A year ago, as the coronavirus pandemic was ramping up in the U.S., news reports showed crowds of spring breakers hitting Florida beaches and nightclubs, even as public health experts warned they were risking everyone’s health for a good time.
Now, it feels a bit like déjà vu.
Earlier this week, photos showed college students crowding beaches, partying together in hotels and congregating in huge crowds near Miami Beach nightclubs. Local officials begged them to wear masks and take other precautions, but news reports show many did not heed their advice.
It’s exactly the kind of scenario that led most of New Jersey’s colleges and universities to cancel spring break entirely this year.
“The concern is that traveling during break and then returning to campus will increase the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission post-break,” said Corey Basch, chair of William Paterson University’s public health department. “The activities typically associated with spring break generally do not include social distancing and mask use, which further intensifies the concern.”