LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - On Wednesday, 58 Lubbockites went to Holly Hop Ice Cream Shoppe for “Ice Cream with the Mayor,” to have the chance to express any concerns. Most of them were about the effects COVID-19 is having on schools this fall, and discussions on the mask mandate.
Mayor Pope said he walked into a business recently and he didn’t feel safe there, so he expressed to Lubbockites today that he wants to make sure that people feel 100 percent safe anywhere they go, and that involves citizens taking orders and guidelines seriously.
“The sanctity of life- whether it’s the living or the unborn- we need to take that belief and that is something we need to do fiercely,” said Mayor Pope.
“And so our decisions are put through that lens of how do we make people feel safe?”
Pope said that he wasn’t always on board with the mask mandate, but he realizes that people weren’t taking responsibility and being good neighbors without being asked, and now he is agreeing with Governor Abbot’s mask order mandate.
“It’s never the wrong time to do the right thing.”
Schools were another topic of conversation. Mayor Pope said he’s in favor of schools continuing on their path of opening up for several reasons including: social interaction, mental development, a furthering of education, and a place for kids to get out of the house.
“A safe place for their kids to go, a nurturing place for their kids to go during the day while they go to work so they can put food on the table for families.“
He said the Texas Education Agency, which is in charge of guidelines for opening up schools, could always re-route their plans before schools are supposed to open in August and so with the uncertainty of a lot these days, he says people need to take things one day at a time.
Debbie Hernandez, a physician's assistant turned Health Coach, attended the meeting and said she agree's with Mayor Pope's agreement with the TEA that schools should open up next month.
“I agree with the Mayor. We need to open up our schools. This is gonna be horrible for our children, if they miss another year of their education. With that [lack of] social interaction psychologically, it’s hard on them, and it will be difficult for them to catch up. Other countries around the world have started back their schools already and they’re not seeing an increase in the virus. They’re not seeing it.”