COMAL COUNTY, Texas — To mask up or not to mask up: it’s a question on the minds of many Texans following Gov. Greg Abbott’s reversal of coronavirus safety protocols, which kick into gear on March 10.
The beat of rockabilly music could be heard blasting from inside Texas’s oldest dance hall on Wednesday. Chris Burns is a Gruene Hall fanatic.
“The music’s great. Some of the best music in the world right here,” Burns said.
For Burns, Abbott’s decision to lift the mask mandate comes as music to his ears.
“It’s wonderful. If you believe they work, you should be able to wear them. It’s a free country. If you don’t believe they don’t work, you should be able to go without,” Burns said.
Officials with the Centers for Disease Control have warned against rolling back coronavirus safety protocols, stressing that Americans should still wear masks and practice social distancing as the pandemic continues.
“I think we should keep our masks on,” said Isabella Garcia.
Garcia loves live music, but said she hopes places like Gruene Hall continue to require face coverings and limit capacity. Otherwise, she’ll consider other venues for entertainment.
“I am worried not everybody’s going to do that, but I’ll go where people are following the rules,” Garcia said.
Garcia is thinking about the wellbeing of her family and friends even more now after Abbott’s ruling.
“I still have grandparents that I still go see regularly and I wouldn’t feel safe going somewhere with a heavy crowd where nobody’s wearing masks and then going to see them,” Garcia said.
Gruene Hall’s owners are not ready to make a statement on Abbott’s reversal of safety protocols as of Wednesday.
According to the business's website, customers and employees are required to wear masks. Current capacity is set at 25%.