BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Masks became our new normal when the statewide mandate was put into effect last June, but soon they will be a thing of the past, at least for Texas and Mississippi, as both state governors announced Tuesday that they would soon be lifting all mask mandates and not only that, they'll also open their states back up 100% which is causing reaction here in California.
“Effective next Wednesday, all businesses of any type are allowed to open 100%, also, I am ending the statewide mask mandate,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott, announcing Tuesday these restrictions many of us have grown used to will be lifted in his state. Shortly after, the governor of Mississippi followed.
“This new order removes all of our county mask mandates and allows businesses to operate at full capacity without state-imposed rules or restrictions.“
Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez also weighing in, saying she's pleased with Newsom's stance.
“Governor Newsom has not succumbed to the remarkable political pressure that says we just want everything back to normal, of course, we do, everyone does. I'm happy he's holding firm and ensuring vaccination distribution is our top priority.”
The CDC also critical of any full-on reopening plans citing another wave of outbreaks, Perez wants to see more vaccinations being given before lifting all mandates.
“We're not there yet, so, removing the masks or acting as if things are over doesn't make sense, doesn’t match the science or our numbers.”
But Mark Pacheco, owner of Strength and Health Gym in downtown Bakersfield, who refused to shut down throughout this pandemic, says he feels empathy for those who did close their doors before these announcements on Tuesday.
“At the same time, I think some were stuck between a rock and a hard place, but for those who submitted, completed, and then folded, I think they shouldn't have done that, they should have stood their ground.”
However, Pacheco believes this is a win for Texas and Mississippi going forward.
“I think that's a huge victory for those of us who are rational thinkers who have pretty much had enough of this movie, It's time to put an ending to it and move on.”
As for now, here in California, the mask mandate remains in place and Kern County is still in the purple most restrictive tier. However, we are poised to qualify for the less restrictive red tier soon which would allow more businesses to open.