Living in a Pandemic: Cameron County judge discusses impact of 2020 stay-at-home orders
When the state’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 was announced last year, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. was at a concert in San Antonio – worried it would only be a matter of time before the disease would show up in the Rio Grande Valley.
“I was starting to feel uneasy being around others,” Treviño Jr. said.
Two weeks later, his work life changed as Cameron County quickly became a "hot spot" for COVID-19 early in the pandemic with people crowding beaches and at least three nursing homes becoming the center of outbreaks of the disease.
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Treviño Jr. soon ordered lockdowns, and restricted businesses to essential operations only. Among those pushing back against his orders were local religious leaders, Trevino Jr. said.
"It had nothing to do with trying to restrict their ability to practice their religion or their faith,” Treviño Jr. said. “But it had everything to do with informing of them of the risk involved with their congregation."
In the last year, Treviño Jr. has gone through a wide range of emotions that continue to this day.
Among the emotions is anger at those still not changing their ways to be safe, even with more than 1,500 COVID-19 related deaths in the county.
“I don't think it's too much to ask somebody - anybody - to wear a mask and to do your part by wearing a mask and avoiding crowds and keeping your distance from other people in order to save lives,” Treviño Jr. said. “So yeah, the frustration builds up because I still see some of that push-back."
With spring break in full swing and holidays down the road, Treviño Jr. said the worry will continue for the foreseeable future.
“I do not want to repeat what happened last year, and especially over the summer," Treviño Jr. said.