Editorial: Texas should continue to reopen


London Tegerdine, Photographer

After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott started issuing different versions of a shelter in place order March 19. After almost two months of shelter-in-place, on April 24, Texas began to reopen the state. There are many citizens and officials who believe that Texas is reopening too soon and that it will cause an increase in COVID-19 cases.

Texas is not reopening too soon.

Some of the new measures put in place to protect citizens have been a requirement that businesses only allow 25% capacity in their establishments (increased to 50% effective May 22). Also, any person handling food must wear a mask and gloves. Furthermore, businesses are ensuring that different groups of people stay the CDC-recommended six feet apart from each other. Some restaurants are taking their employees’ temperature daily and taking the temperature of patrons when they enter the restaurant. Some stores are also requiring all customers to wear masks in order to enter and shop.

In Melissa, there has been a realization that the COVID-19 virus has been around much longer than expected. This past December, the Cardinal Band went to Disney World for the yearly band trip. Upon returning home, students became sick but did not test positive for the flu. Some of the parents of band students and band students themselves were recently tested for the coronavirus antibodies and they tested positive. Without knowing how many people have actually gotten the virus and recovered, the numbers are skewed and in reality could not be as bad as what’s being reported.

The main purpose of opening back up is for the citizens of Texas to return to work. Without their jobs providing income, parents are unable to provide for their families themselves. As Texas reopens, more parents can continue to provide for their families and the economy will begin to stabilize.

Many people argue that Texas reopening does not watch out for the immunocompromised or for those family members with impaired immune systems. However, I personally had a brother with a compromised immune system for nine long months. My family worked within our home to protect him ourselves. We did not allow him to leave the house, allow those who had been sick to enter our house, and we thoroughly washed our hands upon returning to our home. The economy cannot be brought down to protect the immunocompromised when they have families that can take measures to protect them.

Texas should continue to reopen slowly while taking measures to protect the citizens. Those leaving their home should continue to wash their hands before leaving the house and upon returning. If a person has been sick, a mask should be worn upon leaving the home.