Thoughts on the Recent Mask Debate in Texas

We hope everyone survived the Texas Freeze with minimal damage to their homes and businesses. It may take a while to see which plants survived and which ones didn’t, and time to give nurseries to restock their supplies to beautify our neighborhoods again! The great news is that Spring is right around the corner, and along with it, some beautiful weather.

In recent days, Governor Abbott’s speech rescinding the mask mandate as of March 10th has produced mixed feelings with everyone. Removing the mask mandate may be a bit premature. I would much rather continue the mask mandate until we can reach herd immunity by administering vaccinations to a great majority of the population. As for our office, we will continue to require masks to protect our patients, staff, and families. We also expect many other businesses and hospital systems to do the same as well.

As we increase businesses to total capacity, we will be able to see the response of covid to that parameter first. With spring break upon us, I am sure that we will see an uptick in schools yet again as students will enjoy their time off. The marathon we are running to conquer this pandemic is long, tedious, and tiring, and we should not want to prolong it longer than necessary. The health care teams and first responders are exhausted and attempting to stabilize their lives despite dealing with PTSD and anxiety from the pandemic. Another large wave would be very detrimental to all.

We ask everyone to please continue to maintain social distancing, wash their hands per CDC recommendations, and please consider continuing wearing masks for now. I would suspect by May-June, when we can see just how many more vaccinations are administered, we can get a better representation of the severity of the pandemic at that time and consider mask-wearing to be more optional. The epidemiologists and scientists will notify us of changes and overall public safety risks due to covid -19. Hopefully, by summer, the pandemic will be better controlled. 

One last thing to consider is the vaccination rate of the entire globe, which is nowhere near herd immunity for over 7 billion people, will play a factor in continued transmission as travel plans increase and restrictions loosen. Do not get me wrong; I am all for businesses reopening, but safely. Therefore, I am imploring everyone to continue to be diligent in safely expanding their circle of business and personal contacts. To continue to do the same thing repeatedly and expect different results is insanity. We should learn from our past failures, so let's all work to continue to improve 2021 and be able to put this in our rearview mirrors!

 

 

 

Featured Image Source:

Castro, A. (2021, January 16). [Retro Pop Art Mask Image]. Retrieved March 04, 2021, from https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/Q9yjMx0XDIHofx_AgDlRALHwfSE=/0x0:2040x1360/920x613/filters:focal(857x517:1183x843):format(webp)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/68677997/acastro_200512_1777_faceMask_0001.0.0.jpg

Author
Dr. Frank Mazza Dr. Mazza has been a Houston resident since 1979. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin, and he went on to earn his medical degree at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. He completed his family practice residency at the Memorial Southwest Family Practice residency program. Dr. Mazza has often been recognized as a favorite local family physician in Texas Monthly magazine and other publications. Some of Dr. Mazza’s favorite hobbies include reading, sports, and music. He and his wife are proud parents of three daughters.

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