82° San Marcos
The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

COVID-19 concerns rise as Bobcats travel home for the holidays

Diego+Arroyo+Aceves+smiles+for+a+photo+while+on+winter+break%2C+Dec.+26%2C+2021%2C+in+Aguascalientes%2C+Mexico.

Diego Arroyo Aceves smiles for a photo while on winter break, Dec. 26, 2021, in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

As the COVID-19 Omicron variant leads to a spike in cases and travel delays, Texas State students remain diligent as they return home for the holidays.
For Alicia Jackson, a pre-nursing freshman, returning home to Dallas for winter break is a time to unite with family even among the stress of the holiday season.
“Usually on Christmas, my family and I plan to be together,” Jackson said. “Other families are together for a lot longer, but we try to save our short time … sometimes we go see neighborhood Christmas lights and just enjoy the time together.”
Jackson said she is much happier with the progress the world has made on COVID-19 since she saw her family for the holidays last year and is happy to bring back traditions that were canceled.
“Compared to last year, I’m a lot happier,” Jackson said. “Last year was pretty rough, just because it was the first Christmas with the pandemic. High school was canceled, and we lost other activities, so I’m feeling a lot better. I never really liked flying anyway, so I am happy to stay home this year and be with my family.”
Other students like Henry Delbello, an acting sophomore, drove home for the holidays. For Delbello, home is Fort Wayne, Indiana. As an out-of-state student, he said he prefers driving solo for 19 hours across the country with no stops except for gas rather than taking a flight home.
When Delbello is home, he appreciates the nostalgia that comes with it, something he cannot find in Texas. Delbello enjoys recounting the memories of friends and family he had while growing up in Fort Wayne. He remarks that although these friendships and home memories are valued and special, he has created new experiences and friendships in Texas that he longs to return to.
“When I’m in Texas, I’m not thinking about home, and when I’m home, I’m thinking about Texas and just waiting to go back,” Delbello said.
As for COVID-19’s role in his holiday season, Delbello said he is not too concerned, as he wears a mask while out in public and recognizes the chance of transmitting the virus around family members he has not seen in a while.
“I and my extended family of around 50 people are comfortable being without a mask,” Delbello said. “However, I wear a mask anytime I go in public. I’m comfortable meeting in big groups of my choosing. If I catch COVID from a family member, it doesn’t bother me since I see an inevitability to it.”
For students staying inside the U.S., COVID-19 concerns may not compare to those of students leaving the country this season. Diego Arroyo Aceves, an acting sophomore, is spending the holidays visiting family in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Arroyo Aceves has not traveled home to Mexico since before the pandemic and was eager to receive a booster shot to see his family and enjoy their annual traditions. He and his family attend Christmas morning mass and then come home to his grandmother’s famous annual spaghetti.
“I think the biggest shift is just the precautions in place for going out of the country and getting back in,” Arroyo Aceves said.
According to Arroyo Aceves, flying into Mexico is much easier than flying into the U.S.
“The U.S. is stricter, no matter what negative COVID test, but if you’re not a citizen you got to be fully vaxxed because of Biden’s orders, but that doesn’t apply to citizens,” Arroyo Aceves said. “I’ve flown so much before, that the act itself of flying doesn’t scare me, but I guess it still makes me a little uneasy to be trapped in an enclosed container with like 50 other international strangers for two hours.”
Arroyo Aceves said he encourages Americans to receive the vaccine to keep people safe during the busy holiday season.
Although COVID-19 continues to cloud holiday cheer for some, students are pushing through the darkness to recognize the little things that make the season special.

Donate to The University Star

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The University Star