Former Comal County Health Authority Looks Back at a Year of COVID-19, Criticizes Decisions About Masks
Former Comal County Health Authority Dr. Dorothy Overman warned readers of her New Braunfels COVID19 Community Info Facebook page on Saturday that the COVID-19 virus is still out and about in the community despite encouraging statistics.
She also criticized decisions by Gov. Greg Abbott to rescind the mask mandate and by Comal ISD to ends its requirement for masks.
“Such surprise announcements these last two weeks that I really was at a loss for words as I tried to process the governor’s announcements to open businesses 100-percent and to end the mask mandate,” Overman said.
“Yes, our local cases are down but not zero. Yes, there are less patients in the ICU (intensive-care unit) and on ventilators but there are still many fighting for their lives. Our first documented COVID-19 case was a year ago. It has been such a hard year for the patients and families, especially someone who lost someone to this virus. Too many.
“Opening businesses 100-percent I can support. It has been a hard year on businesses, too. Some did not survive and closed. We all have the option of not entering a crowded business. Such great options of takeout and curbside shopping.
“I have a much harder time accepting the end of the mask mandate. Research and everything we have learned this past year shows wearing masks protects you and others around you. Please keep wearing masks in public, especially be careful in crowded places.
“Another surprise was CISD ending its requirements for masks. Amazingly school children had no trouble wearing masks. The masks did a great job of preventing spread of COVID-19 in classrooms.
“Please keep placing masks on your school children. This protects teachers and other students who may be at risk for serious complications from COVID-19.
“The vaccine program just opened up to teachers. Immunity is reached two weeks after the second Pfizer or Moderena vaccine. So that is not for five to six weeks.
“So get a vaccine if you are eligible. I know it’s not easy to find a vaccine but keep trying. It’s going to get easier eventually.
“A historic year it has been. Keep safe. Do the right thing. We are not out of this pandemic yet!”
About Dr. Overman
Overman served as Comal County’s health authority for over 25 years and became the area’s most trusted source for information about COVID-19.
As a consultant to the county, she worked with the Office of Public Health and Texas Department of State Health Services on diseases affecting the community, disease prevention, public education, sheltering of evacuees and disaster preparedness.
She owns Hill Country Medical Associates, now Christus Trinity Clinic. According to its website, Overman’s practice was the largest provider of family medicine in Comal County.