Lifted COVID-19 Restrictions Cause Concern


Rachel Reyes, Reporter

With COVID-19 cases beginning to simmer down, Governor Greg Abbott has officially lifted the mask mandate and has allowed businesses to open 100%. Many Texans are pleased with the new order while others express concern over possible surges that could arise because of it. Abbott lifted the mask mandate on March 2, 2021 and businesses will begin to fully reopen on March 10, 2021. In order to prevent surges and cause further displeasure, the governor should continue to enforce at least one of these pandemic restrictions. 

Texas has 29 million people and out of those 29 million people there have only been less than 2 million fully vaccinated and around 2.3 million confirmed cases of COVID. With Abbott lifting the mask mandate and fully re-opening businesses, COVID-19  cases will surely spike. Many mayors and local officials are criticizing Abbott for this untimely decision. If Abbott wanted to lift the mask mandate, he should have kept the business capacity as it was or vice versa. With both of these options now open to the public, there will surely be a repercussions because of it. Both choices ultimately cause higher risks of infection and cause risks for many Texans. 

Opening businesses 100% will obviously do good for the economy but causes health risks to others as well. If he wanted to open up the economy he should have at least kept the mask mandate in order to reduce the risk but in the desperation of wanting the Texas economy to strive, he dismissed warnings from health experts. Not only has this affected the decisions businesses will take from now on but it has also affected schools. Schools around the state are packed with students 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. School boards now have the option to opt for or against masks. Along with this, Texas educators are now on the priority list for vaccines and while this will prevent spread between teachers and students, there is still a possibility that the virus will be transmitted in between peers. Abbott supported his decision by saying that Texans have now become very apt in taking care of themselves from COVID-19. Everyone has adapted to COVID-19 but specifically because of the mandates and restrictions that were imposed before. Now that the mandate has been lifted, Texans will no longer feel obliged to carry on with the habits that they one had which will end in a surge which will further impale our progress in stopping the spread of this virus. 

Despite the restrictions being lifted, we should still carry on with our previous habits and protect others from the virus. There are still many local officials who are persistent in their efforts to have their citizens wear masks. Individuals should consider the lives of other Texans and mask up even if it is bothersome. If we have done it for the last 8 months there is no reason why we can’t hold on a little longer.