Lifting of Restrictions

Are you a Dallas Cowboy’s fan? MANY around Pediatric Associates certainly are.

Does the name Leon Lett ring a bell? If not, you’re likely not yet in your 30s. Sorry, Leon, this doesn’t define the entirety of your career, but in light of recent events two separate moments that occurred in a span of about 10 months in 1993 come to mind. Let’s review:

  1. Super Bowl XXVII. The big man (that’s Lett) recovers a fumble from sacked Bills quarterback, Jim Kelly, and runs the ball 40+ yards towards the end zone. As he approaches the goal line, confidence abounds (apparently) so he stretches out the ball toward the goal line and slows to a mere jog. The Bills’ perseverant Don Beebe, unbeknownst to Lett of course, has sprinted to catch up and dives, knocking the football from Lett’s outstretched hand to save a touchdown. Here’s a little reminder:

END RESULT: Cowboy’s win the super bowl easily, 52-17. Lett is off the hook except surely for some laughs from teammates after the game.

  1. Thanksgiving Day Game, 1993. Cowboys v.s. Dolphins. With only seconds left Miami lines up in the snow at Texas Stadium (The old one. Pre really big LED screen above the field and complete roof overhead) for a game winning field goal attempt. ATTEMPT BLOCKED! GAME OVER……wait, Leon Lett, disregarding his teammates motions to stay clear slides in to cover the ball, allowing the Dolphins to then recover the ball at the 1 yard line where they are able to reattempt the field goal successfully. Another little reminder:

END RESULT: Cowboy’s lost 16-14 and Lett will forever be the goat (not the good kind, that’s GOAT) of the Thanksgiving Day Football game.

Are you following the analogy? On Tuesday, 3/2/21, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that effective 3/10 COVID-19 related mask mandates and business occupancy limits will be lifted. He did make remarks regarding the need for ongoing personal responsibility and while that is appreciated, there is great concern from medical professionals that this is a bit, shall we say, “Leon Lett-ish” in nature. We have come so, so far since March, 2020. Lets get across the goal line….not touch the ball when it’s where it should be….finish the play.

We here at Pediatric Associates are ready to take the masks off. We’re ready to talk about this pandemic more in the past tense than the current, but we’re NOT THERE YET. There is considerable risk in not remembering that. We are seeing variants in our country that are less susceptible to the vaccines that are currently available. Creating an environment now where these variants are more easily able to spread will allow them to more readily replicate, further increasing the chance that dominant strains become those that are potentially more dangerous, are more contagious, and that vaccines are less effective against. Currently Texas remains at high-risk given case counts, still seeing greater than a 10% test positivity rate as depicted in this figure.

We are one of 8 states in this category. Of the top 20 counties in the US with the highest recent number of cases per capita, 11 of them are found in Texas, and vaccination rates in our state are still under 10% (see below).

While the number of exposed + vaccinated people needed to reach herd immunity is not specifically known at this time, it is no where near where we currently stand.

To keep our patients, their families, our team members, and our community safe from COVID-19, we continue to require masks and recommend practicing social distancing at both of our office locations. These safety measures recommended by the CDC and the Texas Medical Board help slow the spread of COVID-19. We continue to urge our community to keep practicing hand hygiene, masking up, and social distancing so that we can make it across the finish line together. Make no mistake, we here at Pediatric Associates remain cautiously optimistic and certainly hope for an outcome similar to Lett’s above first mentioned blunder, a huge win for the team, as opposed to his second, a loss which can be looked back on as possibly due to letting down the guard a bit too soon.

As always, we’re so thankful to have the opportunity to care for your children.


Pediatric Associates


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