I don’t think anyone was shocked that the state of Texas was the first to reopen its doors and businesses after the novel Coronavirus seemed to lessen its hold on our nation. After all, Texas has pretty much operated as its own nation within a nation for most of its existence. However, Governor Greg Abbott is having some serious second thoughts about doing so now.
When the Chinese introduced virus hit our shores sometime in January, it induced panic throughout the states. By the middle to the end of March, nearly every state had eventually shut down, closing their borders, businesses, and the means of continuing a thriving economy. But with the curve of infection being “flattened” by these shutdown measures, late April and early May brought about the slow reopening.
We started to regain what we had lost and begun a new kind of normal.
But then George Floyd died in police custody, setting off massive civil unrest nationwide. Thousands suddenly seemed to forget about the deadly virus to attend protests and riots, which often turned into looting and property destruction. Social distancing was essentially thrown to the wayside as people showed up in droves to deface national monuments.
And now, not surprisingly, we are seeing quite the uptick in cases all around the country.
Take Texas, for example.
On Thursday, the Lone Star State say a new daily record number of cases set, coming in at just under 6,000. This “massive” surge, as Governor Abbott calls it, has driven hospitals in densely populated metropolises such as Houston to already be near capacity. And the surge has just begun.
As we all know, the virus can take several weeks to show up in its host, leading many to believe this is only the beginning of a second and rather deadly wave.
However, the growth in cases puts Governor Abbott and his staff in between a rock and a hard place, once again choosing between the health of his citizens or the health of his state’s economy.
As one of the first to reopen its businesses and economy, and a strong supporter of President Trump, Texas has a lot to lose if it were to suddenly change directions on their reopening process.
First of all, it would be essentially admitting that they were wrong to reopen so early. Admitting you are wrong is never easy, but it would especially hard in a case like this when so many lives are on the line.
Secondly, it could ruin Abbott and the state’s political position. As a long-held red state, Texas has followed Trump’s guidelines on reopening, turning to the idea that the economy should be brought back up to speed as quickly as possible. Shutting things down again would essentially be going against that, and some may even consider it a slap in the face to Trump.
And naturally, such a shut down could be disastrous to the already weakened state of the economy, not only in Texas but the South as a whole. If Texas is seen backtracking, other states, especially like-minded red ones, may soon follow suit, creating a domino effect that would be nearly impossible to recover from.
Whatever gains the state and nation saw this past month due to lighter lockdown measures would pretty much be thrown right back to the wolves.
And so Governor Abbott has decided to simply “pause” the reopening plans.
According to the Texas Tribune, “Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Thursday morning that he will pause any further phases of reopening Texas and that he is once again putting a stop to elective surgeries to preserve bed space for coronavirus patients in certain counties.”
Abbott made it clear that he doesn’t plan on going backward at all, but simply wants to pump the breaks a bit to slow the spread.
“Abbott’s latest action does nothing to reverse any of the reopening phases he’s already allowed for – meaning that bars, restaurants, malls, bowling alleys and other businesses are still allowed to remain open with some capacity limitations. ‘The last thing we want to do as a state is go backward and close down businesses,’ he wrote in a press release on Thursday, but the ‘pause will help our state corral the spread.’”
It seems to be a wise choice; hopefully, it will be enough. Now, if Abbott could just “corral” the monument mob and the continuously protesting left…