Opinions

I KEEP SEEING PEOPLE say “It’s my freedom,” and “If you don’t like it and are scared of fake numbers, stay home.” But what if I were to say, “It’s my freedom to be safe, and if you don’t like wearing a facemask because you’re that stupid (just copying your language here) and don’t believe all the doctors, then you feel free to stay home.”
I LOVE BEING A TEXAN. Texans are interesting, stubborn, ornery, creative, caring, inordinately friendly and ferociously independent. This State is home to 28,995,881 (and counting) individuals strung across 268,596 square miles. Texas has 10 climatic regions, 14 soil regions and 11 distinct ecological regions. From Dalhart to Harlingen and El Paso to Beaumont, Texas is represented by human beings of every hue, background, profession, character, ideology, identity, theology and quirk imaginable.
AS COVID-19 CASES RISE in Texas and Gov. Greg Abbott voices rising concern about the seriousness of the pandemic, state leaders are detailing another phase of extensive reopenings.
THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC has laid much of the American economy on its back—but a bright spot has made the disaster less crippling than it might have been. That is the Paycheck Protection Program, which funneled money back to workers through small businesses.
A COLUMN PUBLISHED IN OUR JUNE 4 edition, written by our ‘Good News’ reporter, Hannah Hegedus, included some inaccurate statistics that escaped our attention. We caught a little hell for them, too.
IN A NORMAL YEAR, local officials seeking reelection would have been on the ballot a month ago. Local elections were supposed to be held May 2 in Texas but were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, just like the runoff elections that were originally to be held that month.
To mask or not to mask? That is the question a lot of people are wrestling with as the coronavirus pandemic in Texas worsens. We as a culture have been here before. Americans have resisted seat belts, helmets, infant car seats, and other safety measures. They have also resented laws prohibiting driving while drunk, buzzed, or high. And for 60 years, Americans have been warned not to use tobacco. Laws now prohibit smoking in public places, but tobacco use persists in spite of overwhelming evidence that it is harmful. Most Americans go along with changes, but there is always a percentage of the population who are slow to comply. Now it’s wearing a protective face mask in a pandemic.
TEXANS HAVE BEEN WITNESSING things that would have been unthinkable until now: Surge teams, testing of nursing homes for COVID-19, and the National Guard helping to disinfect nursing home facilities around the state.
I HAVE A CONFESSION. Here lately, the media has consumed me. I find myself constantly on Twitter, Facebook and reading news articles. It’s all dark and each day the outlook seems worse.
LIKE MANY AMERICANS, the protests and civil unrest across the country this past week have given us pause to reflect upon our great nation’s promises and ideals, as well as its injustices and shortcomings.