With Maclay’s spring break only a few weeks away, students are eager to be free from academic responsibilities and take a week off to relax. Because international travel is extremely limited this year, many students are keeping their vacations within the nation’s borders. Despite the lack of international travel, however, we will still need to stay as safe as possible during our well earned time off. Whether it is a trip to Disney World or the beach, spring break can provide just as much danger as it does enjoyment. Staying safe this spring break is very important, especially because of the ongoing threat of Covid-19.

For some students, last year’s spring break took place after the numerous Covid-19 shutdowns; therefore, this year’s spring break is technically not the first one to occur during the pandemic. It cannot be denied, however, that the upcoming spring break will still be different, as now we are fully aware of how harmful the virus can be. One of the most crucial health tips to remember is to wear a mask, especially in enclosed areas. Masks should only be taken off when eating, thus it would also be best to eat meals outside whenever possible, as ventilation helps prevent the spread of Covid-19 germs. Additionally, staying at the safe distance of six feet from others will decrease the risk of being exposed to the virus, so avoid crowded beaches or restaurants. 

While Covid-19 is the most major concern this spring break, it is essential that we do not forget the traditional risks that spring break can bring. One of the biggest dangers we face during our spring break are the UV rays that emit from the sun, which can cause skin damage and skin cancer. Even if you are not going to the beach for spring break, the sun can still affect you with its rays. According to the CDC’s spring break recommendations, it is strongly encouraged that everyone wear at least SPF 15 sunscreen. Naturally, tanning on the beach will require a higher SPF. By wearing sunscreen, we can keep ourselves safe from sun damage and reduce the possibility of getting a harmful sunburn. 

Whether you are traveling with friends or family, a significant part of being safe during spring break is staying close with your group and not wandering off. Traversing a foreign area can make it easy to get lost, and there are frightening risks that come with being alone, especially at night. At the beach, swimming with a group is an excellent way to limit the risk of drowning or being pulled out farther to sea by the current, as other people can get help if necessary. 

It may be easy for us to follow basic safety rules, but nothing is more imperative than making good choices during spring break. If you are under the age of 21, drinking alcohol is against the law, and thus should not be done. If you are over the age of 21 and planning to indulge in alcoholic beverages, drink moderately. No one should get behind the wheel of a car if a sufficient amount of alcohol has been consumed. The best course of action following a night of drinking is to either have a trustworthy designated driver, or to call a taxi or Uber. Even when driving sober, it would be advantageous to drive defensively, as others may have made the poor decision of driving under the influence. According to a study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, both male and female college students are more likely to drink above the safe level of alcohol consumption during spring break. This means that as high school students, we should be wary of other drivers when traveling on our spring break. 

There is no doubt that we should spend our spring break relaxing and taking some deserved time away from our obligations. This does not mean, however, that we can let our guard down during our vacation. Spring break can be dangerous, as it is a time of mass travel in which people can make drastic and destructive choices. With Covid-19 still a pressing issue in America, it is necessary that we follow precautions and make good decisions regarding our safety during spring break. 

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