Texas and Mississippi announce a return to the Old Normal

March 2 was a red-letter day in America because Texas announced that all COVID restrictions are henceforth over.  Additionally, Mississippi, while it didn't go quite as far, did end mask mandates.  Individual citizens in those states can still make their own choices about masks, social distancing, and their business plans, but the government is no longer riding herd on its citizens over a disease that is fading away.

On Monday, the New York Times expressed a panicky concern that life in America might one day return to normal:

Covid-19: The U.S. Is Edging Toward Normal, Alarming Some Officials

[snip]

Across the country, the first day of March brought a wave of reopenings and liftings of pandemic restrictions, signs that more Americans were tentatively emerging from months of isolation, even if not everyone agrees that the time is ripe.

Then came the usual doom and gloom, with Anthony Fauci leading the parade.  The fact is that leftists do not want a return to normal.  COVID has been the best thing that ever happened to them.  It not only allowed them to put into place often unconstitutional rules that warped the 2020 election, but also gave them unprecedented control over Americans.  No sane leftist voluntarily gives up that type of power.

Thankfully, not all states are Democrat-run.  On Tuesday, Texas governor Greg Abbott announced that Texas is re-opening "100 percent":

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he will reopen the state "at 100 percent" and will rescind the statewide mask mandate beginning next Wednesday.

"Too many Texans have been sidelined from employment opportunities," Abbott said. "Too many small business owners have struggled to pay their bills. This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100 percent."

"Every business that wants to be open should be open," he said.

However, he warned that removing the mandates "does not end personal responsibility."

"Personal vigilance to follow the safe standards is still needed to contain COVID. It's just that now state mandates are no longer needed," he said.

That is exactly the way it should be in a free county.

Mississippi isn't going quite so far, but the mask mandates are now at an end:

If you live in the Magnolia state you'll no longer be mandated to wear a mask or face covering.   

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves announced Tuesday that he's lifting mask mandates for all counties.   

Reeves said his office is getting out of the business of telling people what they can and cannot do.   

"The reason the government is no longer telling you that is because of the actions we've taken over the last 12 months has gotten us to a point where our total hospitalizations today the second day of March 2021 is about where we were in late May," said the governor.

While there will be no state mask mandate, there are still recommendations for all to continue to follow.

Mississippi will continue to urge social distancing and self-quarantining for vulnerable people while requiring K–12 school kids to wear masks if they cannot social distance, and limiting indoor arenas to 50% capacity. Still, it's a great start.

What we're witnessing is the continuing blessing of America, which is that we have 50 laboratories of democracy, as well as geographic mobility.  Much as Biden would like to keep America in perpetual lockdown to consolidate his party's power permanently, he can't.  While California can maintain a permanent state of emergency, at least until Gavin Newsom is given the boot, its residents are going to see that life in Florida, Texas, Mississippi, South Carolina, South Dakota, and other Republican-run states is normal, happy, and economically thriving.

Just look at North American Van Lines' 2020 U.S. Migration report, which shows the major lockdown states hemorrhaging residents (which means losing its tax base and, eventually, its representation in Congress).  Meanwhile, the free states are booming.  As red states open up and blue states continue to self-immolate, those trends are going to continue in 2021.

Incidentally, the blue states aren't just lockdown states; they're the states that have bowed down to BLM and destroyed their criminal justice systems.  That too will lead to people voting with their feet to escape states that have become hellholes of robbery, assault, and murder.

This news comes with a caveat: many of those leaving the blue states aren't much given to self-reflection.  They understand that their states are going belly up and that they'll do better economically in the red states.  However, they don't understand that conservative policies are what make the difference.  Unless conservative residents in the target red states work hard to educate the new arrivals, the latter will destroy their new homes just as surely as they did with Colorado and Virginia, two successful red states that leftist migrants turned into damaged blues.

Image: Big Tex in 1956 by Bantosh; text and border by Andrea Widburg.  CC BY-SA 3.0.