Mask Up or Mask Down
As the United States teeters on the one-year mark of Covid-19, the beginning of Zoom meetings, and lots of staying home, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, ended state mandates pertaining to masking up and business limits. In a little less than a week both Texas’ mask mandate will have ended and businesses will be fully opened at full capacity. Though Abbott has faced backlash, he is defending his actions relaying, “Thursday marked the lowest positivity rate and the number of hospitalizations since October” and added that about 50% of Texans age 65 or older have received their first vaccination. He did however make a point to detail that he is still urging the people of Texas to wear a mask.
Ahead of March 10th, President Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the CDC have expressed their discontent for the move as Biden told reporters, “I hope everybody has realized by now these masks make a difference” and even went a step further calling it [deciding to not mask up] “neanderthal thinking.” While Fauci briefly stated the decision was “quite risky.” Dr. Fauci gave an almost eerie statement describing the current situation stating, “If you look at the last seven-day average, it’s plateaued” and added, “That’s a dangerous sign because when that has happened in the past when you pull back on measures of public health, invariably you’ve seen a surge back up.” Supporting their conservativeness, Houston Texas became the first U.S. city to record all of the major COVID strands, many of which are more contagious.
Though mask mandates and restrictions don’t appear to be going anywhere in Michigan soon, senior Audrey Talley shared she thinks “that the mask mandate being lifted in Texas is a good thing” and that she doesn’t believe that “we should be hiding behind masks forever.” Audrey expressed she believes that “Michigan should do this too but the chances of this happening are extremely low based on what schools had to go through just to play basketball.”
On the opposite side of the spectrum, sophomore Avery Palmateer relayed she thinks “it’s dangerous and definitely getting rushed” and that “things are getting so much better because we’ve been doing all the right things, and stopping those won’t help.” Avery optimistically explained “I would want the same for Michigan when we’re ready, not when we’re simply close” and gave one last humor-filled statement, “It’s a pandemic people!!!” She then added she hopes things continue to get better and Texas as well as other states lifting mandates won’t affect the progress the U.S. has made.
So, whether you are for or against masking up and guidelines, one thing the students did agree on is that they are ready for the Coronavirus to be a thing of the past and merely a story to tell their kids.