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Hebron High School News Online

The Hawk Eye

Hebron High School News Online

The Hawk Eye

Opinion: Senate Bill 29 is dangerously ignorant about COVID-19

Hannah Mathew
The banning of mask mandates is a major part of Senate Bill 29, which was passed in Texas on Sept. 1. Mask mandates and wearing masks during the peak of the COVID-19 was highly effective to the spread of the virus.

Senate Bill 29 is a new bill introduced by the Texas legislature, and a step in the wrong direction for post-COVID-19 policies. The Bill ensures that, as of Sept. 1, 2023, there can be no more mandates on masks, vaccines or school closings in the event of the spread of COVID-19. 

This is dangerous, as a COVID-19 spike could happen at any given time. New variations such as Alpha, Beta, Delta and Omicron have been appearing since 2020 — who’s to say an even worse variation that’s highly contagious won’t appear tomorrow?

COVID-19 was declared a national emergency in the United States of America on March 13 by former president Donald Trump. In the following weeks, traveling restrictions, social distancing laws, vaccine mandates and strong recommendations to wear masks were all precautionary to the rapid spread of the virus which hit 1 million global cases within a month.

The controversial measures requiring citizens to wear masks have been proven effective, as wearing a mask lowers the possibility to catch COVID-19 up to 44%. If, in the future, COVID-19 was to spike rapidly, a mask mandate in the state of Texas would not be allowed due to Senate Bill 29.

As someone who has elderly relatives and family friends in fragile health, this is a horrifying thought. Though wearing a mask in an outbreak would then be a choice, the hoards of people not taking the health threat seriously due to a lack of restrictions would be rampant. There’s no telling of the possible destruction that could occur if a potential mandate for the wellness and safety of people is altogether banned.

Another now-banned mandate is the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The original vaccine mandates were put in place by private businesses or employers, and a ban on placing any vaccine requirements in relation to COVID-19 could be very dangerous. Medical staff in hospitals are consistently seeing high-risk patients. They are potentially exposed to COVID-19 daily and now are not fully protected due to Senate Bill 29. The vaccines have also proven to work very well, with vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna to be 58.7% effective against hospitalization.

Another thing banned in the bill is the prevention of closing any private institutions or schools because of COVID-19. This truly baffles me: schools are full of children, and keeping them all together during a rapidly-spreading virus puts many at risk. Social distancing policies were shown to avoid 84% of possible COVID-19 cases. Not having the ability to regulate distancing in private businesses and schools is reducing the effectiveness of public safety.

This bill is extremely harmful to public safety and brushes COVID-19 away as if it’s now somehow insignificant — which is certainly not the case. This week in Texas alone, there have been 12,366 cases of COVID-19, which is certainly not “nothing.” Senate Bill 29 is not only dangerous in its restrictions, but its mentality as well: COVID-19 is not gone. Just in the past month, nine different variants have been found, and that should be taken seriously.

Senate Bill 29 is not only a threat to people’s health and well-being, but a stab of ignorance in a spot that demands attention. The state of Texas is putting its citizens in the line of fire because of reluctance to go back to tough regulation.

If COVID-19 has a major spike, everyone will be now forced to face the true consequences.

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About the Contributor
Hannah Mathew, Reporter
Junior Hannah Mathew is a reporter and this is her second year on staff. She loves classical music — specifically Tchaikovsky — and enjoys reading, playing violin and trying various cookie recipes.

Comments (1)

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    IrisSep 27, 2023 at 1:27 PM

    I just want to stop thinking about COVID, it really messed up everyone… This is a great article, Hannah! If only there was a way I can be informed every time Hannah posts something on the Hawkeye :(