Arts & Culture News

RIPTExas Trends on Twitter After Abbott Announces End of Mask Mandate

Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas is free to pretend that the pandemic is over.
Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas is free to pretend that the pandemic is over. Gage Skidmore
On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the threat of COVID was over. Well, not exactly, but Texans are officially free to put the pandemic out of sight and out of mind starting next week.

In an afternoon news conference from Lubbock, Abbott said he is lifting a statewide mask mandate and allowing all businesses to reopen effective March 10.

'"This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100 percent," he announced. "Everybody that wants to work should have that opportunity. Every business that wants to open, should be open."

Texas continues to rank second nationwide in COVID cases, with total of close to 2.7 million confirmed cases.

According to a December poll by VOX, most Americans support a mask mandate, and in July, a poll by Texas 2036 found that the majority of Texans supported a mask mandate.

Within an hour of the announcement, “RIPTexas” began trending on Twitter, where users are calling for Abbott’s resignation and urging others to ignore the governor's order and continue to wear masks in public spaces. They widely expressed their disapproval of Abbott's announcement through the creative use of GIFS and memes.

The subtext of Abbott's speech, according to one Twitter user, is "Because fuck 'em."
Some of the responses were refreshingly wholesome, like Craig's dad, who just wants to wants to play make-believe.  Humor so dark you can hardly read the tweet.
Rob Anderson, a man with a plan, offered a literal plan B. SpongeBob suddenly became the only choice to match wits with Abbott. While anime memes were a tad more brutal. Michelle summed up constituents' disappointment after a weeklong winter storm forced Texans to fend without power, water and a senator who took off to Cancun.
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Eva Raggio is the Dallas Observer's music and arts editor, a job she took after several years of writing about local culture and music for the paper. Eva supports the arts by rarely asking to be put on "the list" and always replies to emails, unless the word "pimp" makes up part of the artist's name.
Contact: Eva Raggio