Kickoff Game 2021 Against Sahuaro Postponed

by Marla Terminel

After members of both teams went under isolation for COVID-19 risk and exposure, Pueblo’s first kickoff game against Sahuaro High School, originally scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 2, was postponed due to protocols.

The match was one of two that are a part of Southern Arizona’s 11th annual “Coaches for Charity Kickoff” event.

“It [the cancelation] was unfortunate, but due to an abundance of caution, it had to happen,” said Pueblo’s athletic director, Coach Miguel “Miggs” Sandoval.

Pueblo’s football season will now open on Friday, Sept. 10, at Rincon/University High School.

“It was sad at the moment, but I realized the season wouldn’t be cancelled,” said Josiah Gastelum, a sophomore on this year’s varsity squad. He added that despite the untimely circumstances, postponing the game would also give the team more time to practice for the late kickoff game. “Having more time to prepare for this season may be a blessing from the football gods.”

Mr. Jesus Jacquez, Pueblo’s band director and music teacher, said that COVID-19 has been a constant barrier on everyone’s lives, as it is one that impacts athletes, performers, as well as the entire student body and staff individually.

Through the heightened health procedures and cancelled events, the team has not only learned to overcome challenges, but have thrived with their resources.

The Kickoff game against Sahuaro will now be held Thursday, Oct. 29.

“COVID isn’t stopping us,” Gastelum said. “We’ll keep getting better and work hard through our problems as a team.”

Student Council Stays Strong During Pandemic

By Hector Guzman 

During this 2020-2021 school year, Pueblo’s Student Council has faced many challenges and jumped over many obstacles due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has prevented this club from performing normally. 

Mr. Gregory Obregon, who teaches Algebra 1 and 2, is once again this year’s Student Council advisor/teacher. Like many at Pueblo, he has expressed his frustrations of online instruction and trying to ensure that Student Council continues to be functional. 

“We [students and teachers/sponsors] may not be able to be with our students in person, but the work we still need to do really does matter,” Obregon said. 

However, he does have hope that this situation will not last forever but wishes he had had more time to prepare for a remote learning environment. 

“It [Covid-19] will pass,” he said. 

Franchesca Fernandez

Franchesca Fernandez, a senior and this year’s Student Council president, has also encountered her share of challenges this school year. She said that insufficient student participation has affected her job, and she has had difficulty contacting people. She said that she conducts meetings by planning schedules and having business meetings on Thursdays, and afterwards allows members to be in their committees. 

Fernandez said that this year Student Council is looking at online alternatives to raise money, including Percentage Night Fundraisers. She hopes to continue raising money for the club throughout the entire school year. 

“Student Council is there for them [students],” Fernandez said. “We are trying our hardest amidst the pandemic to keep pushing, and we will eventually get through it.” 

Obregon said that he misses an in-person Student Council a lot—as well as all the activities, group work and just hanging out with his club members. 

“Showing school spirit is quite hard during the pandemic,” Obregon said, “because we are unable to decorate the hallways and put up posters.” 

He expressed sadness on not being able to give students a real Student Council environment. 

“Despite the hardships, we’re all together in this,” he said.

Keeping The Holidays Close To Home

By Yesenia Ybarra 

The spread of Coronavirus has increased rapidly in Pima County and throughout Arizona in the past several weeks, and this “second wave” is expected to bring even greater numbers of cases—even higher than the astronomical rates throughout last summer. 

As of Dec. 7, there have been 46,000+ confirmed cases in Pima County, which has a population of 1.1 million; more than 730 people in the Tucson metropolitan area have died as a result. 

In Maricopa County (including the Phoenix metropolitan area), the number of COVID-19 cases have surpassed 228,000 confirmed cases with more than 4,000 deaths. 

Arizona’s Coronavirus cases are nearing 337,000, with nearly 7,000 deaths in the past nine months. 

Health experts urged people to stay home during the Thanksgiving holiday and to keep gatherings at a “minimum”; many ignored those warnings, which explains the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases. With Christmas and New Year’s approaching quickly, the same warnings have been echoed—this time even louder. 

In her recent first State of the City address, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero stated, “After consulting with public health experts and local hospitals, we have determined that additional steps are necessary to control the surge of COVID-19 case.” 

Earlier this month, the Tucson City Council announced a curfew for the city of Tucson—urging residents to stay home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. at least until Dec. 23. 

It will be up to Arizona residents to heed this advice. It is everybody’s responsibility to take Coronavirus seriously. 

Hospitals are at near-maximum capacity with COVID-19 patients, and during the flu season, which affects thousands of Arizonans every year during this time, hospitals need to have room for them. Also, there are thousands of residents in Arizona with serious health conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, that need regular health care. If hospitals are maxed-out with COVID-19 patients, then those with other serious diseases will be in jeopardy. 

Doctors are going to be determining which patients die and which patients live, a most disturbing decision. If we all take responsibility for our own safety, then we could minimize the future spread of COVID-19. 

We’ve all been educated about how to stay safe in this era of COVID-19, but here are some reminders as we approach the holiday season: 

(1) Wear masks at all times in public places; ensure these masks completely cover the nose and mouth; 

(2) Keep at least six feet away from people; 

(3) Wash hands for at least 20 seconds as often as possible; 

(4) Keep gatherings at a minimum, and wear masks around people who do not live with you; 

(5) Avoid touching the face. 

It’s important that we all stay safe this holiday season. With promising vaccines in the horizon, our situation is not permanent. 

Our upcoming holiday/winter break is a great time for people to become creative and to start projects that have been on your bucket list for a while. Maybe it’s time to clean out that cluttered closet or garage or to paint your bedroom a different color… Before the pandemic, people complained they didn’t have enough time to get everything done. 

Maybe it’s time to get everything done.

COVID-19 Devastates Local Businesses

By Kevin Salazar and Jaime Montaño 

2020 has been a year that has changed many lives due to the outrageous outbreak of Coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19. This pandemic has had a profound impact on just about everyone, and this especially includes local businesses. 

Many shops in Tucson have had to shut down due to a lack of customers and economic problems due to this pandemic. This has especially affected smaller, independent businesses that relied on loyal patrons who are staying home, quarantining. 

“One way that I have been affected by COVID-19 is that I don’t get as many clients as before,” said Mr. Alberto Salazar, a barber from Tucson. “A lot of these people are afraid of coming into the barbershop to get a haircut and exposing themselves to the virus, although everything is clean. They are just simply afraid to go into a public place where different people come in daily.” 

COVID-19 has, in fact, affected barbering so much this past year that many barbershops have closed completely. Many barbers have had to quit their jobs due to little income. Barbers were not able to cut hair from their own home because they would get fined. Some businesses were allowed to open for a short time, but clients had to wear face masks, and barbers could not do their beards. Having facial hair cuts were, for some patrons, part of the process. Many patrons just stopped going to barbers altogether. 

Instructor for Fade Master’s Academy, Mr. Memo Kaphan, said, “The whole barber industry is hurting from something we can’t control, and all we can do is promote ourselves through this bad time. When everything is normal again, we will have hopefully experience a major boost in our business.’’ 

Although businesses are fervid about disinfection, many patrons are still afraid of contracting COVID-19. 

“We don’t sell as much [food] anymore,” said Mr. Riodel Salazar, a taco shop owner in Tucson. “The percentage of people who used to come before is very different than now. Not many families are seen, and the sales went down almost by half.” 

Tucson, obviously, is not the only American city to have been adversely affected by COVID-19. According to Yelp, more than 163,000 businesses have closed as result of the Coronavirus—nearly 100,000 of them permanently. 

“Let’s all hope this ends soon, and we can all go back to our normal everyday lives,” said Salazar.

College & Career Bulletin Guides Seniors To Future

By Hector Guzman 

Due to the pandemic that has stopped Pueblo from its normal functions since last March, the College and Career bulletin has still been available to provide Pueblo’s community with various types of information aimed at helping students succeed. 

This bulletin is especially essential for seniors planning their futures. 

Mr. Roberto Cruze

Mr. Roberto Cruze, Pueblo’s College and Career Coordinator, emphasizes the importance of this bulletin. One of his goals consists of more seniors having access to the bulletin’s information and to inform the entire school of other academic programs and announcements. 

“It’s ‘GO’ time when it’s your senior year,” he said, emphasizing the importance of students preparing for post-high school life. 

Cruze stated that this bulletin has been accessible to students for several years and has gone through many shapes so that the bulletin is now accessible to students online, which has become especially important this school year due to students not being on campus. 

He stated that the bulletin has piqued the interest of many seniors who are interested in applying for college. In fact, the bulletin has been able to increase the number of student applications for the University of Arizona by 96%, Cruze stated. 

“It’s very important that seniors start mailing their applications,” he said. “We are already halfway through the school year.” 

Cruze said that he does feel some frustration not knowing if all students are reading the important information listed on the bulletins. He makes it easy for students to have access to this important information by adding them to the Warrior Weekly or emailing it directly to teachers who are hopefully passing the bulletins on to students or posting them online. 

“I am considering sending the bulletin directly to students’ emails to confirm they have the bulletin,” Cruze said. 

Cruze said the most enjoyable thing about the bulletin is the variety of information and opportunities offered to students. He added that he would continue to offer the online and print versions of the bulletin for students when Pueblo is reopened. A QR code may also become available for students to access the bulletin through an electronic device. 

“[Seniors], make sure you are getting offers from schools that help you reach your future academic goals,” Cruze said.

Diabetes-1: Not Getting The Best Of Me

By Deleah Grijalva 

When people think of diabetes, an automatic assumption is that a person eats too much sugar and is out of shape. Although diet and weight may be factors for Diabetes-2, few people seem to know the difference between Diabetes-1 and Diabetes-2. 

Type One Diabetes is an auto immune disease; a person’s pancreas does not produce insulin, a hormone that the body uses to convert glucose (sugar) into energy. Sometimes that process does not work properly; the body does not have insulin, and therefore, the glucose just stays stagnant in the blood, which is toxic. The harsh reality is that if Type One Diabetics do not have access to insulin, it is fatal. 

Some people do not even know they are Type One Diabetics. I found out the hard way… 

I received my confirmation of having Diabetes Two barely a year ago—on November 1, 2019, at 16 years old. One never forgets the date they receive the news because your life is forced into a major transition. The previous summer, I had lost more than 35 pounds without even trying, and my hair started falling out. I was constantly having to urinate, and my mood swings were like a pendulum on steroids! At this point, my mom decided that it was time to schedule an appointment with my doctor. 

Lo and behold—I received my diagnosis; it was like a slap in the face. 

Soon thereafter, I began my frequent visits to the Angel Clinic at Banner Hospital that serves the medical needs of diabetic children. There, I learned everything about Diabetes-1, and at times, this new knowledge was stressful and overwhelming. I had to alter my entire lifestyle. I learned, for example, that I had to always carry insulin, sugar and a glucagon (an emergency medical treatment for a low blood sugar in case I become unconscious) with me. Everywhere. 

I wish it were that simple… 

With Type One Diabetes, I have to also had to recognize and deal with low blood sugar levels and highs—constantly monitoring my numbers. If my blood sugar level dips below 70, I immediately need a fast-acting sugar (orange juice or candy, such as Skittles) before I become unconscious. I recognize the feeling when this occurs; actually, the symptoms are difficult to ignore; I become shaky, dizzy and weak. 

When I experience high blood sugar levels, I need to inject insulin using a specific calculation and guzzle down water or go on a walk. (This happens when my sugar levels reach 250; most people’s blood sugar is WHAT?). I also have to check for ketones—urinating on a stick and comparing the color to the colors on the bottle and pray that I have a “normal” color; otherwise, I need to be rushed to the hospital because I have DKA (Diabetic Keto Acidosis) which means there is poison in my blood from having too much sugar or carbs and not giving myself insulin. 

My sugar levels can escalate for many reasons: excessive stress, eating foods with too many carbs, and sometimes not eating enough. Many people must prick their fingers to determine their glucose levels, but thankfully for me that is not the case; I now have a device called a Dexcom G6, a machine that is inserted into either my arms, stomach or thighs that continuously monitors my glucose. Every five minutes, I receive a message through an app on my cellphone that informs me of my sugar levels. 

Two kinds of insulin are keeping me alive. One is called Humalog (fast acting insulin) that I use after every time I eat or when my sugar is high. The other insulin is called Lantus (long lasting insulin) that I inject into my body at 8 p.m. every day. My immune system is greatly compromised, which is why I have had to be extremely careful not to contract COVID-19. 

Undoubtedly, Type-One Diabetes is a lot to handle. Although it’s less frequent, I still ask, “Why me…?” Then, I realize that I am just one of 1.25 million Americans living with this condition, and the rates are expected to increase dramatically over the next 30 years. According to Dr. Sanjoy Dutta, vice president of research at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, “The number of cases is alarming, and we have to stop it from growing. The first line of message is that knowledge is power, and that while we don’t have a preventative therapy in our lineup yet, just knowing about Type 1 diabetes is important. No one is spared. Anyone can get diabetes—and at any age.” 

Currently, there is still no cure for Diabetes-1. 

I have my good days, and I have my bad days, but even in my challenging moments, I refuse to let this disease defeat me or assail upon my lack of hope that someday a doctor will tell me, “I have a cure for you.” 

If you are feeling some of the symptoms that I have described, please let a parent know, and make them schedule a medical appointment. Ignoring your symptoms—no matter how big or how small—is never a remedy.