Traveling During The 2020 Holiday Season


Traveling during the holiday season is already hectic, but throwing COVID and new rules into the mix may result in a recipe for overwhelming confusion.

The holiday season, believe it or not, is right around the corner. With it comes the typical cheerful bustle of fun festivities, get-togethers, and rich traditions. However, 2020 has brought its eerie unpredictability to the table, resulting in the pressing question: How much different will this years’ holiday season be? What’s more, the upcoming months are known for their characteristics of bringing family and friends together to wrap up the year. But, how can this happen with so many precautions on travel and worry about COVID outbreaks?

Unfortunately, the environment in which COVID tends to thrive is exactly what takes place over celebrations such as Thanksgiving and Christmas–large, indoor gatherings of people who enjoy close fellowship with one another. According to an opinion piece published by The New York Times, an average of 50 million Americans usually travel at least 50 miles for Thanksgiving dinner. The article argued that, although the urge to orchestrate gatherings is even higher than normal due to the desperation of breaking free from isolation, it would defeat the purpose of all the previous sacrifices made. What would be the point of all the closed schools, dying businesses, and virtual interactions, just to get more people infected? The closing statement from the article read: “If the past nine months have made anything clear, it’s that nobody is coming to save us. That’s scary and enraging, but it’s also liberating — because we’re learning how to save ourselves.”

Alex Green, a Farmington High School alumni who graduated in the class of 2020, is now serving in the military. He gave insight into holiday travel. When asked what his official title was in the military, he said he was a Private First Class for the Army. He mentioned that on his plane rides home, he has to wear a mask at all times. He then noted that when he returns to his base in Virginia after the holiday, he has to be quarantined for two weeks. When asked what his current COVID procedures are on an everyday basis, he said: “I have to wear a mask at all times and have my temperature taken two to four times a day.” During the upcoming break, he said he’s excited to see his family again.

Alex Green left for his Basic Training back in July. Normally, family members and friends are able to see their soldier again after Basic Training, but that opportunity was canceled this year due to COVID. Now in Advanced Individual Training, Green has only been able to contact those he cares about through letters and his iPhone.

Like many things this past year, there is not any doubt this holiday season will be historical. Despite the numerous pandemic-related regulations, planes will still be packed and get-togethers will inevitably continue to take place. However, when the ball drops at midnight on New Years’ Eve, one can bet the whole world will holler a unanimous “hooray!” at the conclusion of the infamous, chaotic 2020.