Culture | March 21st, 2020
COVID-19 Made Spring Break Non-Existent
By: Aiyana Ishmael
Spring break for Florida A&M University students didn’t quite go as planned this year. The coronavirus (COVID-19) left many students canceling their trips or stuck inside their five-star hotels.
As of today, there have been 658 positive cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths in the state of Florida according to the Florida Department of Health.
Brianna Taylor, a freshman at FAMU, went on a trip to Puerto Rico with her family expecting a fun-filled week of excursions. Amidst her trip, her family received word that there was now a curfew set.
“We were shocked but couldn’t do anything but abide by the rules,” Taylor said. “Around seven o’clock we were all very hungry and decided to get room service. After being on hold for twenty minutes we were informed that no food could be delivered for another 4 hours.”
Taylor and her family spent the evening trying to get out of Puerto Rico being that they weren’t truly able to enjoy their visit. They’re currently attempting to get a refund on parts of their trip being that it was cut short.
Taylor and her family aren’t the only ones who didn’t foresee the severity of the coronavirus.
“COVID-19 deeply affected my plans,” FAMU student, Nia Wromas, said. “Not only were my plans in Miami canceled, but my music festival was postponed so I no longer will be going to New Orleans. Luckily, I was able to get my money back for the Airbnb, but since the festival was postponed I didn’t get my money back.”
Wromas planned on attending The BUKU Project, a popular music and art festival located in New Orleans. The festival was scheduled to take place on the weekend of Mar. 20, 2020. On Mar. 12, 2020 BUKU released a statement which included: “This morning we received notice from the Mayor of New Orleans’ office that BUKU cannot take place next weekend due to COVID-19 concerns. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but we respect their decision, and instead of crying we’ve been planning…fast.”
BUKU decided to reschedule their festival for September 2020. Many festivals, like BUKU, have pushed their dates to next fall. But it still left many spring breakers short on money and plans.
If not for companies making the executive decision, many college kids were still planning on enjoying their time off from school.
“Of course I had my parents nagging me to not go to NOLA,” Wromas said. “I was still going to go, but since it was canceled I had no choice.”
Wromas spent spring break in her hometown, Miami, mostly with her parents. Everyday bars, restaurants, and clubs have shut down in Miami-Dade County due to coronavirus concerns.
Shadell Bromell, a junior at FAMU, was another student whose trip ended early. She planned on taking a cruise to Key West, Cayman Island, and several cities in Mexico.
“I didn’t receive my money back in a full refund,” Shadell Bromell, a junior at FAMU said. “I actually haven’t received anything back yet. I was assured that I would get the refund of the excursions, taxes, and fees on my debit card. I was promised that by Monday and still have yet to receive it. Which is nerve-wracking because when will I have my money?”
Bromell spent the morning before her trip calling the cruise line in hopes to cancel said trip. After spending hours on the phone, she finally spoke with someone who told her it was too late to get a fully refunded trip. She ultimately wanted to cancel the trip because of the epidemic.
“I wasn’t afraid of catching the virus,” Bromell said. “I was afraid of being denied access to the islands I was visiting, or worst being quarantined in my suite at sea for weeks.”
According to Florida’s Health Department, there have been 24,148 reported cases of COVID-19 in the United States. The death toll continues to rise reaching over 200. Although spring break was ultimately shut down for many students, they all just want this epidemic to be over soon.
“I just hope people are at least being smart and trying to stay inside even though it’s hard so we can go back to our regular schedules,” Wromas said.