Staying Safe Amidst Loosening COVID Restrictions

By Bethany Fischer on April 2, 2021

Loosening COVID restrictions seems like the last thing that should happen during a pandemic. COVID-19 turned the world upside down when it shut down virtually all public venues including schools, businesses, and extracurricular activities. While The CDC continues to recommend face masks, social distancing, and closures of crowded areas, many states are loosening COVID restrictions in an attempt to return to normalcy. For example, Governor Greg Abbott of Texas announced an end to the face mask mandate and limited business capacities at the beginning of March. Other states have followed suit in loosening COVID restrictions such as Mississipi, West Virginia, and Alabama.

The desire to return to “normal” is present in almost everyone. However, the health and safety of the American people must come before any type of political or policy agenda. If you live in a state with loosening COVID restrictions, read on to learn how to continue to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy.

Identify places maintaining COVID restrictions

Just because leaders are loosening COVID restrictions across the state doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to take precautions. Many private businesses around the state of Texas continue to enforce CDC-recommended restrictions. This includes wearing face masks, maintaining the appropriate distance between parties, and limiting the number of patrons allowed in a facility at any given time. While the state continues loosening COVID restrictions, private businesses have taken it upon themselves to take action.

Most Texas Hospitals require all COVID restrictions to be followed due to the nature of their work, but other recreational businesses are following their lead. Big chain grocery stores like Kroger and H-E-B have released statements reiterating their commitment to fighting COVID by continuing to follow CDC guidelines despite loosening COVID restrictions. Even certain restaurants are doing their part by maintaining and enforcing COVID restrictions. A detailed list of restaurants maintaining protocols amidst loosening COVID restrictions in Houston can be found here.

Stay Virtual When You Can

While places in some states will no longer be fined for loosening COVID restrictions, you can still keep yourself safe by making good decisions about where you go. Because of losing COVID restrictions, many places have opened back up to full capacity, including churches, schools, and concert venues. The best way to be mindful about where you go in public is by staying virtual if it is an option.

Many churches provide both live-streamed and recorded sermons that can be viewed from the safety of your own home. Megachurches like Second Baptist Church provide multiple online services to participate in amidst loosening COVID restrictions. Musical artists such as Maroon 5 and Adam Lambert have virtual concerts scheduled into the summer of 2021 for fans to view from home. It is even possible to continue a higher education virtually at schools like Houston Baptist University, which are continuing to offer remote learning while they develop a plan for the fall semester. There are options for those concerned about loosening COVID restrictions that keep them engaged in society while keeping themselves and their loved ones healthy.

Keep Groups Small and Stay Outside

In the event that you can’t avoid a public gathering, there are still precautions you can take while navigating activities in a state that is loosening COVID restrictions. Wearing masks and maintaining social distancing is always recommended, but there are other things you can do while you’re out and about.

If you’re going out with friends, keep your group small. Ensure that nobody in your group has been knowingly exposed to COVID and is healthy enough to be around others. Stay in your group while you are out and distance yourself at least 6 feet away from other groups if possible. Consider attending outdoor activities, such as outdoor concerts or restaurants with outdoor seating. Staying outdoors increases ventilation and usually accommodates social distancing recommendations. It is possible to stay safe in the midst of loosening COVID restrictions while also participating in fun activities with your friends.

Get Vaccinated

The best way to stay safe through loosening COVID restrictions is to get yourself vaccinated. Getting vaccinated lessens your chance of catching the virus and spreading it to others, especially if you are asymptomatic. Just because you don’t feel sick doesn’t mean you aren’t carrying the virus. If you carry the virus but aren’t showing symptoms, you can be at risk of infecting others without your knowledge.

Some states are doing a better job than others at vaccine distribution, but in Texas, all adults over the age of 21 will be eligible for the vaccines. There are even different types of COVID vaccines with high success rates that are available!

  1. Pfizer: 95% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID illness. The Pfizer vaccine requires 2 shots, 21 days apart for maximum effect.

  2. Moderna: 94.1% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID illnesses. This vaccine appears to be highly effective across race, sex, and age differences, and even in those with underlying medical conditions. The Moderna vaccine requires 2 shots, 28 days apart for maximum effect.

  3. Johnson & Johnson: 66.3% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID illnesses. Only 1 injection is required, and it appears to be most effective 2 weeks after the shot. This vaccine had high efficacy at preventing hospitalization and death in people who did fall ill, and early trials suggest that it may provide protection against asymptomatic infection.

The science behind these vaccines is strong and encouraging. While the thought of vaccines may be frightening to those with phobias and underlying health conditions, the research suggests that they are safe to use under the guidance of a health professional and are the best way to protect yourself during loosening COVID restrictions.


While some states discuss loosening COVID restrictions, there are things you can do to be proactive. Taking your business to places maintaining COVID restrictions, choosing virtual options to large gatherings, staying outdoors with small groups, and most importantly, getting vaccinated, are all ways that you can stay safe and healthy.

Whether you are for or against loosening COVID restrictions, COVID is very real and is still impacting our day-to-day lives. People continue to get sick and suffer through this illness, and businesses are suffering unimaginable financial strain. The mental health implications of surviving a pandemic are frightening, and things will continue to spiral unless we all do our part. “Normal” may never be fully realized in a post-pandemic society, but by being mindful and making good decisions, we can work towards making our world a healthy and safe place for everyone.

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