Don’t be the reason someone can’t go home

AB Boyd | Cartoonist

This semester has been anything but restful, and students’ desires to go home are stronger now than ever before. With the holiday season approaching, we are heading toward a time meant to be spent relaxing with friends or family and being able to set aside the stressors of academic life for a while.

However, in order to be able to enjoy this time with our families, we first have to be able to get home.

COVID-19 numbers are starting to rise again, and that is worrying for many students — especially those who have to fly in order to get to their home for the holidays. As those of us who have had to be on planes during the pandemic know all too well, pandemics and traveling do not mix well.

Baylor students come from 89 countries and all 50 states in order to pursue an education here in Waco. This diversity of background is amazing, but it also means there are a large number of students who don’t have the luxury of living in Texas or in a state that is within a reasonable driving distance from the university.

There are some destinations that just cannot feasibly be reached without flying. Do you know what you cannot do if you test positive for COVID-19? That’s right, you cannot fly.

One of the biggest worries on the minds of out-of-state students at this point in time is having to miss their flight home next week because they got exposed to someone who had contracted the coronavirus.

Now is not the time to loosen up on COVID-19 safety regulations. These guidelines may seem frustrating or even excessive at times, but we have to look beyond our own preferences and understand that someone around you could lose so much if you choose to act in an unsafe manner.

A classmate of yours may have an immunocompromised family member that they can’t risk going home to if they are exposed to COVID-19. A professor may have a loved one who is in the same situation.

The holidays are coming up, and there is no better time to start thinking of others and prioritizing the health and well-being of our community members like the present.

Be extra careful this week. Even if you have been the person who has worn your mask wrong all semester and has ignored all the social distancing stickers on the floors around campus, it’s never too late to change your habits. Someone out there will appreciate it more than you could ever know.

This semester has been a lot to handle, emotionally and otherwise. But remember that not everyone has the ability to drive home regardless of their health.

We are all exhausted. We all want to go home. Don’t be the reason that someone else can’t spend the holidays with their family.