Do You Even Know What You Are Protesting?

The First Amendment states we have a right to assemble and protest. What happens when assembling has the possibilities of spreading an infectious disease?

Across the United States, people are protesting against stay-at-home orders. It began in Michigan, when people could be seen waving signs that said “Open Up!” and “Give us Liberty!” as well as American flags, Trump signs and, puzzlingly, semi-automatic rifles.

Many of these protesters are angry at not being able to work. With over 26 million Americans filing for unemployment in just five weeks, the economy has plummeted, turning from bull market to bear market almost overnight.

That is understandable. Without work, many Americans are worried about not being able to pay their bills or buy food.

What isn’t understandable are those who are protesting and calling stay-at-home orders a “fascist lockdown” or protesting because they can’t go get their nails and hair done.

In fact, this whole protesting business, while it doesn’t seem political, has political themes within. According to The Guardian, a majority of protesters are Trump supporters, seeing as the first protest in Michigan was made up entirely of Trump supporters.

Republicans support protests, and call any warning not to protest a violation of their constitutional rights. People fear that these large gatherings will increase the number of cases.

In one viral video, medical workers in Colorado can be seen interrupting protests, receiving a lot of support and praise from the Internet. A woman from her car, waving a sign that read “Land of the Free,” shouted at one man, asking him why he could go to work and she couldn’t. Sometimes any attempts to reason with people are frustratingly futile.

Sure, this is the land of the free, and many people are experiencing mounting difficulty during these times. However, this is also the land with the most infected and most dead. Over one million people in the U.S. have the coronavirus, and over 62,000 have died as a result. The U.S. has nearly one-third the confirmed cases with bad testing rates, and we are not even one-third of the world’s population.

Nobody is having a good time. Nobody wants this. But it is evident from those who are protesting that they don’t understand the severity of these cases. Some people are even making up lies and saying that COVID-19 is not as bad as people are making it out to be.

Over 62,000 dead and one million cases. Even my seven year-old cousin has the mental capacity to understand that this is bad.

Epidemiologists warn that the US could see a spike in cases in the next three to four weeks should these protests continue.

Pandemics and diseases do not care about your political affiliations. This virus does not care who you are, it only wants to infect people, as many as it can. All these protests are doing is making it easier.