As Americans grow even more weary of hunkering down during the pandemic, a mom admitted online that she was tempted to take her 4-year-old, who tested positive for COVID, to Disney.

By Maressa Brown
December 22, 2020
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To say that many families have cabin fever right now would be an understatement. After nine months of living through a global pandemic, parents and kids are itching to get out into the world again. But as cases continue to rise to unprecedented levels across the country, experts are begging people to stay on task until we have widespread vaccine distribution. But for some, the temptation to break key rules is too great. Consider one mom who recently posted online that she was contemplating taking her 4-year-old to Disney World despite the child's positive COVID test.

The mom shared her dilemma in a Facebook group called "Disney World Junkies," and it was later screenshot and shared on Twitter. “My 4-year-old tested positive for COVID on Wednesday, the rest of the household was negative,” she wrote. “We are/were supposed to leave for Disney on the 26th. I am so devastated over the idea of canceling this trip.”

The mom explained that the trip was her kids' "entire Christmas gift," and without it, she has no presents to put under the tree. No one in the family has symptoms, they all plan to get tested again in a few days, and her travel planner, among other people in her life, have said to go through with the trip.

The mom concluded, “I am unbelievably stressed and heartbroken over the whole situation! And I just have no idea what to do!”

The internet's reaction can be summed up with the reposter's tweet, "Ma'am are you outside your entire f***ing mind."

Make no mistake: This mom's proposed move is as outrageous as it sounds. "Traveling with a COVID positive individual is exactly the opposite of what is recommended by the CDC, WHO, and so many public health officials," says Dr. Amna Husain, M.D., F.A.A.P., a board-certified pediatrician and founder of Pure Pediatrics in Marlboro, New Jersey. "Although other members of the family are negative today, there is no assurance that they will remain negative over the days to come."

She continues, "While I completely understand how difficult it is to cancel plans—I actually had to cancel a Disney trip as well in June. Please remember that we will only get through this by thinking of others and following public health guidelines."

Despite the recent approval of two vaccines and Dr. Fauci's reassurance that from January through April, we'll see the light at the end of the tunnel "is going to get brighter and brighter," the U.S. is currently in a grave position with cases and deaths continuing to rise across the country. That's why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) echoes Dr. Husain by asking Americans to "remain vigilant." They note in a December 17 update, "The changes we have had to make to routines and daily life are extremely hard, but these changes are even more important now and in the future. We must stop the spread of this new and dangerous virus. The more steps you and your family can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the safer you will be."​

As challenging as it might feel, Americans have to keep their eye on the ball for the time being. For now, whether you're planning a vacation, a wedding, or a family visit, it might be best to opt for flexible travel bookings. Families can also connect and build anticipation with other, safer pleasures like revisiting a previous trip by looking through photos and videos, FaceTiming with distant loved ones, and, in the case of Disney-loving kids, watching movies and enjoying Disney-themed toys or at-home activities.

After so many long, difficult months, it is no doubt tough to be patient, but doing so will serve to ensure that whenever we reach the end of that tunnel, more families will be able to bask in its light.

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