Gov. Greg Abbott’s premature announcement to re-open Texas receives public safety concerns


Courtesy of Creative Commons/Gage Skidmore

During an interview on Dallas radio station WBAP Gov. Greg Abbott said he’ll make an announcement at the start of the first week in May that will reopen “massive amount of businesses.”

With COVID-19 uprooting everyone’s life, a dilemma in the United States and around the rest of the world has been deciding when it’s best to attempt to integrate back into normal life. 

Gov. Greg Abbott has announced that Texas will be attempted to be “re-opened” within the next couple of weeks. This would mean that business would be reopened and we would try to return to life as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. This has raised concerns regarding the health and safety of Texans.  There are many aspects to consider surrounding a decision like this. 

While it’s understandable to want to go back to normal life, we have to consider what is safest for those in our community. Although Abbott stated, “This is not gonna be a rush-the-gates, everybody-is-able-to-suddenly-reopen-all-at-once’ situation,” this decision may not be as thought through as it needs to be for a pandemic this extreme, as we have been unsure of the time at which we would be able to go back to normal for quite a while.

With some schools and businesses being shut down until and even past early May, the thought of wanting to re-open things before then seems incredibly rushed. Schools are definitely shut down until May 4, and could potentially be shut down for the rest of the school year (Abbott has stated that an announcement regarding that issue is in the works). If society returns to normal operations too soon, it could cause the virus to spread even more with the pandemic resurfacing worse than before. 

Furthermore, I’m not sure this is something that Abbott can even go through with. Because of all of the regulations in place regarding COVID-19 (closing businesses, schools, and adjusting to curbside and takeout-only options for restaurants), it seems unlikely that Texas can “re-open” in such a short time span. Some businesses and establishments might want to stay closed or continue with precautions. Therefore, the backlash from Abbott’s decision might be too intense for him to actually go through with it. 

Because the coronavirus is continuing to spread, we have to adjust our actions to the pattern of the virus. It appears that Abbott and his team of officials are attempting to keep an overly optimistic tone at the expense of the potential health of Texas citizens.