TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - It has always been said that Texas is like its own country and that may have never been truer – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Several states have put Texas and other states on a quarantine list effectively shutting down travel between us and them.
To add more pressure, the European Union has placed United State travelers on a similar quarantined travel ban. You can still go to these places, but you will need weeks of down time to make sure you don’t have the coronavirus. So it’s obvious that while every virus is unique, we must, as a world, a country, state and county have a playbook that is consistent and works in advance to prepare us. And this is where the state of Texas can come in.
The Governor, representing the state government and county and city officials must devise a playbook the outlines responsibilities of each body. Currently, we have a disconnect between the state and local authorities on who can do what.
Just look at the recent confusion and vacuum over potentially requiring masks. And then look at the way the Governor has made decisions targeting specific industries. Governor Abbott has been effective in singling out some specific counties and specific services so being consistent will be the challenge moving forward.
We have shown that we can prepare for hurricanes, droughts, tornados and other natural disasters, and we need a similar effort for future pandemics - federal – state – local authorities working in some amount of harmony to actually serve the citizens. It may a pipedream, but we need to try. Planning will help save lives in the future and make for a Better East Texas.