January 21, 2020: First novel coronavirus case detected in United States of America.1
March 4, 2020: First coronavirus case in Texas.2
March 11, 2020: World Health Organization declares COVID-19 pandemic.
March 13, 2020: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declares state of disaster enabling federal funds to flow to the state and halting elective surgeries (including abortions).
March 16, 2020: First COVID-19 death in Texas.
March 19, 2020: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issues first coronavirus-related executive order shutting down government and businesses and banning gatherings.3
March 23, 2020: Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick offers to sacrifice Texas seniors to coronavirus in order to reopen the Texas economy.4
April 14, 2020: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issues letter to Texas House of Representatives Elections Committee Chair Rep. Stephanie Klick stating his “unofficial opinion” that “fear of contracting COVID-19 unaccompanied by a qualifying sickness or physical condition does not constitute a disability under the Election Code for purposes of receiving a ballot by mail.”5
April 15, 2020: U.S. District Court Judge Tim Sulak rules in favor of allowing all Texans to vote by mail during coronavirus pandemic.
April 17, 2020: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issues executive order announcing establishment of the Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas and phased reopening of Texas businesses.
May 1, 2020: Texas begins Phase I of reopening.6 Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issues letter to county judges and election officers threatening prosecution for encouraging Texans to vote by mail.7
May 5, 2020: Audio leaked of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott acknowledging reopening will increase transmission of COVID-19.8
May 18, 2020: Texas begins Phase II of reopening.
“Our goal is to find ways to coexist with COVID-19 as safely as possible,” the governor said.
— Texas Gov. Greg Abbott9
May 19, 2020: U.S. District Judge Fred Biery rules that all state voters regardless of age qualify for a mail-in ballot during the coronavirus pandemic.10
May 27, 2020: Texas Supreme Court opines in official ruling that most Texans won’t get coronavirus.11
June 3, 2020: Texas begins Phase III of reopening.12
June 25, 2020: Elective surgeries (including abortions) suspended in Texas metros due to coronavirus overloading hospitals.
June 26, 2020: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott reverses reopening state after tremendous increase in coronavirus cases and deaths.
July 2, 2020: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott finally issues statewide mask order for counties with over 20 cases of COVID-19.
August 17, 2020: 10,000th Texan dies of COVID-19.
September 17, 2020: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott begins reopening Texas businesses again.
October 14, 2020: Texas bars allowed to reopen.13
November 3, 2020: President Trump fails to win reelection as president but refuses to concede.
November 16, 2020: Texas surpasses 1 million coronavirus cases.
January 6, 2021: Capitol insurrection.
February 11, 2021: Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announces plan to penalize environmentally sensitive investors.14
February 13-17 2021: Winter Storm Uri strikes Texas causing cascading failures of energy and public health infrastructure (gas, electric, water).
William O. Pate II is the founding editor and publisher of San Antonio Review. He lives in Austin.