A new trend of relaxing Covid-19 restrictions is quickly gaining ground across the US, among governors and other political leaders. And on Tuesday, Texas entered the ranks of the “free states” that are no longer under mask mandates, despite being warned of a possible surge “rebound”.
In Texas, not only will mask-wearing no longer be compulsory, but the state will also be removing caps on the maximum number of people served inside cafes.
This movement of “easing” mandatory preventive measures has been followed by the governors of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Michigan, as well as the mayor of San Francisco. Restrictions, previously placed on restaurants, bars, and other businesses will now be more relaxed. And New York City will be opening its movie theaters in a limited capacity this month.
Leading health experts, officials, and the CDC alike have repeatedly been begging people to take better care, and not ease up just yet. Only on Sunday, longtime director of The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci explained that“it’s really too premature”to ease efforts to control Covid-19 spread just yet. He said,
"We've been in this situation before. When you start to see a decline in the number of cases, if you prematurely lift the restrictions, we have a few examples of the rebound back."
The current “declined” baseline of daily cases still adds up to 70,000, which is a significant case count. Fauci explained this in the following works:
"We understand the need and the desire, understandably, to want to just pull back because things are going in the right direction. But you've got to get that baseline down lower than it is now, particularly in light of the fact that we have some worrisome variants that are in places like California and New York and others that we're keeping our eye on.
A day after the big states removed the mask mandates and “eased” other restrictions and rules, Fauci said,
"It is really quite risky to do that, for the simple reason that if you look at the amount of infection that there is in the community right now, even though the slope is coming down sharply, if you look at the last seven-day average, it's (plateaued).”
He then explained how in order to ease public health measures, it is important for the daily count to be“remarkably low — very, very low. And 60 to 70,000 per day is definitely not low."
So, wherever you are — whether you’re in a state that is upholding public health restrictions, or in a state that has relaxed these practices — please take all possible and advised measures to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Maintain social distance. Wash your hands frequently. And wear your masks.
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