One Day in Our Future

One day, Texas’ story will include a chapter on the coronavirus.

One day — and soon — this virus, which now ravages the state’s economy, shutters businesses and drives so many of us into our homes, will take its loathsome place among the hurricanes, oil busts, and other calamities that once stood as serious threats to Texas’ future.

One day, we will be able to properly celebrate as heroes the doctors and nurses, first responders, retail workers, government employees and others whom we’re now depending on to protect our health and society.

One day, I firmly believe, we will look back on the response of Texas and Texans to this disaster and see the same grit, ingenuity and optimism that has helped our state bounce back over and over again.

This, of course, is not that day. The deluge of bad news is not letting up. Documented COVID-19 cases keep increasing. Job losses have been appalling, as Texas has gone from having one of the country’s lowest unemployment rates to 9% unemployment virtually overnight. With the plummeting price of oil, Texas has moved from being a world supplier of energy to an epicenter of an economic demand crisis.

The job losses are particularly distressing – certainly as a society, but especially for the people and families experiencing them. Job creation has always been a vital focus when Texans talk about public policy, and we’re about to see why: the strain that these trying times are putting on individual families would be unimaginable if we weren’t witnessing it every day.

In the short term, we will all need to pull together to help our fellow Texans through this wrenching time. We will need to help people — and support the organizations that are helping people — as they navigate this once-in-a-lifetime emergency.

We also need to remember that this will not last forever. Eventually, the economy will restart. The nation will get ahead of the virus, through public health strategies or a vaccine or both. Businesses will open and reopen and rehire.

Soon, we will get back to the business of business and planning for Texas’ future.

But right now, we have to get through today. We have to make sure that there’s food on the table, that our kids are still learning, and that we’re doing all we can to keep from getting sick and to make sure others aren’t getting sick.

Please take care; please stay safe. Thank you so much for all you’re doing to help your fellow Texans in this time — and thanks for all you’re going to do to help our great state bounce back.