Written by Miguel Palacios
In light of the decreasing number of Covid-19 infections and the increasing availability of the new Covid-19 vaccines, Greg Abbott and Tate Reeves, the governors of Texas and Mississippi, respectively, have decided to rescind their statewide quarantine orders and allow all businesses to reopen and resume operations.
In a press conference held in Lubbock Texas on Tuesday, Governor Abbott made the announcement that he will be signing an executive order that will rescind the current quarantine orders in place. This includes the use of mandatory face masks and limited business operations. Abbott states that he will be allowing businesses to reopen at 100% capacity beginning on March 10th.
Almost simultaneously, at a separate press conference hosted live on Facebook, Governor Reeves announced starting Wednesday, March 3rd, his office will no longer require county face mask requirements and will allow most businesses to reopen to full capacity without any state-imposed restrictions.
During the press conference, he stated, “I am replacing our current orders with recommendations… The only rules that will remain in this order are a capacity limit of 50% on indoor arenas and those that govern K-12 schools.” Governor Reeves also states that his decision to remove restrictions was based on the fact that the number of active Covid-19 infections in Mississippi has plummeted and the dissemination of the vaccines has been so effective that he no longer sees a need to enforce quarantine measures in his state.
Governor Abbott emphasized that he is not condoning irresponsible actions and certainly Governor Reeves would concur. Reeves made it clear that he is simply replacing quarantine orders with recommendations. Neither Reeves nor Abbott is calling an end to social distancing, frequent hand washing, and the wearing of masks. These measures can still be observed and are recommended, however not enforced.
Abbott said earlier today on Twitter that “…businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny.”
According to John Hopkins University, data collected over the last seven days in the United States show an approximate number of new cases to be 67,700, daily. Though this number may seem high, it is significantly lower than the peak, which was 250,000 new cases per day, from this January.
Both governors believe that with the fall of active coronavirus cases and the increasing availability of the vaccines that the time to reopen their states is now. California has suffered tremendously due to overly restrictive measures enforced on its residents and businesses and could learn a thing or two from Texas and Mississippi.
Unfortunatley, rather than trusting the science and doing that is best for the state, Gov. Newsom, who is fighting for his political future, tweeted that the decision to reopen was “absolutely reckless,” indicating that he does not plan to follow suit. Therefore, Californians will continue to suffer with distancing learning, increased mental and physical health issues, rising addiction rates, and loss of income, while citizens in other states finally begin to recover from what has been one of the most difficult years in modern history.