Thanksgiving: returning to normal while still taking precautions

Zain Shrestha

Many students from Augustana visit their families and go on a vacation during Thanksgiving. Despite students’ excitement about going home for the break, the campus clinic said this might threaten college safety considering the rising COVID-19 cases.

Darcy Johnson, a medical assistant of the Augustana convenient care clinic, said that COVID-19 cases have jumped by around eight to ten percent in the Quad Cities after Halloween. 

In addition, Johnson said that the virus could easily spread when people visit their family during the holiday season.

“If you’re exposed over the weekend to family and friends who potentially are positive on Saturday and Sunday, you could very well come back to campus and have no idea that you’ve been exposed, and then it’s going to spread like wildfire,” Johnson said

Johnson also recommended that everyone take precautions during this time, regardless of vaccination status.

“Even if you’re vaccinated it helps, but it kind of works like birth control. If you’re exposed multiple times, eventually the vaccine is just like, we can’t take it anymore,” Johnson said.

Cole Green, first-year, is concerned about the virus spreading since students tend to hide themselves from it.

“Campus is unsure about the precautions or the measures they might take to stop the spread. In fact, students tend to hide under the rug and still live normally even after getting contaminated. This might make the foreseeable situation much worse,” Green said.

In agreement with Green, Johnson said that this year has been difficult to ensure the health of the community because students are worried about missing school while sick. 

“I kind of feel COVID is hard to prevent just because there are so many people who don’t say anything because they don’t want to be quarantined, especially because… it’s a short time before you have your finals,” Johnson said.

Johnson said that she is unsure of Augustana’s protocol this year in the event of a large-scale COVID-19 outbreak on campus.

“I don’t really know if there’s a good protocol or good process for that because I feel like it’s going to go out of control. I don’t want it to happen,” Johnson said

Despite the worry that some hold about students traveling home, students are looking forward to the break. Connor McFarland, first-year, plans on going home for Thanksgiving. He said he is delighted to get to see his family after three months in college.

“Thanksgiving is a great time to go meet my parents given the five-day holiday we have. A lot of people meet during Thanksgiving and the COVID cases might arise. But it is what it is, we have to go back to normal at a certain point,” McFarland said.

Although COVID-19 cases continue to increase, students look forward to returning to a more normal holiday break. Augustana has not yet sent out any school-wide information regarding the COVID-19 policies before, during, and after the holiday break.