Texas, and other states, could be headed toward another shutdown.
If Texans want to ignore the governor’s latest restrictions for wearing masks and keeping social distance and closing bars as the measures of the pandemic worsen, another shutdown is definitely on the table, Gov. Greg Abbott warned.
“I knew that (the shutdown) wasn’t going to be popular,” Abbott said last week during an interview with KTEN-TV in Sherman, according to The Texas Tribune. “I knew that it was even counter to what even I wanted, but also I knew that it was something that had to be done. The coronavirus is spreading so rapidly across the state of Texas, the last thing that we want to do is shut Texas back down. The only way we can prevent Texas from being shut down is for everybody to adopt this practice of wearing a face mask.”
He said if people don’t wear them or the numbers rise, there would be a lockdown.
In California, where COVID-19 cases are surging, officials in the state’s two largest school districts — Los Angeles and San Diego — announced Monday that students will stick to online learning from home when school resumes next month, rather than return to classrooms.
And the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, extended the closure of bars and indoor dining statewide and ordered gyms, churches and hair salons closed in most places as coronavirus cases keep rising in the nation’s most populated state.
Florida, too, is facing pushback from some educators and parents about reopening the state’s public schools.
Doing your part is simple enough — wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands, among other simple, simple things.
While there have been, in the past, questions about the effectiveness of masks, now the overwhelming consensus among public-health experts is that face masks can help stem the spread of the coronavirus.
What, too, is becoming clear is that Abbott is signaling that another shutdown is possible. Abbott seems to be holding his ground. He’s reinstated, for many places, a ban on elective surgeries that might otherwise strain medical staff and resources needed for COVID-19 patients.
Another shutdown would be disastrous for the state’s economy. Of course, the rising number of COVID-19 cases is taxing many hospitals.
So, it seems there is an easy, common-sense solution to help alleviate the situation. Wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash you hands and engage in other simple practices. It is the least we all can do.
• Dave Mathews