Valley woman creates online petition against Abbott lifting mask mandate

6 months 2 weeks 3 days ago Friday, March 05 2021 Mar 5, 2021 March 05, 2021 7:36 PM March 05, 2021 in News - Local

A Valley woman has created an online petition asking Gov. Greg Abbott to reconsider his decision to lift the state’s mask mandate.

Jennifer Gonzales is one of thousands who have lost a loved one to COVID-19. Her dad passed away on August 2 at the age of 56 - after fighting for his life inside of a hospital for more than a month.  

"Not being able to hold his hand and say goodbye, that's heartbreaking," Gonzales said. 

She knows first-hand how deadly this virus can be and the pain that grieving families endure - which is why she was disappointed to learn that Gov. Abbott is ending the statewide mandatory mask mandate. 

"When he prematurely lifted the first lockdown, that's when my dad got sick,” Gonzales recalled. “He went out thinking it was okay because that's what these messages ultimately send. When they're lifting these mandates they're letting us know it's okay to go back out and to live your life, but it's quite the opposite."  

The governor's latest decision lit a fire under Gonzales. 

She started this petition with the co-founder of "Marked by COVID," a support group for people affected by the virus. So far - hundreds have signed it - asking Abbott to reconsider.

"Make no mistake, there will be more mothers, fathers, and family members who will die due to this ill-informed decision,” Gonzales said. "That's why I guess we fight to acknowledge this."

And although Gonzales says this is only the beginning of her mission to remember everyone who lost their lives to this virus, she knows her dad is proud of what she's accomplishing in his honor.

"I think he would be happy. I think he would say, 'That's my girl,'” Gonzales said. 

The petition can be found here: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/sign-your-name-tell-texas-gov-abbott-now-is-not-the-time-to-end-the-mask-mandate 

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