Protests Against Stay-At-Home Orders Arise

Rebecca Lim, Staff Writer

  Americans have been under strict stay-at-home orders for over a month now in order to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. Although this hasn’t been easy on anyone, the majority of people have decided to comply with orders from the government and top medical officials. Practicing social distancing and not leaving the house except for essential needs has become the new norm. 

  However, small groups all over the nation have gathered up, rebelling against these orders and demanding an end to lockdowns. Many states, including Florida, California, Washington, North Carolina, Illinois, and Texas have witnessed these demonstrations. In Texas, protestors gathered at the state capitol to protest against lockdowns, even though their governor had announced that the state would be slowly reopen soon. The state has around 15,000 cases, and would be the first state in the country to reopen after a lockdown (Newsweek). Freshman Allyson Butler explains, “Reopening a state too early can lead to another outbreak, it’s better if we all stay inside… Protests are extremely unsafe at this time; a large group of people can further the spread [of COVID-19].” Protestors are seemingly ignoring all of the possible risks and threats their demonstrations pose. 

  Many of the protestors claim that the lockdowns are infringing on their constitutional rights. Some in Idaho are even holding signs that read “Shutdown is worse than COVID-19.” Protests all over the country are demanding that they get their jobs back; 22 million people have made unemployment claims so far (CNBC). Freshman Jeylah Valdes expresses, “I think the majority of people do not enjoy being at home right now but it’s what’s best to keep everyone safe.” A picture of a healthcare worker blocking protests by standing in front of traffic has recently gone viral.

  It shows that protesting against the lockdowns are only making it last longer. Stay-at-home orders can only be lifted if people actually participate enough to make a difference in the number of COVID-19 cases. Also, many of the people who are protesting are doing so without wearing masks or following social distancing guidelines. Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiology and public health expert from Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health says that he expects a resurgence in cases in around two weeks, as a result of the protests (The Guardian).