Saturday, September 19, 2020

Texas reopening – proceed with caution and common sense

North Park is one of the favorite malls in Dallas. Are you ready to return on May 1? Michael Barera / CC BY-SA 4.0 

By Ruth Ferguson, NDG Editor

This week Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order allowing specific businesses to reopen May 1. However, just because you can, should you rush to the movie theaters, restaurants, malls (not the food courts), non-interactive museums and libraries? Yes, many are anxious to get out and be among friends and loved ones, but is it the right time?

Even as the governor’s plan was announced, several critics pointed to flaws in Phase One. The most critical element of concern is the lack of testing in Texas. Yes, our numbers seem relatively low. However, on Monday Texas ranked last in testing, according to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. Do we really know how widespread the virus is in Texas?

Several NDG readers responded with a resounding “no thanks” via a recent Facebook post we shared.

Amy Buckley said, “No, the numbers are still going up,” which would seem to rule out Dallas County’s eligibility to reopen according to the guidelines.

Indeed they are rising, with Tuesday’s report being the highest one-day totals for new cases and deaths.

“Dallas County Health and Human Services reports 135 new cases and 10 deaths. Today ties for our deadliest day thus far in the COVID-19 pandemic in Dallas County,” Judge Jenkins stated. Those who passed away ranged from a teenager in Lancaster with no known underlying health conditions to a 90-year old man in a nursing home.

Several restaurants are proceeding with their reopening plans, others are saying “thank you, but no thanks.” They do not believe it makes fiscal sense when they are limited to 25 percent capacity.

Other local venues are not rushing to open, either.

“The health and well-being of our guests, staff, and community is our highest priority,” said Becky Mayad, a representative for the Perot Museum. “While we support the eventual reopening of certain sectors of the economy – and appreciate that the plan recognizes the unique nature of each institution – the Perot Museum of Nature and Science will not reopen May 1. Our leadership team will thoughtfully consider the ongoing social-distancing mandates and other compliance factors as we determine when to reopen.”

The Dallas Arboretum via a representative stated, “At this time, we expect to have an opening date near the end of May, if not sooner. We will update our website and other social outlets as soon as we have a firm date.”

The churches have had the option for weeks in Texas to hold services with specific guidelines in place. Yet, many offered virtual Easter services this year and since. Perhaps too many headlines of church members and pastors lost to COVID-19 led to their decision.

Even in the grocery stores, there are numerous reports of different stores managing the process differently. Reportedly at least at some Costco locations, you cannot enter without a mask. Meanwhile, at some Walmarts, few are wearing them, or many allegedly are not practicing safe distancing.

The City of Dallas last week had to institute a plan limiting visitors at Katy Trail based on the first letter of your last name on the weekends. Unfortunately, too many were disregarding safe distancing rules.

In the end, the only one who can and should make that decision is you. Several factors must be considered. First, your health, your loved ones, and those who you will come into contact with – is a trip to your favorite restaurant worth the health risk? Do we have enough data to make an informed decision?

I will see you in a few weeks.

 

6 COMMENTS

  1. I’m with you. With the Covid positive numbers increasing , we should not be opening up . It is in direct conflict with the CDC guidelines . Testing availability is needed as well before we can proceed safely .

  2. At some point we need t reopen. The virus will do what it has too before leaving. Quarantine is only a small measure to control it. Yes we should all be tested. We should slowly reopen and have to wear males etc. people should determine their own fate if they don’t follow precarious. Sink or swim. The media way out f control. The death rate is 1% not 3.4%. Stop Watch g tv and take care of yourself and protect yourself. Sitting at home is now to the answer.

  3. If anyone falls to COVID 19 who prior to this reckless, economy first citizenry be damned, Abbot and his taks force should be held liable.

  4. Check the Stanford study, check Cuomo’s NYC antibody count (21% had antibodies). RE: Stanford study, “ Covid-19 is drastically more widespread than local swab testing suggests: 50- to 85-fold, the researchers calculated. The math that follows from there is even more significant. Assuming a higher infection rate consequently lowers the disease’s estimated fatality rate, driving it from around 1 percent to just 0.12 to 0.2 percent. For the record, the death rate from the flu is about 0.1 percent.”

    I believe a responsible easing of restrictions is both science-based and logical. Quarantine the sick, not the healthy, at-risk population quarantine (per phase 1 recommendations). It’s all common sense when you follow the science. At first we didn’t have data, hence the models being SO far off. Now that we have the data, let’s use our God-given critical thinking, and follow the science.

    Let’s follow the Phase 1 guidelines, and start enjoying our life again, responsibly.

  5. Why are we opening? What exactly has changed? The number of cases is climbing. The criteria for entering Phase One was supposed to include 2 weeks of declining numbers.

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