Westport residents leave amidst pandemic


Graphic created by Marina Engler '21

Despite strong urges by government officials, some Staples students have left the state during the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has sprouted fear across every inch of the world, changing the way many of us live. While many sit inside our homes watching the rate of infected rise, barred from the outside world, traveling would seem like the last thing one would want to do. However, some Staples students have chosen to leave Connecticut during these unprecedented times.
In a video posted to Twitter earlier this month, Governor Ned Lamont advised that Connecticut residents stay home in an effort he described as “stay home, stay safe.”
“The more people stay home, especially people over the age of 70 stay home,” Lamont said in the video. “We can flatten the curve and allow our healthcare system to stay ahead of the surge.”
Although the Governor made this video, many had planned their trips months in advance before the virus had hit the magnitude it is at today. Jillian Backus ’21 and her family had planned their trip since January, and although the concern for the virus was increasing, they decided they needed the time away as a family.
“We’ve had this vacation […] and no we didn’t consider canceling. We [decided to leave] because me and my family needed time away because of the passing of a family member,” Backus ‘21 said.
Others had made their plans to go away because of the virus. Hannah Murphy ’21 and her family decided the best place to be during the virus was together as a family at their lake house in South Carolina.
“We left […] because we had a lot of maintenance that needed to be done on our lake house,” Murphy said. “We didn’t cancel because we drove here and it stopped my mom from needing to fly home which was good.”
Airports have been targeted as a hotspot for the virus to breed and grow in numbers. According to the Center of Disease Control, “Crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase chances of getting COVID-19, if there are other travelers with coronavirus infection.”
Knowing this, Backus made sure to take extra precautions when traveling.
“I was nervous about traveling and being exposed, but we took all the precautionary measures we could to make sure we kept clean,” Backus said. “We always kept wipes on us and wore gloves.”
Some do not see a problem with people traveling during this time, especially if it is needed to be done and they are traveling it in a safe manner.
“I think it is best if people stayed home, however I know that is unrealistic for everyone to do,” Chloe Chaple ’21 said. “As long as people are extra careful and educated on the virus I see no problem”.
However, others seem to think that it would be best if everyone remains home.
“Because of the fluidity of the virus and the fact we don’t know too much about it yet,” Lucas Slater ’22 said, “ I think it’s best that people stay home for a bit and try to reduce the risk of infection to others.”