Spring Breakers’ Impact on ILS Students

Spring+Breakers%27+Impact+on+ILS+Students

Lauren Fernández, Writer

Every year, tourists from all over the world visit Miami for spring break to enjoy warm weather and a vibrant night life—and COVID hasn’t stopped the party. Unfortunately, tourism in Miami Beach and Key Biscayne heavily impacts students at ILS due to increased traffic and the increased spread of COVID. 

Many ILS students live in Key Biscayne and Miami Beach. With an increase in hybrid students attending school, traffic is a frustrating issue for many.

Senior Mary Katherine Steward, a Miami Beach resident, said she “started experiencing a big increase in traffic about two weeks ago.” Traffic on the Julia Tuttle Bridge can get to be so bad that there is “a stand still for around 10 to 15 minutes,” added Steward. 

Steward is not the only one who has experienced this problem. Senior Mariana Olarra lives in Key Biscayne, and although she’s virtual, she’s felt the affects of spring break tourism.

“When tourists come to the key and cars are stopped at Crandon, multiple cars pass through my street in order to avoid and pass the traffic,” said Olarra. Speeding and traffic jams on residential streets isn’t safe, and disturbs peace. 

ILS student drivers must be extra cautious during the following weeks, as reckless driving and horrific car accidents are infamous during spring break. In addition to driving, students should remain diligent in their practice of safety measures and Covid protocols, as an influx in tourism likely means an influx in Covid cases. 

“Heavy tourism combined with minimal mask wearing is concerning,” said Steward. While many tourists spend lots of time outdoors at beaches, they tend to fail to comply with mandatory mask mandates. Night clubs and restaurants haven’t stopped doing business, so Covid has the time and space to spread.  

ILS students often gather safely at beaches and other outdoor spaces, but crowded beaches, traffic, car accidents, and the fear of bringing Covid home or to school has already been a challenge, even before spring break. 

Spring break should be a fun time to relax and have fun, and it still can be! Extra caution and being aware of one’s surroundings can help make this spring break a safe success for ILS.