The coro navirus lockdown prevented Brazoria County residents from embracing a lot of people, including those who lived a century ago. Thankfully, the Freeport Historical Museum found a way to still tell their important stories.
All this week, through its virtual “100 Years of Herstory” exhibit, the museum has been sharing video presentations about four important local women who played a role in the women’s suffrage movement. They timed the presentation with the 100th anniversary of women earning the right to vote in this country, the result of a more than half-century rights battle.
The four-part series has been airing on the museum’s social media account, facebook.com/cfhmuseum, with a new installment debuting each day since Tuesday. It concludes today.
Those features so far include two women whose names adorn Brazosport ISD schools, Elizabet Ney and Jane Long. Dr. Sofia Herzog, an important local historical figure beyond the voting rights effort, was featured in Part 3.
In a glass-half-full view of the program, until the pandemic, residents would have had to plan a trip to the physical museum in downtown Freeport to see it — a trip worth taking regardless, once it reopens. Instead, staff was forced to think outside the box to create the virtual presentation, the first of its kind for the small museum.
Plaudits to Sadie Smith, who put the videos together, and Lee Ann Strahan, who oversees the museum. Local residents should make a point of viewing these mini-documentaries and sharing them with the children, which might now know about these important women beyond seeing their names on school marquees.
Testing residents, staff of state homes took too long
There are quite a few areas where Gov. Greg Abbott’s priorities in who got tested and when businesses got to open and close could cause some head-scratching. In his defense, that would happen regardless of what he decided, as nothing he did would make everyone entirely happy.
There is one particular area, however, that deserves significant scrutiny.
The lengthy delay in testing residents of state-supported living centers — along with its unwillingness to publicly release any information about cases among those inside — has not been a good look. Such facilities have been breeding grounds for the virus, and those in these homes are among the at-risk groups.
For months, employees and family members of residents at the state-run homes have raised concerns about outbreaks and called for increased testing, the Texas Tribune reported. In recent weeks, several state lawmakers have also called for widespread testing at the state-supported living centers.
Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday he was directing the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to expand testing to all patients, residents and staff members at the 23 state-run homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and state-run psychiatric hospitals. The decision comes about two weeks after he ordered all residents and staff of private facilities to be tested.
When the time comes to look back on how local, state and federal officials handled this potentially deadly virus, the inadequacy and uneven implementation of testing should be No. 1 on the list for examination. Why it took so long for those assigned to state-supported homes to undergo widespread testing needs to be part of that investigation.