Home for the Holidays

By Katie Freter

Holiday season is upon us. College of Southern Nevada students plan to get together with family but not travel due to looming COVID concerns.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Data Tracker, after the holiday season last year, the nation saw a quarter-million case spike by Jan. 6, 2021 showing major increases from travel and gatherings.

The CDC recommends that everyone eligible and planning to travel this season get the vaccinated as soon as possible.

That same tracker dated Nov. 13, 2021 showed that community transmission is still high with approximately 47 million cases in the last 30 days with 758,000 deaths. COVID is a major concern this upcoming holiday season as there will be a lot of close contact indoors, creating super-spreader events.  

CSN biological sciences Professor Dawn Nelson said, “There will probably be a spike in cases. Unvaccinated people will likely make up the majority of the new cases. So, if the spike is measured as a percentage of all unvaccinated people who become ill, the number may be higher than last year.”

CSN student Lexus Lockett said, “My thought process is this way because there are so many Americans who are still refusing to get vaccinated. It is unvaccinated people who are filling hospital beds, and who continue to fight mask mandates and refuse to get vaccinated, which affects everyone’s safety. A lot of people that are still unvaccinated are getting lies implanted into their heads about the COVID vaccine but instead of doing their own research, they are believing these lies. It is really sad because I have a lot of family unvaccinated as well because of their false beliefs that can easily be proven wrong by a quick Google search. I hope the truth can be spread so these COVID cases can continue to decrease so we can get back to normal life as some countries already have. Overall, we need more people in the country to get vaccinated so there are no more deaths anymore. I would love to get to zero and not be paranoid every time I have to go somewhere.”

As the holidays are filled with travel, there is also the fear of people carrying the virus asymptomatically and infecting others by accident during their trips.

University of Chicago Medicine stated that asymptomatic coronavirus infections contributed to 50% of the spread early in the pandemic. “This reinforces the continued importance for all people, regardless of symptom status, to follow public-health guidance to curb spread of the coronavirus.”

“No, I do not (plan to travel),” said Adam Yeager, CSN student. “With everything going on in the world, it would not be worth it for me to travel right now. I have everything I need here in Vegas; I have my family.” Yeager was vaccinated and has a stronger sense of safety though he is still not traveling this holiday.

To make the season safer, get vaccinated. According to CDC Tracker, 77.6% of the Nevada population 18 years and older has received at least one dose. That is good news. There is still a need for more.

For the CDC recommendations for holiday travel click this website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/celebrations.html.Following the CDC guidelines ensures the safety and health for fellow loved ones, friends and everyone traveling this season.

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