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.

Winter Break 2018-2019

by Alina Cuen and Evan Maharry

Winter break is a long awaited time off from school as well as a time when holidays are celebrated and memories with family to be forged. Our Warriors just returned from their two-week vacation, embracing the cool weather and even experiencing snow for the first time in eight years. Already, the Pueblo community has made lasting warm memories of the break.

The ushering in of the new year has allowed many students and staff members to reflect on times recently passed.

Ms. Kathryn Gunnels, assistant principal, who took this time to visit her mothers and sisters.

“In St. Louis, the weather wasn’t as bad there as I had thought it would be,” Gunnels said. “But we got stuck in a blizzard in Albuquerque. So husband and I talked in the car and read books while the freeway was closed.”

Gunnels was not the only one who had a dramatic or bizarre story to tell. Junior Arsenio Castillo traveled to San Antonio, Texas, where he visited his sister.

“A tornado was a couple miles away and almost hit us,” Castillo said. “This tornado was a big shock, but I’m glad that we were okay. Being obliterated by a tornado would have ruined Christmas.”

Our Warriors gathered lots of memories on Christmas morning. Gifts ranged from the small, like the slippers that junior Carmen Membrila received…or the large, such as sophomore Karolina Bracamonte’s new phone.

Carmen Membrila & Mia Carpenter

Membrila had received a grand gift that she will not ever forget; she was given the opportunity to go to London to walk in the New Year’s parade from her recognition in a Cheer camp. She and another junior student, Mia Carpenter, who was also recognized for her talents at a Cheer camp, traveled together and enjoyed the cultural differences.

She said, “The whole week that I was in London was so much fun! Those days were such a new experience for me and really opened my eyes to travel more. Truly, I’ll never forget the amazing experience I had.”

Now that we’ve been in the new semester for a few weeks, many of us are looking forward to spring break and the memories that we Warriors will find there.