Snowed In


Courtesy of Lake Ridge Media

Freshman, Sydney Tamo, like many Lake Ridge students endured a forced-shut down to the historic winter storm.

Many Texans were living in very inconvenient situations with burst pipes, power outages, and rather freezing conditions.  However, the conditions outside were even worse than the ones inside with below freezing temperatures, icy roads, and unsafe driving conditions. Due to these dangerous circumstances, many Texans were forced to stay inside their homes. With the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, the “quarantine” or “self isolation” that many Texans went through may have helped slow the spread of COVID-19. However, some may argue that the snow storm did the opposite since many Texans went to warming centers with large crowds or fled to family and friends houses who still had accommodations that their own house may have lacked.

While the snow storms effects on COVID will take a while to see, people who had COVID and other health conditions faced the consequences of being stuck inside immediately. With many Texans losing their power and water, the most at-riskTexans often suffered the most. Health Aide, Denise Gonzalez-Hernandez, knows people who were in this predicament during the snow storms.

“I think the snowstorm affected those with Covid-19 already, it just depends on the severity of the illness. I have a cousin that lives in Eagle Pass, TX; her and her boyfriend both had Covid-19, and had no water or power.  Luckily their symptoms were mild, but could have been a lot worse had their symptoms been more severe,” Gonzalez Hernandez said.

Gonzalez-Hernandez thinks that the snow storm will also have more concrete effects on Texans.

“Numbers had already been going down since before the snowstorm, so I am interested to see how this snowstorm may create a potential increase again.  Unfortunately, with so many people without power, those that were lucky enough to have it, welcomed family and friends to gather at other people’s homes; so I do think we will see a spike in numbers, but I am optimistic that it won’t be a huge spike like what we have seen before. The snowstorm definitely slowed down the distribution of vaccines, but luckily our snowstorm was short lived and we were able to start rolling out the vaccines again.  I have already seen those close to me receive theirs this week.” Gonzalez Hernadez said.

Now that the snowstorm is over some feel as though COVID numbers may increase due to Texans returning back to their regular schedules. This is likely to give an accurate representation of COVID cases. Biology teacher, James Lee, feels as though the snowstorm made it hard to get an accurate count of COVID cases.

“The one week quarantine many Texans went through could have either positive or negative effects.  Positive effects could be that less Texans were exposed to others with  COVID-19. Some negative effects could be that those unknowingly infected spread it to their family members. Students could now spread the virus to other students and teachers.  Since the school did close down for few school days, it could have also flattened the curve of COVID-19; however, since most children are asymptomatic and cases spread as a result transmission, which is silent, students could possibly carry the virus in and out of the school and into their parents homes which would affect the elderly,” stated Lee. “Adults are now spreading the virus as well as they go back to work and re-enter society now that the snowstorm is over. However, I don’t think the snow storm will have that much of an impact on COVID numbers because, in my opinion, the key issue is not necessarily gathering, but wearing masks or lack thereof. Some people just don’t care about others safety and make excuses about how they can’t wear a mask therefore they can spread it to others.”

Some couldn’t help but see similarities between the snowstorm and the beginning of quarantine last year. While the snowstorm lock-in and the Coronavirus quarantine happened for different reasons, many similarities could be drawn between the two. Freshman, Sydney Tamo, feels as though in some ways the snowstorm was more effective at keeping people inside.

“The snowstorm and Covid-19 quarantine were similar because we had to stay inside and stay safe. People also wiped out the store shelves buying food and water to supply themselves in both instances; however, I think the snowstorm was definitely more effective because no one could physically leave their homes. The snow and ice were dangerous and people didn’t want to get into car accidents. All in all, the Covid-19 lockdown was not too effective. People were still going out and not taking precautions and eventually the lockdown was just lifted,” Tamo said.

While the snow storm made life miserable for many Texans, the impact it had on the population is still being seen across the state. While the impacts the storm had on the Coronavirus pandemic is still playing out, it will be interesting to see if the states’ numbers increase or decrease due to the pandemic.