Gov. Abbott's termination of Texas Mask Mandate; How Unemployment may affect 2020 taxes files

Texas Gov. Abbott’s Announcement to end the mask mandate

Texas has recently become the first state to get rid of their mask mandate and open their state backup almost a year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

Gov. Abbott recently announced his intent to open up businesses at 100 percent capacity. This action plans to take place on March 10.

Google Trends Graph by Andrea Vazquez

According to an analysis of Google search data, Gov. Greg Abbot was the highest searched amongst the three terms. On Google Trends, he peaked on Google searches to the highest scale in the middle of February and towards the end of the month, the term “texas vaccine” surpassed. The term “texas mask mandate” only recently started trending towards the end of the month, following Gov. Abbott’s announcement to end it. Gov.

In the past days, Texas suffered several power outages and physical damages to their homes from the freezing temperatures hitting their state. All while recovering from the winter storm, this decision could potentially cause more damage.

President Biden had declared both the Texas and Mississippi decision to lift the mask mandate “neanderthal thinking”.

According to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, there is still a limited supply of vaccine distributions. They are expected to open the vaccine to the general public this spring, while supplies remain vast.

How unemployment may affect one’s taxes; Stimulus check progressions in the House

According to an analysis of Google search data, there seem to be some minor interactions between the three terms of “tax refund”, “stimulus check”, and “unemployment”. The 2020 Tax filing season started on Feb. 12. Several individuals filing this year are using the 1099-G to file their taxes, as several Americans are still on unemployment. Many Americans in fact, might owe money on their tax statements regardless of being unemployed. This is mainly from withdrawing being taxed on their bi-weekly payments.

Google Trends Graph by Andrea Vazquez

While the term “tax refund” shows a steady increase as tax season approached, the term “unemployment” stayed rising and dropping at the same rate throughout the last 30 days. The term “stimulus check” showed a rise towards the end of the month, from the House passing President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package.

However, many individuals who didn’t receive any stimulus checks this past year because of being claimed as “dependents”, can now reclaim those checks in their taxes by changing their dependency status.

Google Trends Map by Andrea Vazquez

The map on Google Trends shows where each search term was trending highest in the US. The term “tax refund” shows to be most trending towards the southern region of the US. While the term “stimulus check” shows most research in the northwest region of the country. Lastly, unemployment is mainly trending in the upper east area of the US. As the stimulus check needs to be signed by President Biden by March 15, it is evident that the term will continue to rise.

Communications student at the University of Illinois-at Chicago. Check out more publications and more information at @andreavazqu_ on Twitter.

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