation. Others see COVID as not a serious threat since it has around a 98% survival rate. People are also concerned about the side effects. Those who have gotten the COVID vaccine have seen side effects that represent the common cold. For example, headaches, chills, body aches, etc. However, this has been proven to be normal, as it is your immune system working and building itself up to protect against COVID.
The positive sides of the vaccine are that it helps protect you and your community. Sure, you can walk around and say, “There’s no way I’m getting COVID!” But you could get COVID and not even know it. This term is called asymptomatic. Asymptomatic is when the carrier has the infection in their system, but they have not developed symptoms. As mentioned before, vaccines are put in place not just for you, but for those who have severe health issues and could get COVID from you.
This ties back into holiday travel. According to CDC guidelines, passengers “must show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the United States.” This goes for if they are vaccinated are not. The CDC is starting to request that all passengers wear masks. COVID is different in other states and places. The guidelines are different, and the people are different.
Some states heavily go against the COVID guidelines. This stretches to not wearing a mask, not social distancing, not getting vaccinated, being in large crowds, etc. This leads to the rise of COVID cases, and if people travel to these states, and the people come home, they can bring the virus back to their home state. This can cause more COVID to spread across the nation, especially if people plan to travel.
In my opinion, at the end of the day, it’s all about the safety of yourself and others. You may not agree with it, but if you want things to go back to “normal”, you may have to make some sacrifices. Wear a mask, get the vaccine, quarantine. And please stay safe out there this Christmas.