Rumor: Texas Could Go Back Into Lock Down

A rumor started flying in Texas this weekend that we’d see another lock down in the face of rising Covid-19 spread when a former judge and Jefferson County district attorney as well as assistant US Attorny for the Eastern District of Texas posted to Facebook that the governor had texted him it was time to stock up on essentials again.

I don’t think this is going to happen. Here in Texas we’ve mandated masks, closed bars, and brought restaurants back down to 50% capacity. If that doesn’t control growth in the virus – and I don’t see the state taking active measures to reduce spread, just to keep hospitals from getting overwhelmed – then additional incremental measures might be taken, although in fairness the governor has used another lock down as a threat in hopes of getting mask compliance.

Still the situation here, and in other states including Florida and Arizona, isn’t great for travel or airlines (or people!). American Airlines has a hub in all three of these states by the way, and Los Angeles which has also recently surged in confirmed cases.

I’ll admit I searched online for products that became tougher to get last time, and was thrilled to find Amazon had Fantastik Disinfectant spray which its manufacturer lists as one of its cleaning products suited for Covid-19.

They’ve also got travel-sized Germ-X hand sanitizer and larger Germ-X bottles as well.

I’ve already got a contactless thermometer and a pulse oximeter (to tell me my blood oxygen saturation – a key indicator I think whether my family will need hospital care) and based on some still speculative research I’m taking vitamin D as well as K2. And need I mention that good toilet paper is available again?

I’m an optimist. I believe we’ll be more or less back to normal less than a year from now. I believe that some of the vaccine candidates show real promise and will actually be available this winter. And that before then we’ll see more promising therapeutics on top of what we already have that seem to be helping with better patient outcomes.

However just because we have vaccines doesn’t mean they’ll be completely effective – somewhere between 40% – 60% seems most likely – and it doesn’t mean they’ll be available everywhere in the world broadly so quickly. Pfizer thinks they’ll have a billion doses by the end of next year in conjunction with BioNTech for one of their candidates, and China is already effectively doing a forced stage 3 trial by vaccinating their military. But there may still be coronavirus hot spots, which’ll make medical evacuation coverage an even better idea than usual when making far-flung travel plans for 2021.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. That’s not optimism. That’s naivete. We won’t be back to anything close to normal in a year. Maybe a year and a half. Maybe.

  2. It will take many more infections and deaths for red Texas to shut down. That may happen in time unfortunately.

    People shouldn’t go out and buy pulse oximeters. If you develop breathing problems that cause oxygen levels to fall below the normal range, you will know.

  3. @Daniel – I linked to that in the piece, Abbott threatened it, suggested it was possible – that’s different than saying it’s imminent and happening

  4. Like you Gary, I too am an optimist, but, not credulous. I’m also itching to get back to travelling with my family, hopefully soon!

    Right, wrong, or indifferent, I believe the public has spoken, “Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we shall…die.” That does not mean that all feel or will conduct themselves in like manner. Seriously though, what do you expect when you have not eliminated a foe to which many lack exposure? Come out of the foxhole and find that enemy suddenly gone? Vanished? Wiped off the face of this earth? At peace with the warring party? No, that’s why you’re careful and proceed with caution.

    I find it interesting that China seems to have eradicated this bug and yet the world is still finding new method of transmission, changes to the virus behaviour, and new signs and symptoms for CoVID-19. If the source of this bug has it under control, why not look their for control and containment? They must not be willing to share, perhaps finding greater benefit to the viral proliferation worldwide. Things that make you go, “hmmm?”

    It’s interesting how people will try to make a comparison of how other countries/nations have handled this bug. Perhaps failing to recall that those countries could effectively lock their citizens away as they were all once highly oppressed and still remain oppressed to a much lesser degree. The American people have never been held back from controlling their own future, volition/freewill. That is in fact why the United States are no longer Colonies of the British Commonwealth.

    Personally I feel the idea of percentages are useless compared to DPMO/PPM, Six Sigma always levels the playing field.

  5. It’s all a bunch of media hype and propaganda. Coronavirus has mutated into a weaker strain and 98% of people who get it are asymptomatic or have a runny nose. Texas, Florida, and other Southern States aren’t going to have the peak the NY and other northeastern states had. Deaths rates are nothing like NY or NJ had. There has been a bump as coronavirus has spread to 1/3 of the population, so mostly the people in very poor health with chronic medical problems are dying like they would of pneumonia, renal failure, or something else. The spread started with the protests over 5 weeks and death rates have gone up but only slightly. 45 deaths a day in a state with 20 million like Florida is not much given that 200,000 people die each year in Florida.

  6. @john-Most of the cases and deaths in Texas are among minorities, not likely candidates for your snarky and mean-spirited comment about “red” Texas.

  7. AZ has hopefully spiked here the past two week. Our death rate is lower (still one is too many) and closing of gyms and bars plus mask wearing has made a huge difference. Still expect this week to be teeter tooter but trending lower. ER visits down for the past 5 days and nearly 500 people a day being discharged but more than that being admitted.

    New testing 35,000 a day starting next week and 50,000 a day in August should lower the percentage. let’s keep the masks on and the capacities reduced until the vaccine is proven. Do what’s right for each other. TX and FL need to tell Trump to shut it and look out for each other instead. Ducey maybe finally realizing it here.

  8. @jackson – You better visit Florida soon. With your number of 200,000 people dying every day, there’ll be nobody left by autumn.

  9. @Jackson Henderson Your numbers are completely false. 98% asymptomatic? That’s really odd when 80% of the people get soo ill that they have to be hospitalized. The numbers were going up well before any protests. You know what its not even worth responding any further, since your entire post is full of nonsense and not fact.

  10. It’s great that the hospitals are keeping more people from dying, but not that the number of infected keeps rising. Let’s not get to the point where hospitals are at capacity, and/or the medical staff gets overworked and quit. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice physical distancing. Let’s get this over with, so we can get back to our travels.

  11. California just closed bars and indoor dining again. Texas needs to get their act together and not half ass this. We have seen what works.

  12. @Bill “80% of the people get soo ill that they have to be hospitalized. ” is not accurate – one rough estimate is to say 20% of those testing positive wind up hospitalized [some only test positive when they are admitted to the hospital]. CDC says on average we’ve been identifying about 10% of cases, which would suggest ~ 2% of those infected wind up in the hospital. The CDC’s latest fatality rate for those infected is 0.65%.

  13. Yes it’s all hype go out and party. Don’t wear a mask. I really could care less what you idiots do at this point. I’ll shelter in place and let you morons kill each other off.

  14. @Jackson Henderson (who posts by a series of different last names) – nice try blaming the rise on BLM (I’ve noticed a trend in your race-baiting posts)…much more about Southern states ignoring general best practices with respect to mask wearing and social distancing.

  15. @Gary, if the CDC is right that we’re identifying 10% of infections, doesn’t that mean that 35,000,000 Americans– or more than 1 in 10– have had COVID-19 already? That frankly beggars belief. I know exactly one person who’s had it, and most of the people I know are LA or NYC-based. Obviously, infections aren’t evenly distributed across all strata, etc., but seriously… one in TEN?!

  16. @Gary, Right 20% have to be hospitalized I inverted the numbers by mistake. As to the rest of your statements I find those claims suspect. By the way a new UK study seems to show that antibodies are fading after a few weeks, so maybe the virus doesn’t get you the first time but maybe it will get you when it comes back around. There is still much we don’t know about this, hence now is not the time for non-essential travel.

  17. @Bill – the #s I used are back of the envelope, and I’m deferring too much to the CDC there.

    Fading antibodies don’t necessarily mean we lose immunity to the virus, it’s still (somewhat) speculative but t-cell mediated immunity may persist.

  18. @Rose – you probably know more people who have had it, because the 1 in 10 includes aymptomatic people, this is based on serology studies and is likely the low end of the distribution.

    early on in the pandemic we were catching maybe 1 in 20 infections in new york. a month ago we were probably catching 1 in 6-8, but now? it’s certainly less than 1 in 10, when many jurisdictions are tightening access to testing (quest diagnostics, one of the main lab processors, is currently running a 7 day backlog).

  19. Who cares about Texas? Plus it’s *certain* that Texas will go in lockdown. What covidiots fail to learn is the lag between new cases and when hospitals are slammed, which is about 3-4 weeks.

    Nobody wants to die from a heart attack because hospitals are overrun. Nobody wants to have refrigerated trailers full of corpses because morgues are overrun. Nobody wants mass graves. So Texas will go through waves of increasingly restrictive lockdowns, without politicians using the name “lockdown” of course!

    The future has already been set by the number of new cases in the last three-four weeks. The next few months in Texas are going to be awful. You have to thank your elected Governor for that. Peace.

  20. @Jackson Henderson and all the other versions of this name – you are clearly someone who lives in his mothers basement – these constant racist and or flat out stupid screeds of yours – implies an undeveloped mind. Maybe go back to 4tran 8tran 16tran or parlor wherever your people are and stop pouting the real world with you BS

  21. I hate auto spell check second round –

    @Jackson Henderson and all the other versions of this name – you are clearly someone who lives in his mothers basement – these constant racist and or flat out stupid screeds of yours – implies an undeveloped mind. Maybe go back to 4tran 8tran 16tran or parlor wherever your people are and stop polluting the real world with your BS

  22. Not sure I want medical evacuation insurance. If I catch the ‘rona in another country, and need treatment, it’s probably way cheaper to just stay there. Or can I request that the medical evacuation be to Thailand, regardless of my nationality?

  23. @Christian – same poster, same race-baiting talking points under the guise of “conservatism”, posts here and LALF.

  24. @UA-NYC – actually there are a number of articles that link much of the increase recently to the protests and riots over the last month and a half. Also, the main “hot spots” in CA, AZ and TX are in the southern part of the states near the Mexican border which coincides with Mexico reporting their highest levels of infection in those areas.

    Sure opening up the economy led to more cases as everyone with a brain knew it would but the infection rate is significantly higher in minority populations.

    Of course anyone that tries to ties the marches (many with out masks and all not practicing distancing) with increase infection or say it is concentrated more in Latino areas (here in NC Latinos are 10% of population but almost 50% of confirmed infections – fact not bias) is accused of being “racist”. People can’t ignore the truth.

    I agree the US is dealing with way too high a rate of infection and hospitalization but without very detailed info on EXACTLY where the infection rates are highest and which population has been tested you can’t get a picture of the spread. I live in an upper-middle to upper end area of Charlotte and frankly don’t know ANYONE that has tested positive yet the stores and restaurants are full (we have a statewide mask rule and distancing is widely practiced).

  25. @AC Its also thought that the reason for the larger infection rates among Latinx and African American groups is that them more often than Caucasians live in multi-generational homes and that they represent a much larger percentage of lower paid “essential” workers – that don’t get the ability to work from home as so many of us do.

    Not disputing your data points about the protests – just seemed to be a lot more people protesting with masks than without. Whereas the counter protesters were largely bare faced.

  26. “In fairness to the governor” ? There is no fairness. He opened early, before achieving CDC thresholds, as a bow to king 45, and got a trip to the Oval Office for his efforts. At the same time, he prohibited any municipality from enacting more stringent controls. And when the numbers started a more upward trend, he continued to progress from 50% to 75% restaurant occupancy and opened gyms. Now he is trying to get his arms around it and failing. Worse, he digs his heals in with the Dallas county executive, Judge Clay Jenkins in a personal vendetta simply because he locked up a militant hair-burner…errr, I mean hair dresser for breaking lockdown law. Then he pardoned her. Texas is screwed all because of him.

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