COVID-19 concerns change CHS winter break plans

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UNSPLASH PHOTO COURTESY OF NICK FEWINGS

As COVID-19 concerns prevail and cases rise, CHS students alter winter break plans.

Isabella Ji

Celebrating the winter holidays is normally a joyous way to bring cheer to family and friends. This year, unlike others, there’s another goal: to stay cautious and safe in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In time for the holidays and winter break, CHS will be closed from Christmas Eve to Jan. 3, 2021. Despite the MCVSD district’s plan for the week of Christmas to be all virtual as well, the official Winter Break does not begin until Christmas Eve. This break is typically filled with the usual holiday joys: families gathered together sharing presents, shopping with friends and preparing for vacations. However, for CHS students, this year’s holiday plans are a bit different. 

Junior Francesca Santaniello of Tinton Falls explained that her winter break plans were canceled due to COVID-19.

“I was actually going to go to Disney the day after Christmas because my brother had a soccer tournament in Disney,” Santaniello said. “But it ended up being postponed till February, due to COVID of course, so now I’m just staying here in New Jersey.”

Likewise, Sophomore Keegan Foy of Wall said her family vacation plans were canceled due to the virus as well.

“I was actually supposed to go on vacation to Turks and Caicos with my extended family,” Foy said. “[But] we decided to cancel the trip because of the rising number of COVID cases.”

With the increase in COVID cases, the COVID Information Hub organized by the Government of New Jersey urges citizens to limit any travels outside of their houses and to keep gatherings with family and friends to a limited amount.

The Information Hub also provides readers with some tips to stay safe during the holidays. The website mentions that tree lightings, menorah lightings, and other celebrations should be celebrated outdoors when it is possible and follow guidelines that have been set. Other celebration events such as Christmas carolling should meet, socially distanced from the rest of the group and their audience.

Junior Bea Zaleski agrees with the state guidelines, commenting that it is important for everyone to stay safe this holiday season while spreading holiday cheer. 

“I hope everything does something… to limit the spread and keep their family members safe,” Zaleski said. “If we all cut back now, we’ll be able to get back to normal sooner than later.”