Texans, get out there and vote

Opinion – February 16, 2022

from  Marshall News Messenger

Ross Ramsey: Hey, Texans, get out there and vote!



Early voting started on Monday, which is also Valentine’s Day and the anniversary of the 2021 polar vortex that caused blackouts that killed more than 200 Texans and possibly as many as 700. Voters have a lot of things to consider when they go vote this year. This list is incomplete, but it’s a start.

The latest freeze didn’t knock out the grid. It didn’t completely wipe out the mosquitoes either, but that’s another subject for another day. The arguments about whether the state’s electric grid is as reliable as it ought to be haven’t stopped, and they won’t until people trust that the lights and heaters will stay on in extremely cold weather.

And by the way, it’s still winter, even if we enjoy high temperatures of 70 degrees on some days. On Feb. 14, 2021, the first day the polar vortex hit the state, the high in Dallas was 31 degrees and the low was 13 degrees, according to the daily weather history at the Old Farmer’s Almanac. A week later, the high was 75 and the low was 46. In Houston last Valentine’s Day, the high was 39 and the low was 30, followed, a week later, by 68 and 46. San Antonio? A Feb. 14 high of 32 and a low of 23; on Feb. 21, it was 73 and 40.

As of this month, more than 80,000 people have died of coronavirus in Texas. The 7-day average of deaths was, as of Feb. 9, 192 per day across the state. Most Texans — 58.5 percent — are fully vaccinated. Hospitalizations from the virus are falling from near-record highs in January, down to more than 9,000 patients, and the number of ICU beds is increasing.

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