Texas “wide open for business” despite surging Covid-19 cases | American News


AAn older man in an orange apron greets customers at the Home Depot in College Station, Texas. Placards reminding them that they are experiencing a pandemic are plastered on the sliding glass doors: “Face cover required”.The recall is essential because to a foreigner, Texas looked almost the same in July 2019 as it did in July 2020, although Covid-19 has killed more than 6,000 in the state and more than 150,000 in the United States since March. .

Customers at the home improvement store wear masks, which have become very politicized, to lower them under the chin to talk or remove them altogether.

In Houston’s upscale Montrose neighborhood, the multi-story Cafe Agora is full of people hungry for coffee, pastries, and conversation. It is difficult to spot an open seat inside or outside the patio. It’s also hard to spot anyone wearing something that looks like a face mask.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, has come under fire for allowing bars, restaurants, cinemas and malls to reopen in early May. In June, he said Texas was “wide open for business.” At the end of July, more than four months after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, a mandatory mask order is in place statewide – a reversal of Abbott’s original position that the government should not infringe on personal rights by telling citizens what to do.

Signage about mask requirements can be seen at a restaurant in Austin, Texas. Photograph: Sergio Flores / Reuters

But, with little enforcement except by some companies, some fear that Abbott’s reversals are too little, too late. As hospitals struggle and cases increase, much of ordinary life in Texas seems to go on as usual.

“We didn’t close early enough,” Texas Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia, a Democrat, said in a recent interview with ABC. ” [Abbott] did not order a statewide mask law early on. He didn’t give local officials the flexibility to do what they need to do in their own cities and counties.


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