Our coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic examines the disease's effects on Houston and the surrounding region, both now and once the outbreak is over.

Post-coronavirus economic recovery in Houston and Texas requires bold planning

Make no mistake, the long-term future of Texas and the Houston area will be determined more by the economic crisis than by the coronavirus. The focus on protecting the health of residents by flattening the curve is the correct approach but now is also the time to look ahead to the recovery phase. Too many officials and pundits seem to assume the economy will simply return to normal once businesses are allowed to reopen and Texans are freed to go about their daily lives.

In post-pandemic Texas, the state’s cities will be more important than ever

A number of governors from both parties are rejecting the president’s claim on Monday that the office allows him the authority to reopen the country, regardless of state-level opposition that — whenever that is — it could be too soon.

“The president of the United States calls the shots,” President Trump said. “They can’t do anything without the approval of the president of the United States.”

Can Texas afford to lose its housing affordability advantage?

Texas has a reputation as an affordable place to live — largely because the cost of housing is much less than on the coasts. But the truth of the matter is that housing in Texas is gradually becoming less affordable — especially in the large metropolitan areas where virtually all of the population and economic growth is taking place. And that trend could prove to be a brake on Texas’ economic growth down the road.

The current coronavirus pandemic will only further complicate the situation.

In the COVID-19 era, a renewed appreciation of our parks and open spaces

On Wednesday, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced that county parks would be closed over the Easter weekend to reduce the temptation for residents who might typically celebrate the holiday by gathering for Easter egg hunts and barbecues. The concern is these gatherings, which defy stay-at-home orders, will make social distancing difficult and increase the chance for transmitting the novel coronavirus.

Mobility data shows some staying at home more than others during COVID-19 pandemic

As of Tuesday, statewide stay-at-home orders had been issued in all but eight American states to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Texas’ 29 million residents were told to stay home beginning April 2.

Three of the eight holdouts — Wyoming, Utah and Oklahoma — have partial orders in effect. No full or partial orders have been issued to residents in five rural states — Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota or South Dakota.

Boom likely to resume but leaders need to square disparities in the Texas Triangle

Once we are out of the current economic straits, this growth most likely will be sustained for decades to come. There are many reasons, but one of the most important is the fact that Houston is an important part of one of the world’s most important economic units: the Texas Triangle, stretching from Dallas and Fort Worth on the north to Austin and San Antonio at the southwest corner, with Houston anchoring the southeast corner.

The Triangle is made up of only 35 of Texas’s 254 counties. But 18 million people live in those 35 counties — 66% of the state’s population.