To cap off Texas Independence Day, March 2, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that, effective March 10, the state-wide mask mandate will be lifted and businesses will be allowed to open to 100% capacity.
This sparked extreme reactions both against Abbott’s decision and for it. Some businesses have responded saying they will continue with COVID-19 restrictions while others have already pulled out every table and chair.
Among ACU students, faculty and staff have been shared significantly criticizing the decision to comically praising the return of Texan personality.
However, regardless of what people are saying right now, I ask everyone to think about this one question: what are you going to do Wednesday?
I do not mean in the sense of whether or not you are going to wear your mask anymore, but rather how are you going interact with your neighbors, your family and friends?
What I have noticed is that disagreeing politically (and yes, masks have become political) no longer means civil disagreement, but everything has become a matter of ethical concern.
Conservative circles argue that the past and current mandates have been actions of oppression while liberal circles have argued others have brought on a lack of concern for human lives.
So with that in mind, how are we supposed to come together? Is there no compromise? Or are we perpetually going to fight against one another until a victor is determined?
The best solution I can come up with is that we need to always have a thought the reestablishes our “enemies” as fellow Americans.
Conservatives, I know you are probably ecstatic about the decision. However, I ask you to realize there are neighbors of yours that have legitimate concerns about the pandemic. If they ask you to put on a mask, be like Jesus and gladly care for them.
Progressives, I understand you are angry and confused why many don’t see a problem where you do. However, I ask you to understand many people are not out to get you sick or compromise your health. Some won’t take the same precautions as you, but you still have the ability to take the precautions you can.
These suggestions might, and probably won’t, be good enough for anyone, considering we are so polarized against one another, but all I ask is when this goes into effect that we do not rid ourselves of friends and family because we disagree on this situation.
Ultimately, this will serve as a larger loss to us if we only seek to be more virtuous than one another. Some fights cannot be won with words, but some fights should not be so hardly fought if it does not unite us.