Amid mounting concerns over COVID-19, college students are faced with a difficult choice: to travel or not to travel over spring break.
Last week, universities in Los Angeles and across the country sent advisories to students, begging them to consider the consequences of their travel plans.
In an email sent to students Monday night, UCLA chancellor Gene Block advised against traveling to China, South Korea, Iran, or Italy. Other universities, like University of Pennsylvania, urged students to avoid traveling at all. “Amid this uncertainty, any travel, domestic or international, could heighten your risk of exposure,” an email sent to students Monday read.
Third-year UCLA student Samantha Haong is from Kirkland, Washington, where four people have died from coronavirus and many others are quarantined. Her social feeds are filled with photos of empty Costco shelves, high schools around her home are closed, and a quarter of the city’s firefighters are in quarantine.
Still, she plans on going home for spring break.
Other students like Tori Tanaka, also a third-year UCLA student, weigh the decision differently. Tanaka lives across a lake from Kirkland in Seattle. Her family had planned to travel to London over spring break, but outbreaks in other European cities have threatened to cancel those plans. No matter what, she says she’ll probably stay on campus instead of returning to Washington.
“I don’t want to risk it,” she says. “It’s scary that it’s that close to home.”
Amesh Adalja, an expert in emerging infectious diseases and pandemic preparedness from Johns Hopkins University, says at this point in the virus’ progression, there are few if any steps universities can take to prevent the spread on their campuses. To him, it’s simply not a containable virus.
For the original article click here: https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/as-coronavirus-spreads-l-a-college-students-are-faced-with-a-spring-break-dilemma/
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