Over a month into the stay-at-home orders rolled out across the country in response to COVID-19, various states have seen a rise in opposition to the order, with people protesting outside of the capital buildings of various states over the last weeks.
The people participating in these protests believe their rights are being violated by being told they need to minimize contact with others. In reality though, these protesters have shown themselves to be incredibly irresponsible.
In many of the images of these protests, participants can be seen flagrantly ignoring many of the safety guidelines for avoiding contracting the virus. People can be seen huddled up close together, yelling and hollering without anything to cover up their mouths.
What’s even more concerning is the images that show people who are with the age range to be at a huge risk for the virus. Some have even deemed it appropriate to bring their children along to these events.
This disregard means these protests have the potential to become a giant petri dish for the coronavirus. In a time when we need to be trying to reduce the number of people who have become infected, these people are making it that much harder to put an end to it.
In response to this, many healthcare workers have staged counter-protests. In many of these, the workers have faced hostility and verbal abuse from the protestors. One of these healthcare workers includes Nurse Lauren Leander of Arizona.
“It was heated, people were very fired up about what they had to say,” Leander told CNN. “A lot of the top comments we got were about us being fake nurses, there was a huge majority of them that still believe this virus is fake, that it’s a hoax and not real at all.”
Healthcare workers across the country have shared similar stories, highlighting how misinformation has helped cause these protests.
While many of these protestors may believe the virus is a hoax, or at least not as severe as has been reported, data shared through various health organizations would contradict this.
According to a report from John Hopkins University on April 24., there have been over 965 thousand confirmed cases and over 54 thousand deaths in the United States alone.
Alongside this come the hundreds of accounts of those who have been affected by the virus. As each day goes by, more and more people end up having someone they lost to the virus.
While there are many of the protestors who may believe the virus isn’t that bad, there are those who fully believe it’s dangerous, but don’t care, only being concerned with how it inconveniences them. Demands to be able to go to a barber or an ice cream store have been seen in some of these protests.
The reality of the situation is we need to be patient and strong to get through the current pandemic. What these protests are showing is they are unwilling to do this, willing to let people die so they can pretend everything is back to normal.