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Social Distancing Ends in Texas

A man and a woman with a mask
Photo by Julian Wan on Unsplash
My mind has been urging me to write on this new atrocity for the past two days as I became aware of the news but I seemed unable to muster the words or the energy to do so.

Governor Abbott decided to end pandemic restrictions within the state of Texas. As of next week, the mandate will be lifted and Texans will be free to move about mask-less.

Restaurant occupancies will return to 100%. This move is made especially dire as this move comes on the eve of spring break.

No one needs reminding that we are still waist-deep in the throes of the pandemic. And the percentage of Texans vaccinated is a mere 13%. The lowest percentage of any state in the US according to NPR news.

The President, CDC, as well as many other medical professionals, have condemned the move urging Texans to keep wearing masks and to continue social distancing.

I can tell you from personal experience that many Texans were not wearing masks or social distancing even when it was a mandate. Each day persons would show up to the hospital, the stores, or other public spaces without a mask on their face, one under their nose, under their chins, or just a plastic shield that is open on both sides.

A shield protects the wearer from fluids or droplets splashed directly to the front of your face, it provides no protection from airborne or droplet precautions as it is open on both sides.

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash
Many eligible Texans have not been vaccinated nor do they have a clue when they may be vaccinated.

There have been many reports that the most vulnerable populations still facing many challenges trying to schedule an appointment.

Apparently even getting through to many sites to even schedule an appointment requires so much time, skill, and manpower that many are unable to continuously remain online or simply do not have the means to even go online.

My 73-year old mother nor any other eligible persons with clear co-morbidities, some with several qualifying factors have not been vaccinated.

My co-worker’s husband is well into his 60’s, he is diabetic, suffers from gout, has a history of cancer, high blood pressure and they have not secured an appointment to be vaccinated.

So how then are we no longer required to adhere to the rules that have kept some of us safe thus far?

The Houston Chronicle Abbott as saying, “Too many small business owners have struggled to pay their bills,” — “This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100 percent.”

You should note that the Governor has been fully vaccinated…

We can clearly see where the concern lies, not preserving lives but the quest to fatten the pockets. Nowhere in that declaration was the loss of life addressed!

This kind of reckless management only seems to exist in Texas! When the pandemic was in its infancy with regard to social distancing Texas was the first to shed its cloak of protection. This resulted in a spike in COVID cases and many deaths.

Two weeks ago the world again saw that Texas plays by its own rules with the winter stop that left roads impassable, widespread blackouts and Texans froze to death while laying in their beds.

Truly tragic.

Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash

Why are we repeating the same action at an even worse time while hoping for a different result?

It seems that the concern to fatten the pockets outweigh the loss that will surely be visited upon us.

I am persuaded that by now individuals have been practicing these safety measures for almost a year and that they will continue to do so. More of us will continue to wear our masks, practice hand hygiene, and social distancing.

 Until more widespread vaccinations have been done and COVID numbers have declined for a consistent number of months, we will choose the path of proven science and commonsense.

Stay safe and stay well.