First Student Trip After COVID-19 Pandemic Began

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First Student Trip After COVID-19 Pandemic Began

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I have led a student global travel trip for the last 10 years at my school. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, our trip to Australia and New Zealand was delayed/cancelled until 2021 in hopes of COVID being over by then. I had 27 students have to postpone traveling on this trip. In 2021, we came across the same restrictions, and our trip was cancelled again. As we we were planning our 2022 trip, New Zealand still had quarantine rules that would have kept us in the hotel for a week before we would get to go anywhere or do anything. Due to this, we changed our trip to one to France, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. My students wanted to travel again, but did not know what to expect. There were still masking rules in place in a lot of the places we visited, and everyone had to take a mandatory COVID-19 test to be able to leave Europe at the end of the trip and get back into the United States. This was the scariest part because if your test revealed you were positive for COVID, you were required to stay in the country until you were negative. Everyone on the trip dreaded the day of the test because we had heard so many stories about other schools on different trips that had students who had failed the test. The trip was extremely important to me because it represented these students being able to fully restart their lives and finally be able to be kids again. This is a picture of me from the Louvre waiting my turn to see the Mona Lisa. It was taken immediately after I took a picture of all my students in front of the painting. I can see the happiness in my eyes again, getting to see students do something they love to do.

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This item was submitted on July 16, 2023 by James Ayer using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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