After Governor Abbott's announcement that he's ending the statewide mask mandate and lifting occupancy limits as of March 10, East Texans have taken to social media to express their strong opinions--both for and against.

As we continue the full re-opening of our East Texas businesses, many are looking forward to returning to what feels more like a state of normalcy. Others are concerned about what seems a pre-mature action since as of this moment, only around 6% of Texans are fully vaccinated.

It's true, we are in need of a boost to our East Texas economy. At the same time, we want to continue to do all that we can to stay safe. If you do decide to venture out but don't want to wear a mask, please keep practicing social distancing as much as you can. Even if we are among the fortunate who never contract COVID-19, or have had it in the past, let's do it for those around us who may be more concerned than you are.

Despite the announcement, it's been interesting to note how many East Texas businesses are still planning on maintaining safety precautions.

Again, we can't say it enough--thank you so much to all of those who've been on the "front lines" during this pandemic--which includes our medical professionals, of course. But also, anyone who is caring for someone at home and anyone working in any capacity--anywhere--where you are compelled to come into contact with people on a daily basis.

My personal opinion? I'm going to continue wearing my mask and following the safety precautions until more of us are vaccinated.

PSA for all of us: Keep. Washing. Your. Hands.

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