There’s No Place Like Home

It’s that time of year again — Thanksgiving break is almost upon us. Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie — what’s not to love about the holiday season?

But with this much going on in the world, it’s hard to know whether to embrace the season or to isolate ourselves.

The election is still prominent in our minds, and as COVID-19 cases skyrocket and send everyone home, it’s only natural to find ourselves questioning what the right move to make is. 

To go home or not go home, that is the question.

On one hand, it’s been a hell of a year. There’s no better way to decompress and recharge for the last few weeks of the semester than to be surrounded by our friends and family around a table full of good food. Party conversation, board games, football. Whatever your family’s tradition might be, it might be the perfect antidote to the negativity of these past few months. Though some of us live at home with our immediate families, others haven’t seen them since departing for the fall semester in August. 

For some, the university’s decision to make all classes remote after Thanksgiving takes the dilemma away, but for others, it only makes it harder to know what to do. Going home can be more stressful than anything encountered on campus. Political disagreements are bound to take place around some dinner tables, and some worry about putting vulnerable family members at risk. For others, going home means a chance to recoup from the events of this year.

It’s hard to know if going home is the answer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says small gatherings are causing a surge in COVID-19 cases, and though it’s released suggestions for holidays, it would be bold to assume that many people will follow these guidelines. If families choose to have large gatherings or we know our families aren’t following mask guidelines, we don’t want to put them, or ourselves, at risk. 

Overall, the past two semesters have been a roller-coaster ride with the amount of new information continuing to be uncovered about COVID-19, as well as the ways of life we were getting used to changing at the drop of a hat. One week, we’re all on campus trying to practice social distancing, and the next week, we’re told to go back home for the semester. This now begs the question of what next semester is going to be like. Will we be back on campus or will we need to stay home again? These questions will be answered in time, but for now, all we can do is grin and bear it.

We have a choice to make.  Is it better to stay away rather than risking arguments and coronavirus cases? Or is there no place like home for the holidays?