DEAR HARRIETTE: I want to go on spring break with my friends, but I told them this year I won’t because of the pandemic. They are all convinced that by spring break 2021, the virus will be gone and things will be back to normal. The whole country assumed back in March that it would be over by the summer, but now we are going into winter and the virus is still here.
I have been reading and researching, and I am trying to share my thoughts with them to convince them to not go, but they will not listen. Our college student conduct board could suspend them from campus if it learns they left the country, and I don’t think risking our futures on spring break is worth it. What else can I do to convince them to stay? -- Stop the Spread
DEAR STOP THE SPREAD: Calm down and do some research. Look at infection rates in the places you are considering visiting. If your friends’ idea is to go to a popular spring break spot where many young people gather, definitely discourage that. Show them statistics on infection rates after large gatherings. Go to the Centers for Disease Control website to learn as much as you can about the virus and track its spread: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html. One strong suggestion is not to travel unnecessarily until there is a vaccine. By most indications, one will not be widely available by spring 2021. Tell your friends what you learn, and make your own decision. They will have to make theirs.