Are We Ready To Risk it All?

Texas and Mississippi announce that they have reopened all of their businesses, as well as lifting the mask mandates.


George Murnock

Here’s a common sight, an “Open” sign at Teriyaki Madness as well as other places. Businesses are opening back up again and in more ways than one.

George Murnock, Staff Writer

COVID-19 is probably the most memorable moment of all of our lives right now, it has officially been a year since we have walked outside without a mask on or hugged our friends after a long day. However, everybody’s first priority should be to keep everyone safe. Ever since late March of last year, most states have taken action to ensure the safety of everybody’s health, with guidelines like closing nonessential businesses, staying six feet apart, wearing masks when you go outside, etc. Almost every state has had these guidelines installed for around a year now.

With the one-year anniversary of COVID, a couple of states feel like they have done their part and they are ready to reopen. These states include Texas and Mississippi. Both of these states have announced that they are going to be lifting their mask mandates as well as rolling back numerous other COVID restrictions. Texas Gov. Greg Abbot stated, “We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening Texas 100 percent. Make no mistake, COVID-19 has not disappeared, but it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations, and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed.”

Mississippi has followed suit with Texas and announced that they will also be removing their required mask mandate as well as other covid protocols. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves sent out this tweet on March 2nd, “Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our country mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules. Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!”

Over the time of the coronavirus pandemic, Texas has around 2.6 million confirmed cases with 43,200 deaths, Mississippi has had more than 295,00 cases and 6,700 deaths.

The decision by these two states has been faced with extreme backlash, especially from the CDC. Director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Rochelle Walensky stated, “I know the idea of relaxing mask-wearing and getting back to everyday activities is appealing, but we’re not there yet,” Walensky said.

President Joe Biden even stated, “The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that, in the meantime, everything’s fine. Take off your mask. Forget it. It still matters.”

The republican party has warmly accepted the governor’s decisions to reopen states while many democratic authorities have given them extreme criticism. CDC officials simply express that we’re close but it’s not time yet, CDC predicts only another three or four months until we can consider fully reopening, do we really want Texas and Mississippi to risk all the hard work that we’ve already done?