Piece of Mind: Go Slowly, Gov. Abbott

Apr 25, 2020

By John Kanelis

I am full of contradictory emotions at this moment in light of the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic.

Although I miss doing many of things I cannot do at the moment, I am in no rush to return to doing them. I fear contamination. I don't want to get sick. Nor do I want my family members and others I love to become sickened by the virus.

I miss going to the gym each morning. I miss the occasional meal in a restaurant where the waiter/waitress serves us at a table. I miss shaking hands with friends I encounter. I miss being able to hug my granddaughter.

You get my drift, right?

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott reportedly is going to issue an executive order this coming week that begins to loosen the restrictions he has placed on us. He reportedly also is getting pushback from his conservative political allies who want him to move more quickly; they want a more aggressive reopening of the economy than I think -- or at least I hope -- the governor favors.

Don't listen to 'em, Gov. Abbott. For that matter, I wouldn't object if the governor were to delay the reopening for another couple of weeks, or maybe a month, or even longer. I want to see more progress made in the stemming of the infection and death rates. I want there to be more testing available for Texans; hey, we rank near the bottom of the states in the testing for the viral infection.

I damn sure don't want Abbott to act on any hint he might be getting from Donald J. "The Waffler in Chief" Trump, who said he liked Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's strategy of reopening his state and then the very next day said Kemp was moving too rapidly.

This virus is still killing and sickening too many of us. If Abbott is going to reopen the state's economy, I want him to do it ever so slowly … and I still might wait a while longer before I am ready to return to life as we used to know it.

John Kanelis, former editorial page editor for the Amarillo Globe-News and the Beaumont Enterprise, is also a former blogger for Panhandle PBS in Amarillo. He is now retired, but still writing. Kanelis can be contacted via Twitter @jkanelis, on Facebook, or his blog, Kanelis' blog for KETR, "Piece of Mind," presents his views, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of KETR, its staff, or its members.

Kanelis lives in Princeton with his wife, Kathy.