The Governor of Texas has released the mask mandate for our State. I’d prefer to read between the lines. While on the face of it, the new policy risks prolonging the pandemic, allows time for new vaccine resistant strains to erupt, and hampers the decline of new COVID infections, the devil is in the details. The Governor does NOT say that masks do not help. He does not take away the rights of businesses and local county governments to employ their own mask policies. Our own Austin Independent School District has already emailed our families and informed us that mask wearing policies will continue. My own practice, Austin Gastro, will continue to require mask wearing. HCA, the local St. David’s Hospital system, has assured us that mask wearing will be required in all hospital facilities.
The Governor has put businesses ahead of health as State policy as is his prerogative. But he has left it to us to mind our own store. He will get political points from whomever thinks as he does, and in Texas, that’s not chump change.
The risk is that bars and restaurants now allow 100% capacity and there is a super spreader event with a variant of COVID that is resistant to the vaccine before enough of the people get vaccinated. Then we’re in for it. The pandemic will take longer to decline and might even become endemic and be a part of our lives forever. It seems early to release mask mandates in counties where the disease is still prevalent, considering that vaccine distribution is about to ramp up. A new Johnson and Johnson one shot vaccine just became approved. The Feds have professed a goal to vaccinate all adults by May. Waiting even a month has long term benefits.
Yet, businesses are suffering. We have chosen to rob Peter to pay Paul.
Let’s hope it’s not the People who get crucified.