How to prepare for your student’s return home for Thanksgiving and Winter Break - Merit Educational Consultants

How to prepare for your student’s return home for Thanksgiving and Winter Break


Remember back in March when we thought that the pandemic would be over in a few weeks? Navigating the speculation and forecasts were things we had not done in a 100 years. We heard about the upcoming “Second Wave” but probably didn’t believe it would really get worse – but it really did.

Most colleges continued online classes just like they did in the spring, and many of the few colleges that offered on-campus classes have rolled back to offer only online classes. Some of these colleges that had students on campus this fall are shuttering now or sending students home for Thanksgiving and continuing with online classes after the holiday until the end of the semester.

So how do parents deal with students returning home after being on campus or near campus? Here are some guidelines to protect family members at home as well as their students.

Pre-Trip Quarantine:
Students should quarantine immediately. That means that they should not hang out with any friends, go to classes, shop for food, eat out at restaurants, or socialize in bars. If it’s possible, they should get tested before they head home.

Driving is the safest form of transportation, especially if they fuel up and can make it home with one tank of gasoline or electric charge. Pack their food so they don’t need to stop to eat.

Those who are traveling long distances may need to take flights. While airlines claim they are providing social distancing, suggest that your student treat the planes like they’re COVID Central. They should use the restroom before getting on the plane, eat food they prepared themselves, purchase drinks at the airport (wipe down containers with sanitizers), wear a mask and shield for the entire flight, and wipe down all surfaces they touch with sanitizer.

Quarantine at Home:
Assume your child is infected and set up protocols BEFORE they arrive home. Save hugs and kisses for after the quarantine. Set your child up in a room where they can sleep and be separated from the rest of the family. That means eating meals in their room, wearing a mask in the house if they need to use other rooms, and carefully sterilizing all dishes, glasses, and utensils. Best to quarantine for at least 5 days. If possible, get tested before socializing with the immediate family members who live in the house.

While this may seem extreme, these measures are what’s needed to stop the spread of this deadly virus. This second wave is going to explode after Thanksgiving, and again after Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Protect yourself and your family by staying away from everyone who does not live in your house. The sooner we all do this, the sooner we can control the coronavirus and start living our lives in a more social way.