Anti-stay-at-home protests cause harm beyond protests

By protesting against quarantine orders, protesters increase their risk and others’ risks of catching COVID-19 because they are going outside and protesting for nonessential reasons.


Bam! with Bhardwaj: An Arrowhead Column

In order to get stay-at-home orders lifted, protestors nationwide are endangering themselves and those around them by forming large and dense crowds without masks.
After social distancing measures were put into place, protests erupted in states such as California, Michigan, Washington, Texas, Wisconsin and others.
Pictures and videos of these protests display crowds of people, some armed, outside Capitol buildings chanting without masks. Some protestors in Michigan carried swastika and confederate flags along with nooses, according to a CNN interview with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Besides the obvious racism from these groups, even just one person with COVID-19 coming to these protests could infect hundreds of people who could spread the virus to countless others. Asymptomatic people can spread coronavirus without even knowing that they are doing so or that they have coronavirus.
Instead of flattening the curve, these protesters can cause another surge in coronavirus cases by gathering in large crowds without masks.
According to Web MD, face masks won’t block the virus from being breathed in but will “block the release of virus-filled droplets into the air when you cough or sneeze.”
These protestors do not represent the ideas of all Americans. According to a Pew Research Center poll, although there is a slight partisan divide most Americans are more concerned that social distancing measures will stop too early rather than too late.
However, this minority of Americans gathering in large crowds can still be deadly to others who are socially distancing and not in support of these protestors. These people can spread COVID-19 to their families and others who they come in contact with if they do not practice social distancing.
Besides spreading the virus to their families, they are putting law enforcement officers and healthcare workers at risk for the virus. Police barricades kept many protesters from advancing into Capitol buildings in many states such as Pennsylvania and as a result can contract COVID-19 from protesters who won’t stay home.
Additionally, healthcare workers will be burdened by the protesters who are infected with the virus along with whoever they have spread it to. According to CNN News, many hospitals do not have enough equipment to take care of incoming patients. New patients will increase the strain on hospitals along with the chance of healthcare workers getting infected.
The desire for an active economy is understandable but as a result of these protests, openings will have to be delayed longer, not out of spite for protesters but because more people will become infected with the virus. Whitmer said in the same interview that Michigan would most probably have to stay closed for a longer time as a result of the protests occurring in the state.
The issues and complications such as increased risk for coronavirus for everyone involved in these protests, no matter on what side, simply outweigh any positives involved such as getting businesses to open earlier.