A profile in The New York Times Magazine focuses on Texas and how the state is responding and managing the COVID-19 crisis. The magazine doesn’t come out until July 19th, but needless to say, it’s not going to look good for Texas.
Texas is quickly becoming one of the top states that do not have a handle on the pandemic, outpacing many countries in the spread of the virus. The rise in cases reflects poorly not only on our state’s public health system but the nation’s as well.
So why is Texas losing the battle against COVID-19?
It was the re-opening strategy, according to the forthcoming article. But it’s also how the initial stages of a pandemic, or any crisis for that matter, are responded to early on.
Front and center currently is the mask debate. All data points to the widespread use of masks can greatly reduce transmissions of the coronavirus. Countries that adopted mask use early on were able to flatten the curve or at least mitigate the spread of the disease.
In the U.S., however, masks have turned into a polarized and politicized debate.
Another aspect that gets called into question is how the state and country are prepared to deal with crises before they even happen. For example, prior to Hurricane Katrina, there were warnings about the potentiality of such a powerful storm and the inability for levies to hold but steps were not taken to address these issues.
Before COVID-19, we’ve seen other coronavirus outbreaks and brushes with pandemics – could more have been done to prepare?