Greetings. I am a voting constituent in rural west Texas.
Watching the nightly news is sobering. Texas is always in the headlines right now. And not for anything good.
My little town has been hard hit. But denial still runs rampant, even though most of our city government got the virus. Masks are rarely seen around here. Some lessons don’t get learned until people start dying. As so far, knock on wood, Mason has not seen a Covid death.
It’s a hard thing to keep the state and country going while trying to also safeguard public health. But we can’t help but notice that epicenters such as NYC have managed to control the virus to the point that they can open back up. And it seems their people are participating in their reopening by doing their civic duty by trying to protect others as they protect themselves.
Instead, here in rural Texas, people choose to be cavalier, to try to out bluff the virus, to pray it away, to dare it to affect them and theirs. This is the attitude that will doom us.
Rugged individualism will not save Texas. Viewing mask wearing as a liberal plot will not save us. Leaving it to a population that is loath to even think there is a problem will not save us.
But strong leadership might. Leadership that can convince us that it’s in the state’s best long-term interest to sacrifice for the short-term. Public health used to supersede selfishness in the guise of personal liberty. But now libertarianism rules the day.
Politics will not save us. Straight talk might though. Asking Texans to sacrifice might save us. Bravado will not. Wishful thinking will not. Hard choices and decisions will.