Happy social distancing holidays

Have a holly jolly quarantine. Plans for holidays amidst a pandemic for Hamline students

Hayden Hayes, Reporter

As the holiday season approaches, students have to address what seems to have been on everyone’s minds for ages now: COVID-19. The holidays are usually a time of bustling crowds, long-distance travel, and inevitable touching. How is this going to transfer over with new socially-distant mindsets? How are the plans differing from 2019 and how are college kids getting ready for their trip back home? What are Hamline students doing as the tidings approach for a possibly not-so-merry time? 

Sophomore student-athlete and RA, Lucius Negrillo, shared, “I am just going to be taking it easy. [Spending the holidays] mainly with family, like usual, but probably less extended family”. 

In response to how the pandemic has disrupted plans, Negrillo talked about how he has become acclimated to social distancing practices.

 “My girlfriend’s father tested positive a few days ago so chances of seeing her when I go back are very low now. Her mother and brother are also showing symptoms now. But before that, not really [any disruptions],” Negrillo said. 

Negrillo went on to state that his girlfriend is getting tested this week and she isn’t showing any symptoms, which should serve as a reminder to everyone to get tested when they can. Cases are on the rise, especially on campus and students must work together to keep everyone safe and well.

Other students shared stories similar to Negrillo’s. First-year Tjessa Arrandondo shares, “I am just going to be extra careful. My older relatives can’t join in this year, which is sad, and we won’t be able to do our usual traditions, but I think my immediate family will still find a way to enjoy our time together, even if we are meeting in a smaller setting.”

Another first-year, Hannah Olenchek, supports these statements. “I’m very COVID aware, especially with some recent events, so my family will all just be staying home and to ourselves, but that’s all we really need.”

First-years, sophomores, juniors, seniors and even professors are all going through the same thing right now. An inability to do a natural human thing such as being together can really take a toll on not only one’s mental health, but the surrounding communities too. It’s important to remember that it is for the benefit of those we love, that we stay distanced and keep fighting off the pandemic one step at a time. Though the holidays may look and feel a little different this year, make sure you still find a way to tell your loved ones you are grateful for them and even from a distance, you’re there for them. 

Here are a few tips from Hamline’s emergency preparedness team on how to prepare for your departure:

  • Try your best to quarantine 14 days before Thanksgiving so that you and your family can meet safely. It takes about that much time for symptoms to appear, so keep an eye on yourself and those around you. 
  • ISOLATE when feeling ill or even just under the weather. Symptoms occur differently in each individual, so don’t take anything for granted. Check-in and always play it safe.
  • Wear a mask. It seems like routine by now, but try to be extra careful and make mindful distance choices. For example, instead of eating in a restaurant, maybe get it to go. Turn it into an at a home picnic or dinner date. It would be just as fun without as much risk for contamination. 
  • Be aware. It is easy to get “lost in the sauce.” To just keep stirring through your everyday tasks, but this is a time to slow down and be aware of all the things around you. Doing this will not only help keep you safe but your community too!