Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, announced that on March 10th the mask mandate will be lifted and business will be able to open with an 100% capacity. Abbott stated that Texans have “mastered the daily habits to avoid getting COVID.” City Council member Greg Casar said “If state officials don’t want to do their job protecting people from the virus, then we will.” He also has required Austin and the big cities to still require masks. However for the smaller cities lifting the mask mandate may make it harder for small businesses to stay open. This is difficult for them because most normal citizens who would shop or eat at their establishment do not want to wear a mask at all and if the small business requires masks they could lose a lot of business and run out of money to stay open.
Most Texas citizens were thrilled to hear that they would not need to wear masks anymore, but business owners didn’t know what this would mean for them. They are conflicted by the fact that they would like to continue to require masks in their business establishments yet they do not want to upset a customer who disagrees with them. Another business owner Missy Herring who owns Creating Printing & More located in Three Rivers, Texas said “I was tickled to death, ready to get back to normal.” Herring never forced her customers to wear masks in her establishment as she did not wear one either, she would wear her mask in the stores that required it but she stated “The minute I walked out, I took my mask off.”
A small restaurant in Texas still requires their customers to wear masks, an employee was called “an absolute idiot” after telling a customer they needed to wear a mask. Another incident took place in another restaurant and a bartender was hit in the head with a glass bottle by a mask-less costumer. The bartender ended up having to get stitches. A San Antonio restaurant owner Mike Nguyen said that as an Asian American he is worried about any potential clashes he could have with a customer, especially with how Asian Americans are treated today and all of the violent attacks. Nguyen told CNN that he fully supports reopening Texas businesses however he asked, “But what does taking away the mask mandate have to do with anything about reopening Texas?”
Businesses owners are terrified about how lifting the mask mandate could affect their business if they continue having customers wear masks. Between the two types of people, who knows how this will affect the state. It may either bring people closer together by letting everyone be in the same space at once or it may lead to acts of violence due to different opinions. More and more states are starting to follow Texas in lifting the mask mandate and many more people are starting to form opinions about if it is a good decision or not the smartest one.
[Photo Credit: Texas Monthly]