COVID-19 Hits Spring Break 2021


Photo by Delfina R.

Reagan National Airport remained mostly empty during the COVID-19 pandemic, but started filling up with travelers again as vaccines rolled out this spring.

This year’s Spring Break went a little differently than last year’s. People were able to travel this year, but the number of passengers on flights shocked many airports. With a decrease of COVID-19 cases and an increase of vaccines, the number of travelers at airports is skyrocketing. 

According to USA Today, March 21, 2021, was the busiest traveling day since March 13, 2020, the day the world went into lockdown. The article reported that the Transportation Security Administration screened 1,543,115 travelers at U.S. airports.

Those numbers were 22% higher than most airports expected. Passengers packed planes to capacity and even took their masks off during the flight to eat or drink. 

Eighth-grader Nisa N. and her family braved the crowds and flew to the Turks and Caicos Islands for Spring Break this year. Her family decided that if they took the proper precautions, it would be safe.

Nisa was able to stay at a resort and enjoy her time on vacation with her family. 

“It wasn’t crowded at all just because the resort I went to was limited to people and was very open to the outdoors,” said Nisa, “and even Turks and Caicos, in general, wasn’t very crowded.” 

“I think that traveling in a car is safer than going on an airplane. But, if you take the right precautions, traveling on an airplane is fine too,” said Nisa. She says the best way not to contract Coronavirus is social distance and washing or disinfecting your hands. 

Juliana R., another 8th-grade student, drove to the Outer Banks in North Carolina for Spring Break. 

“The highlights of my trip were going to the beach and spending time with my family, and the only thing that was really crowded were the restaurants, but most other places were quiet,” said Juliana. 

Juliana and her family rented a house to stay at while visiting North Carolina.

“I think driving somewhere with just your family is safe,” said Juliana, “but you do need to be cautious.” She believes that double masking, social distancing, and washing/sanitizing your hands are great ways to stay safe.

This year, Florida was a popular destination during spring break, according to CNN. Many people gathered along the beaches of Miami to eat, tan, swim, and everything in between. People were getting too comfortable without wearing masks, so the police had to step in.

According to the story, the police arrested over 100 people during spring break, but that didn’t stop crowds from storming beaches and restaurants around the area.

“We’re getting a tremendous amount of people here, more than we can handle,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber to reporters.

Police started being more physical and began using pepper balls, CNN added. Pepper balls are small tubes that, when thrown, release pepper spray. These cause a burning sensation that irritates the eyes and nose. 

The police were somewhat able to break up the large crowds, although two police officers were injured at the end.

With the school year ending soon and summer arriving, things are starting to look better. Many people around the world are receiving or have already received vaccinations, and although we aren’t sure, international traveling might be an option for travelers.