Hazardous Holidays


Valerie Beach, Staff Reporter

Is COVID-19 changing our holiday normalcy? Some students share their thoughts on how they think these upcoming holidays will be different or similar to last year.

Sophomore student journalist Alec Conley doesn’t usually care for the holiday season, besides Christmas. But they state that COVID-19 has been affecting our normal holiday routines. While Conley stopped celebrating Halloween years ago, they still had their thoughts and opinions on it. “I think Halloween has definitely dampered down. I don’t think anybody wants to go trick or treating except for anti-vaxxers.” Conley said. They believe that the amount of people who travel by plane each year is starting to decrease. Normally, the holiday season is the time to bring people together, but Conley thinks COVID-19 is starting to change this. 

Conley isn’t wrong. According to the Los Angeles Times, about 10% of Americans surveyed in June have now had second thoughts about flying for the holidays. And more than 23% have cancelled travel plans. These numbers have increased due to the fear of contracting the virus, and could keep increasing if we stop taking precautions.

Narrowing it down to Portland, it’s still the same. But there’s a new problem occurring. According to FOX 12 Oregon, many airline flights have been canceled this year and will continue to be cancelled as we go further into the holiday season. This is all due to what airline companies say is a worker shortage and issues with vaccine mandates. There are not enough pilots and flight attendants to take over for other absent workers so they’ve had to do the difficult job of cancelling flights. This results in the loss of time spent with long distance family that many people could have had. 

“I do believe that [COVID] is taking away from some of the contact that we used to have with family members,” said senior softball player Addison Kachnik. Although the coronavirus is still a big issue, Kachnik says people are more open to going out now after being stuck indoors for over a year. “At this point I feel like people are taking COVID a little less serious as they were last year, so it probably won’t be as strict.” She generally isn’t too ecstatic about the Holiday season, but she agrees that it can be sad when you’re not with family.

Sophomore Sophia Camacho shares similar thoughts explaining how there are, “more restrictions” for the holidays. “Even on Halloween you don’t see as many kids out on the street or that many people out anymore,” said Camacho. “Everyone’s just following COVID guidelines.” For someone who loves holidays as much as her, this is a huge change. But compared to last year, this year’s holiday season has improved significantly. “It was much more strict last year. I think that while COVID is still a thing now, it’s less intimidating. I feel like people are still going to follow COVID guidelines, but it’ll be more in the holiday spirit,” said Camacho. 

Sophomore clarinetist Sarah Calene hasn’t been too personally affected by the Coronavirus, but she and her family have missed out on some family reunions.“We didn’t get to visit family last year [for thanksgiving], we just stayed home and had our own thanksgiving,” said Calene. Compared to this year though, it’s different. “We’re going to Idaho to visit family because we didn’t get the chance to do it last year”. Calene is taking advantage of the lessened travel restrictions and making up for the time lost last year that she would have spent with family.

While the virus will continue to have it’s impacts on our favorite holidays, it won’t stop people from finding new ways to have fun and continue enjoying this holiday season, and what it is truly about: celebrating with people you truly care for.

“I think the holidays are really about being with the people you love and celebrating the things you love,” said Kachnik.