Lifting restrictions too quickly may cause virus spikes


Health experts like Dr. Fauci have cautioned states about lifting rules on COVID.

By Cory Rambuski, Staff Writer

It was in March of 2020 when the United States finally declared COVID-19 a national emergency. Since then 530,000 American lives have been lost. Tensions in the United States seem to have lessened since Joe Biden’s inauguration, but when can we expect a return to normalcy?

President Biden announced in February that the vaccine will be available to all citizens by the end of July. The goal is to reach herd immunity as quickly as possible through vaccination, “not by allowing a disease to spread through any segment of the population,” according to the World Health Organization.

Despite the suggestions of WHO, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Mar. 2nd, “it is now time to open Texas 100 percent,” in response to restrictions on businesses and mask mandates. This was immediately after people were freezing to death in Texas and Gov. Abbott made sure to tweet out about how “there will be no handouts”… in other words the government is not here to help you. Other states like Mississippi are following the example of Texas and are lifting the mask mandates.

We have seen the impact these types of decisions can make on other states earlier in the pandemic. The chaos caused by incompetent govenors spawned Covid hotspots causing cases to spike multiple times throughout 2020. Travel to other states will not be restricted and the virus is still very, very real. One McHenry County resident Michelle Salzman shared her thoughts on Abbott’s decision to lift coronavirus restrictions.

“I think it is predictable that Govenor Abbott lifted the mask mandate,” Salzman said with a disappointed look on her face. “I don’t think it is in the best interest of the citizens of Texas or the United States for that matter.” She went on to describe how she believes Abbott’s decision was purely political and was simply pandering to his far-right constituents.

“It is particularly disappointing that this ban was lifted just as we have the means of getting the pandemic under control through the vaccination. This is an assault to the frontline workers who have put themselves and their families at risk since the beginning of the pandemic.”

It’s true that essential workers will be bearing the brunt of these decisions. Whether we are talking about someone stocking shelves at a grocery store or a nurse working in a hospital, all of these workers are the ones put at risk when states decide to go against suggestions of experts like Anthony Fauci.

Remember when Republicans kept pushing hydroxychloroquine as a magical cure for COVID-19? Even the President of the United States, Donald Trump, got the very virus he kept telling people not to worry about.

It’s rather mind-boggling when you look back at everything that happened in the United States throughout 2020. There was the murder hornets. The Christmas bombing in Nashville, Tennessee. Kyle Rittenhouse shooting people in the name of protecting private property. There was also that video of Derek Chauvin pressing his knee down on George Floyd’s neck. And let’s not forget the no-knock raid that police, in civilian clothing, initiated on the innocent Breonna Taylor in the middle of the night.

It is clear that the issues facing the United States run much deeper than just mask mandates. Misinformation had proliferated to new levels under the Trump presidency. Groups like QAnon and The Proud Boys have gained prominence in places they never should have.

Both Q and The Proud Boys, along with other right-wing groups, executed the insurrection on the United States federal government on Jan. 6th. Even the Department of Homeland Security says that these groups are the biggest threat to the United States, especially when it comes to domestic and stochastic terrorism.

So, with all this what do we have to look forward to? Well, for one it looks like the third round of stimulus checks are on the way. Secondly, more and more people are getting vaccinated by the day. But these two positives hardly outweigh the negatives that currently plague our society. It is going to be a nonstop battle to get people to see what needs to be done in this country in order to come to a consensus that will allow for progress.

President Biden seems to be putting the country back on track, however, now is not the time to dial back the pressure. It’s our obligation as citizens of the United States of America to hold these politicians responsible for the decisions they make. Hopefully we have all learned from the disaster that was 2020.