Pandemic life: California and Texas vastly differ in regulations


Throughout history, there have been a number of deadly virus outbreaks, with the most notable being the Black Death, The Spanish Flu, The Swine Flu, and, of course, Covid-19. Each of these viruses were handled differently based on their country, leaders and on how people reacted to each virus.

In 2020, around 11 years since the Swine Flu outbreak and 102 years since the most notable pandemic in history (1918 Spanish Flu), the world’s population and leaders have changed, which has impacted how populations have responded to the coronavirus.

Slowly over time, most key racks and side tables have become resting places for all the masks laying around houses. (DESTINY RAMOS MARIN/ La Plaza Photo)

Former President Donald Trump ordered in January 2020 to cut off travel from China and instituted enhanced airport screenings to stop the spread of the virus from country travelers as long as possible, but unfortunately, this tactic did not succeed.  

From that point on, it was left up to the states’ governors to decide how to handle the situation at hand. In California, Governor Newsom decided to take matters completely into his own hands without the guidance of the President, putting strict rules in place to keep his residents safe. 

Most of these rules put in place by Governor Gavin Newsom consisted of having a curfew of 10 p.m. in most cities, not being able to eat in restaurants, having to wear a mask at all times, theme parks not open to the public under any circumstance, having most malls or unessential shops closed, restricting parties, having schools shift to a distance learning format, and imposing a limit of ten people per household at a time. Each of these rules are put in place to keep everyone safe, however most can agree that one or two of these rules feel a little bit excessive and should be removed.

As mentioned earlier, all state governors handled the situation differently, and states with opposing views of California, such as Texas, have less rules to follow.

Tweets from Governor Gavin Newsom and Governor Greg Abbott reflecting their stances on their Covid-19 restrictions. (DESTINY RAMOS MARIN/ La Plaza photo, via Twitter)

With the guidance of Governor Greg Abott, residents decided to stick very closely with the President’s rules and regulations, which ultimately led to one rule in particular: Masks are mandatory. Everything else was left for business owners and Mayors to decide, which also led to being able to eat inside of restaurants and having theme parks open. All other activities that Governor Abbott has allowed include having seating available for football games, having no curfew, no limit of people inside of a person’s home, and simply not having anything shut down.

With the two very different states and their opposing views, it’s no surprise that both states would handle the situation very differently. 

In his first days as President, Biden is inheriting a country that has failed to stop Covid-19, and has begun with mass productions of the vaccine being made and given to residents of the US. With this in mind, it’s not 100% clear what our future in the pandemic holds, but hopefully strict lockdown rules will begin to ease up, unfortunately there is never any guarantee that will happen.

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