Governor Greg Abbott’s Mask Mandate is Idiotic and Harmful

Opinion

Governor+Greg+Abbott+lifted+Texas%27+mask+mandate+and+opened+the+state+up+completely.+This+move+has+sparked+backlash+from+many%2C+as+the+pandemic+is+still+in+full+swing+and+his+state+continues+to+suffer+the+results+of+it.+Photo+Courtesy+of+Wikimedia+Commons.

Governor Greg Abbott lifted Texas’ mask mandate and opened the state up completely. This move has sparked backlash from many, as the pandemic is still in full swing and his state continues to suffer the results of it. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

By Lipika Chatur, Reporter

Effective March 10th, Republican Governor Greg Abbott placed an executive order lifting the mask mandate and reopening businesses and facilities. He claims that with the COVID-19 vaccines created, everyone is safe and there is no issue with returning to normalcy. Yet he forgets that having vaccines does not mean people are getting cured at a rate that is safe for people not to wear masks.  

“Only around 10 percent of Americans nationwide have been vaccinated (33 million people), and many of the people at greatest risk have yet to receive a vaccine. COVID-19 continues to spread and take lives. Emerging and more transmissible variants of the virus pose new and increased risks,” President of Infectious Diseases Society of America Barbara Alexander said.

The way I see it is if vaccine shots are finally being administered and distributed to the general public and critical patients, why cause havoc again? It would be smarter to wait until cases have gotten down to nearly 1000 people in all the counties in order to fully reopen. Allowing for masks right now is just increasing the probability of a setback. I understand the need for normalcy, but all of us have been in quarantine for over a year now, so would it really make a significant difference to continue for a couple more months until we are certain that it is safe?

As of Wednesday, March 24, Texas had just under 3 million cases with 80,000 in Travis County alone. Texas has the third-highest number of COVID-related deaths (47,753) in the country after California and New York, which is more the reason to take extra precaution during this recovery process.

“Maintaining social distance, avoiding large gatherings, frequent hand-washing and mask-wearing should continue,” Alexander said. “Abandoning them now will postpone the day we can put COVID-19 behind us. We can’t forget the lessons this pandemic has taught us, or its terrible toll.”

There have been countless studies done that prove that a mask helps block more virus particles than not having a covering. They are here for more precaution but if that is still not understandable, CDC strongly recommends wearing a mask and continuing to take COVID precautions such as staying 6 feet apart and avoiding crowds.

A counter argument proposed by Abbott supporters is that he did not strictly say not to wear masks, rather he is only saying “that all businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny.”  However, having a leadership position means guiding others to a safer lifestyle, and when it comes to health, it is more than acceptable to have stricter laws. It is important to note that there are lots of people in critical condition, and not wearing a mask might be alright for you, but you are risking the lives of others. Simply stated, what Abbott says and does sets an example for Texans to follow and not taking health seriously has abysmal consequences. 

The only people who should be taking masks off, if at all, are those who have already been fully vaccinated and they should only do so among other vaccinated people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

I agree with Doctor Anthony Fauci when he says, “if 70 percent to 85 percent of the U.S. population was vaccinated, that would equate to good ‘herd immunity,’” because that is the only statistic that should give us the ‘ok’ to return to normalcy, whatever normalcy may be.

Just keep your mask on and stay safe despite what those empty-headed politicians tell us.

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