As promised by city officials weeks ago, the doors to the Victoria Operations of Emergency Management would open to media if and when there was cause to do so.

371 total confirmed cases in Victoria County, coupled with a confirmed local hospital outbreak alongside Gov. Abbott going live on his social media pages yesterday offering that Texas as a whole is in trouble was exactly the cause city officials needed to address the community via VOEM.

Our city has been elevated to a "Wide Spread Transmission" category, for the first time since the pandemic hit world wide, and another state of emergency has been issued for Victoria county.

Victoria Mayor, Rawley McCoy, reiterated possible insight Gov. Abbott may have offered yesterday in his live speech. Abbott offered that 'shutting down Texas again would be a last resort', but as Mayor McCoy and many of us watching noted, what Gov. Abbott didn't say was that closing Texas again wasn't off the table altogether. 

It seems over the last few weeks Texans became too comfortable with each other while Texas Re-Opened, and we either forgot, became complacent or possibly just lax with COVID-19 spread prevention basic protocol. Understandably, we were more than ready to get back to work, back to our "norm," and back to family and friends again. As an example, almost every public beach in Texas had record number attendance for Memorial Day weekend. And there within lies the trouble.

It was reiterated by our city officials in the VOEM meeting that the increase in positive cases is not a direct result of more testing. Instead its a direct result of being infected and being in public while not adhering to social distancing guidelines and NOT wearing a mask. 

Here is the live video of yesterdays conference.

As Victoria city officials offered specifics, statistics, data and answers to community questions for the informative hour long VOEM meeting, there was one word that stood out, with each official mentioning it again and again. MASKS.

Masks. Love them or hate them, masks are considered our best defense to now stop the latest spread of COVID-19. Masks, followed by adhering to social distancing, washing hands and staying home if you have any COVID-19 related symptoms (which can include unusual fatigue, headaches and just not feeling yourself) are basic spread prevention protocols.

City officials also reiterated that businesses CAN mandate that customers wear masks during their business transactions. No shirt, no shoes, NO MASK, NO SERVICE.

"This is a respiratory disease." Dr. McNeill offered again, "I can not stress this enough, the disease spreads from droplets from your mouth." 

Unfortunately these droplets can spread without a cough. The droplets exist and leave our mouths even when we are talking. Many COVID-19 patients aren't aware that they are even carrying the disease until days after COVID-19 begins to reek havoc on their systems.

How do we help combat COVID-19 if we aren't even aware we are sick?

Wear your mask.

How do we protect those we love?

Wear your mask.

What do we do if we hate wearing a mask?

Wear your mask.

As a local nurse offered recently, "If you dislike wearing a mask, just imagine how much you're going to dislike wearing a ventilator."

Something to think about Victoria.

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