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Titans take Winter Break during a Pandemic

How T.C. Students are Celebrating the Holidays in 2020

Nora Malone

As winter break approaches, many T.C. students are gearing up for a rest from Zoom classes and homework. Most years, students spend the holidays visiting family and spending time with friends; however this year’s break may look different.

For some students, like Claire Layman, a sophomore, she plans on spending time with immediate family, instead of relatives. “Normally we would go down to visit our family, like cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, but with covid we aren’t doing that,” she said. Staying within your family’s ‘pod’ is a way to stay safe during this holiday season. Claire will be driving down to OBX with her immediate family for a safe fun way to travel.

However, not everyone is doing that. Some are choosing to quarantine, so they can visit extended family. “Before I go spend time with [family] I do plan on quarantining for two weeks. Protecting not only myself, but my grandparents and other elderly relatives,” said senior Lyndsi Simone. Other students are also taking the time to stay safe, so they can see their relatives.

Ella Kahl, another senior, said she has “never spent a Christmas at home, and my family has always stayed with my grandparents.” Thus, she is preparing to go and visit them by getting tested for Covid-19 and quarantining. She is always prepared to stay home if her test comes back positive. She continued, “My family has been really good at quarantining, and we only go out for essential things with proper safety precautions…However our plans are subject to change at any time.” 

This is something that lots of people should keep in mind–getting tested does not necessarily mean someone is safe to travel. If the test comes back positive that means everyone in one’s ‘pod’ must stay home too. This is not the time to take chances, as cases are expected to continue to spike throughout the holiday season.

Though, for some students staying home during winter break is not an entirely new thing, but  students are still losing things they would usually do. Bronwyn Gaw, a sophomore said, “We would usually host a Christmas or holiday party and invite lots of friends and family. We’d also have a few gatherings every so often to bake cookies and such.” This year, her family is not able to do any of those things, and she is not alone. 

Even though many people are not able to visit their families this holiday season, that does not mean the break has to be boring. Zoom and Facetime calls with family and friends are a fun and safe way to see each other. Drive-bys are also a safe way to say ‘hi!’ to people you miss. Socially distance meetings are also okay, as long as they are outside and everyone is wearing a mask. 

Below are some more ideas submitted by Theogony’s Instagram followers on covid-safe activities students are planning:

  • Do a holiday lights drive-by with immediate family
  • Plan a “secret snowflake” gift exchange with friends and have contactless gift drop-offs
  • Have a socially distanced gingerbread house-making contest
  • Have a snowball fight
  • Go ice skating

Eighty-six percent of T.C. students surveyed in a Theogony poll said they would not  travel this year.  For those 14% of students who are traveling and those who plan to see people during the holidays socially distanced, it is important to stay safe and healthy. Hopefully, this time next year it will be safer to see family again.