Jinwon Soul / Staff reporter

The current pandemic, Covid-19, has brought negative impacts on students’ winter break this year. Although students are happy they can spend time at home with their families, they are disappointed this year’s winter break is not the same as previous years.

Emma Mowat and Zoey Wong, both grade 11, shared their thoughts and feelings about the changes the new Covid-19 restrictions have brought to their winter break. Both students feel that the new restrictions had negative effects on their winter break, and they are not happy about it.

Ordered and announced by PHO (public health officer), individuals and businesses in B.C. must significantly reduce travel and social interactions. The order is in effect from November 19, 2020 to January 8, 2021. There have been new restrictions on social gatherings due to the increase of virus exposures, which has brought a huge impact on those who celebrate holidays. Social gatherings and events have been banned until January 8, which means those who celebrate holidays such as Christmas and New Years’ won’t be able to celebrate with family and friends outside of their household. They must celebrate these holidays only in their household and are not allowed to invite anybody inside their homes. However, people who are living alone are able to see one or two people who are also living alone. 

 Both interviewed students have said this year’s winter break has been the worst they have had so far. The new restrictions have impacted their winter break, as well as left them feeling upset they cannot celebrate and enjoy their holidays like they had hoped.  

“Covid has disallowed me to visit my extended family and grandparents this winter,” said Mowat. “Traveling and visiting are restricted, so all plans my family had for the winter break were canceled. I feel very upset that Covid is ruining Christmas this year, as well as other holidays and events in 2020,” added Mowat.

The new restrictions have also caused a negative impact on students’ mental health. Being permitted to go outside and meet extended family and friends have made them feeling lonely and stressed. Normally, during the winter break season, students would go shopping, buy presents, and hang out with their friends and family. However, this year, they are bored and struggling to find things to spend time doing.

“This year’s holidays have been the worst in my life. I love shopping for gifts, but this year I could only buy a few people those gifts and had to shop online,” said Wong. “I’ve been feeling very lonely and weird by not spending time with my family and friends.”  

This year’s winter break has been harsh for students so far, due to the current pandemic situation and restrictions. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to change those circumstances. Mowat said, “Students should focus on what they can do under the given circumstances rather than thinking about the negative outcomes. It is important to stay hopeful and positive during the hard times we are faced with.”

“Even though this year’s winter break and holidays are not the best, I think we should think positively and stay hopeful,” says Mowat. “Since the restrictions and changes are for our safety, we should strictly obey them and hope we can go back to normal as soon as possible.” The changes and restrictions have been necessary for the people’s health, however, they have definitely had some negative impacts on society as well.”