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Omicron Variant Disrupts Life For SU Student Before Virus Even Arrived In Onondaga County

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Glenn Fawcett
/
U.S. Customs And Border Control
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, CBP officers have donned personal protective equipment (PPE) as they work on the frontline of the crisis.

The Omicron Variant of the Coronavirus has now been discovered in cases here in Onondaga County. But the strain linked to South Africa was already having impacts on people here in Syracuse.

SU sophomore Francesca Wright was getting ready for Winter Break and looking forward to seeing her family after her final exams. But, coming back to the US for spring semester may present some challenges, the Psychology major said.

“At the moment, I can’t really get back on my student VISA, so that, like obviously, is a lot of stress on me and my family,” Wright said.

Wright says she’s not too fearful of harassment due to the Omicron variant’s ties to her home country. Many nations, including the US, have imposed travel bans on South Africa. Travel Bans Francesca’s Father, David, calls unfair.

“You know, we kind of feel isolated and persecuted, to be honest with you,” he said.

Dutch researchers found Omicron in European patient samples before it was first detected in South Africa. David says his country should be lauded, not penalized for that.

“Certainly ourselves, and many others don’t want it to be stated to be the South African variant. We want it to be the variant that was found in South Africa and uncovered in South Africa,” he said.

For Francesca and other South Africans in Syracuse, Omicron is sure to continue presenting issues for those planning to travel to and back from home.