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Utah family weighs COVID-19 protection against risks of travel

The Keddington family pictured on vacation. (Angela Keddington)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — The pandemic has forced Utah families to make difficult decisions about gathering for the holidays, important events, and long-awaited trips. The highly transmissible omicron variant is just the latest curveball.

A Utah mother talked Friday about tough decisions she's made to keep her family safe, while still trying to enjoy life.

The Keddington family is finally enjoying a vacation they had canceled three times. But, not without a lot of second guessing.

"We're on Oahu, and that's our view from our room," Angela Keddington said in a Zoom interview from her hotel room, overlooking the ocean.

She and her family arrived in Hawaii Wednesday for a long overdue graduation celebration for one of her daughters.

"Everybody in my family is as protected as we can be," she said.

Angela is a nurse, so they didn't make the decision lightly. Her family follows medical guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Two months ago, they feared they would have to cancel their trip again. But, when their boys, ages seven and 10, were fully vaccinated by Thanksgiving, they decided they could travel safely.

"It meant a lot to me," Angela said. "It meant that we could return to normalcy. Unfortunately, omicron was right on the heels of our littlest people being able to be vaccinated, which is ironically annoying."

She said she had mixed emotions until they arrived, but she's comfortable with the stringent safety protocols in Hawaii.

"This has just gone on for so long, you know. We've done everything we can do, and since we've done everything we can do, we decided to come on our trip."

So, they are taking all precautions to minimize the risk of catching COVID-19 while traveling.

"The distancing, masking, washing your hands, vaccinating, boosting — we all know all those things now. I feel like those things, coupled with where we were coming, does help weigh the risks to know that we would be safe, and that we wouldn't overburden our healthcare workers, and that we could do this safely."

The epidemiologists have alerted us to understand our individual risk with COVID-19.

This family has been cautious every step of the way. They're now testing how well those defenses work.

"A couple of days ago, I was questioning whether we should have canceled. But, now that we're here, no regrets at all," Angela said.

Jed Boal

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