It’s been nearly a year since the outbreak of COVID-19 was first reported in Alabama. It’s mid-March, and spring break is right around the corner. It’s been a long, hard year, and many of us are itching to get outside and yearning for social interaction. 

This spring break, we encourage our readers to get outside, to enjoy the sunshine while it’s here, but we also urge our readers to stay vigilant and safe.

Daily COVID-19 cases are on the decline, vaccines are slowly being distributed, but health experts fear a surge in new cases due to increased travel. In 2020, the early stages of coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. coincided with the spring break season. Over the past year, we’ve seen several spikes in case numbers correlating with holidays like Labor Day weekend and Thanksgiving. 

As you make your plans for spring break this year, we urge our readers to consider the risks of travel and prepare accordingly. If you travel to states where mask orders have been lifted, consider wearing yours in public spaces where social distancing may be harder to maintain. Plan outings and activities around a facility’s busiest peaks to avoid large crowds. 

Another safe alternative for spring break would be to get out and explore the great outdoors. Last year, we heard reports of a surge in visitors to Bankhead National Forest as people sought escape somewhere remote yet away from the house. If you plan a trip to the national forest, remember those same principles for social distancing as well as the importance of keeping the environment safe and clean—just the way you found it. Encourage your child to get outside and explore their own back yard. Who says you have to plan a trip to make the most of your school break? Visit the Jesse Owens Museum or the Oakville Indian Mounds and Education Center over the break. Living in Lawrence County, there are plenty of exciting options for parents who want to engage their kids while staying safe and healthy this season. Get outside, have fun and stay safe! 

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