We All Need to Follow Social Distancing Protocols This Holiday Season

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By THE OBSERVER EDITORIAL BOARD

The end of the semester has been long overdue. With endless classwork, the stress of midterms barely over and the ever-exhausting impact of the coronavirus pandemic, life is not easy right now for any Fordham student, The Observer staff included. 

However, with the number of coronavirus cases rising every day, social distancing is more important than ever. During the holiday season, it can be hard to stay at home. But now is not the time for us to budge on social distancing protocols — the health and well-being of our families are at risk. 

We all want to see our loved ones this holiday season — especially the grandparents that we haven’t seen in a while. While it might be tempting to give our relatives a hug, we need to consider the possible implications of coming into contact with people who are at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19. 

All Fordham students, regardless of whether we have been completely virtual or in-person, need to follow all social distancing protocols: wear a mask, wash our hands frequently and avoid large gatherings. 

It’s not just our behavior while at Fordham that matters — it is also what we do at home.

Some of us have part-time or full-time jobs which come with an added risk of exposure to the virus. It is our duty not only as responsible citizens but also as responsible employees to adhere to the above protocols. Avoiding public places might be impossible for those of us with a job, but that does not mean that we are exempt from coronavirus protocols. 

Though workers must go out, consumers do not have to. Those of us who are privileged enough to not need a job to support ourselves and our family in these tough times, can and must limit going out to retailers and restaurants — we can always safely support our local businesses by ordering in.

It is likely that many of us will want to return to New York City for the spring semester. With a more populated campus, both by the residents and the commuters, the Fordham community needs to take necessary precautions to keep ourselves and the people in our neighborhoods safe. Moreover, it’s not just our behavior while at Fordham that matters — it is also what we do at home. 

Even if we don’t infect our families while home, we could easily transmit the virus to our friends once back in NYC, especially if we don’t quarantine for the required time. And, yes, quarantine means “no social contact at all,” and not “it’s OK to see my friends as long as no one knows.” 

The economic and personal tensions of being stuck at home are no doubt very stressful, and the appeal of taking some of that stress off through social activities is a strong one. Yet, it is ultimately in the best interest of everyone — our communities, friends, families and ourselves — to restrict or cancel our travel and social plans this winter. 

While it may not be enjoyable, continuing to adhere to social distancing procedures is ultimately what will save the most lives and bring about the end of the pandemic sooner. It is our moral duty to be responsible over the break and for the foreseeable future so we can protect our friends, family and community from the coronavirus. Staying home for the holidays might be hard, but attending the funerals of loved ones is much harder.